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I wouldn't expect a reputable overseas vendor to require an honest,or regular customer to return the bottle(s) at their own expense for replacement or a refund.Especially if the flawed product is generating multiple complaints.

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Well, if you have somebody like me who likes to drink absinthe, but is not by any means an expert, how do you know what's a flawed product vs personal preference?

 

My bottle of Roquette tastes like crap. My bottle of La Berthe De Joux tastes like crap too. Was there a bad batch of LBDJ or do I just happen not to like it?

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I can understand people not liking BdJ, when it was first released many thought it was awesome but now not finding anything special about it, also there could be a few bad batches out there, after all it is made at Pernot, known for making bad batches lately.

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Well, if you have somebody like me who likes to drink absinthe, but is not by any means an expert, how do you know what's a flawed product vs personal preference?

 

Fortunately for you,you read this forum.It's an excellent source of information with several members who are not only experts on absinthe,but are also privy to the business practices and goings on at many of the international distilleries.Not to mention the WWS members who are commercial producers of absinthe themselves.Not much gets by these guys.

Edited by redwun

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Well, if you have somebody like me who likes to drink absinthe, but is not by any means an expert, how do you know what's a flawed product vs personal preference?

 

Read this.

 

My bottle of Roquette tastes like crap. My bottle of La Berthe De Joux tastes like crap too. Was there a bad batch of LBDJ or do I just happen not to like it?

 

When you say "tastes like crap" it's obvious you don't like it. Can you describe a little more specifically what kinds of aromas and flavors and/or texture impressions you are experiencing? With that kind of information, some others here may be able to be more helpful.

 

It takes a while, but with practice and good attention it is possible to improve one's perceptive abilities and one's abilities to articulate the experiences. Unfortunately something like "tastes like crap" is so general it could be a number of things ranging from the two options of "Was there a bad batch of LBDJ or do I just happen not to like it?" to just about anything in-between. The same actually holds true with generalized positive assessments. One of the most common assessments, that is of little information or help, one hears about spirit products is that it is "smooth". In most cases where you hear this what it actually means is "I like this". When I describe a spirit as smooth, I am talking about its texture... smooth versus rough, powdery (the texture, not the impression of baby powder aromas), grainy, sticky, etc.. I would so like to see the word "smooth" as a general assessment drop out of use for these purposes. Here's a guy who apparently agrees with me (at 0:45 in the video).

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When I describe a spirit as smooth, I am talking about its texture... smooth versus rough, powdery (the texture, not the impression of baby powder aromas), grainy, sticky, etc..

Exactly! Like "That's as smooth as pulling a greasy string out of a cats ass".

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When you say "tastes like crap" it's obvious you don't like it. Can you describe a little more specifically what kinds of aromas and flavors and/or texture impressions you are experiencing? With that kind of information, some others here may be able to be more helpful.

 

I want to clarify that I do not believe I got a bottle from a bad batch of BDJ. My point was that somebody like me who is still very much in the early learning stage may not know the difference between simply not liking something and it actually being flawed through the distillation/preparation process. In terms of the taste of BDJ, it was overpowering in all the wrong ways like it was at war with itself and at war with me and somewhat watery at the same time. I think I suffered through my first glass. But when I went back weeks later to give it another shot, I poured it out after only a few miserable sips. I wish I could give you more about aromas, flavors etc., but I'm just not fit to do it - at least not without pouring myself a third glass and taking notes - which I don't really want to do.

 

My bottle of Roquette is much more likely a bad batch. It tastes very flat to me, and even giving it some leeway for the high alcohol percentage, the taste of alcohol is very much at the forefront. Still, I'm not going to pretend like I know what I'm talking about. Maybe they intended it that way. But when I read here that there was a bad batch, I figured that might explain it.

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When I describe a spirit as smooth, I am talking about its texture... smooth versus rough, powdery (the texture, not the impression of baby powder aromas), grainy, sticky, etc..

Exactly! Like "That's as smooth as pulling a greasy string out of a cats ass".

 

 

Note to self... add this to list of absinthe descriptors. :dry:

 

I think Louchey's suggestion is a good one.

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Bad batch v. "I don't like it"

 

A good case study is the review history of Vieux Pontarlier.

http://wormwoodsociety.org/index.php/absinthe-reviews/traditional-absinthe/vieux-pontarlier_l483

 

An absinthe with a history of Overall scores of 4's and higher, then drops down to 2.5's., then back up. Something had gone wrong.

The key word in the bad reviews is VEGETAL. Another good term I saw was "burnt rubber" No absinthe should ever taste like it was louched with yesterdays artichoke water. That is a clear flaw.

 

Words that can mean just a taster's opinion could be 'unbanllanced' or overly 'medicnal'; too this or too that.

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i've had pernots shipped very long distances and consumed in very warm weather (positively scorching).

i've concluded that pernots are more delicate than others and without a very slow, very cold drip that strikes just the right balance, they tend to become weak and vegetal.

 

BdJ and Bourgeois are my favourite and easy, pleasurable drinking, 3:1 seems to be right.

 

The rest are hit or miss. Authentique is more bitter, tends to come out a bit flat and lacking in mouthfeel. Roquette is more herbal still, quite tempting to overwater at 74% but I would suggest keeping it strong, or else it ends up weak and one-dimensional (just wormwood and spice, not much else).

 

Really most of the stronger pernots suffer from what I think is a lack of anise, it's hard to explain the thin louche in some of them...

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Hmm, I guess I should amend my initial statement of being unable to see someone not liking BdJ. I could see someone not having it be an absinthe up their alley, and Hedonist's extended description does sound like that could be the case. I just have a hard time seeing someone who generally likes absinthe tasting it and thinking it's straight-up crap. I think Loucheymonster has the right idea of doing a sample trade to see what's going on there.

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Authentique is more bitter, tends to come out a bit flat and lacking in mouthfeel.

Wow,I never got that from a bottle of Authentique! :blink:

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The only time I tasted Authentique was probably two years ago. I thought it was very solid, very nice. It's always amazed me how different individuals can have such different experiences with the same beverage. I have really enjoyed most E.P. absinthes I have tried. However to be fair, most I have in stock are at least 4 years back, and older, in production. I believe the substandard productions I hear talked about are a more recent occurrence. Can anyone in the know give us insight here? Have they changed distillers?

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it's probably quite hard to explain unless we try each bottle under the same conditions. possibly the authentique is not one of the more popular ones here in Australia and left on the shelf in summer weather infamous for going over 40 degrees celsius (that's 104 f for ze americans) it could have degraded somewhat.

 

this could be quite an interesting research topic.

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To answer Fingerpickinblue's question about changing distillers at EP, no they have not, Dominique has been there a very, very, very long time. The problem is that Oxy's group is no longer managing the distillery. Dominique is the manager and distiller now with no direct oversight. Most of the brands that you know from EP are not sold anymore at the distillery, there is I think only four being sold at the distillery, the rest are sold to the other distributors in Europe for resale.

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When you say "tastes like crap" it's obvious you don't like it. Can you describe a little more specifically what kinds of aromas and flavors and/or texture impressions you are experiencing? With that kind of information, some others here may be able to be more helpful.

 

I want to clarify that I do not believe I got a bottle from a bad batch of BDJ. My point was that somebody like me who is still very much in the early learning stage may not know the difference between simply not liking something and it actually being flawed through the distillation/preparation process. In terms of the taste of BDJ, it was overpowering in all the wrong ways like it was at war with itself and at war with me and somewhat watery at the same time. I think I suffered through my first glass. But when I went back weeks later to give it another shot, I poured it out after only a few miserable sips. I wish I could give you more about aromas, flavors etc., but I'm just not fit to do it - at least not without pouring myself a third glass and taking notes - which I don't really want to do.

 

My bottle of Roquette is much more likely a bad batch. It tastes very flat to me, and even giving it some leeway for the high alcohol percentage, the taste of alcohol is very much at the forefront. Still, I'm not going to pretend like I know what I'm talking about. Maybe they intended it that way. But when I read here that there was a bad batch, I figured that might explain it.

Part of the issue could be the interplay between your lack of exposure/ experience and your expectations which have been set.. if there was a blind tasting I wonder what the outcome could be.. remember that this is a very dynamic drink which produces dynamic end results based on everything from ambient temperature to individual palate and mood.. add every other x factor <here> Ive had nothing but enjoyment of EP absinthes.. and Ive now tasted over 50 different varieties including prebans. Yes A drop in the ocean considering what some on here have experienced but nonetheless Id like to think I have some valid experience now. Now I just wish theyd bring back Sauvage!!

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Okay. So I've had some time to sit down with the oak-aged Roquette and...wow. Gentlemen (and Ambear!) this is a seriously fantastic absinthe. The oak aging has really rounded off the medicinal qualities of the roquette and hints of vanilla and citrus meld with the herbaciousness of the spirit. What's really interesting to me is that on the nose there are striking similarities to the 2014 L'Ancienne. It's to the point where I wonder if Stefano used oak somewhere in his effort to replicate aged pre-ban.

 

I expected a rare but gimmicky experience, but this is remarkable. I heartily recommend it.

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