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Dr. LaRouge

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About Dr. LaRouge

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    Professeur d’Absinthe

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  1. Welcome. Not all homemade absinthes are created equal, and neither are all commercial absinthes, as you'll find. Both traverse the spectrum from bile to angel's milk.
  2. Your infusions are interesting, although keep in mind that an herb distilled can often have noticeably different flavours than if it is only macerated. If you're using coloring herbs for your infusion tests, that's fine, but other herbs may surprise you as to how they change once distilled. Wormwood, of course, exhibits the most drastic differences between distilled and macerated. As for Lavender, I have had 2 or 3 different absinthes that used it. In very small quantities, it pleasantly but subtly enhances the aroma, and is best in blanches, although it is very easy to add too much, and that's what makes it soapy. There is a Lavender liqueur from Provençe which is pretty interesting, although a little sugary for my taste. It's hard to find, but if you can find it mix it with Arak and see what the results are.
  3. Perhaps it's that overcooking that people are liking. It wasn't prominent enough to make my tastebuds go "blecch" and sink it, but there is something "off" in there, which I eventually got used to. Normally pushing it too far makes me cringe, whereas this made me scratch my head, but I ended up liking that weird taste. Dr. Verte, do you know if your sample came from the first bottling? I think all the bottles have dates on them, I'm just wondering if there was a 2nd bottling made. Mine is yellow, but not as yellow as described by some. If the yellowing is decreasing from one batch to the next, that seems to suggest that it is overcooked, as opposed to being the previously hypothesized issue with the wormwood seeds.
  4. The sample I received tasted like an uncolored Besançon recipe.
  5. Their link to the French Wikipedia entry for Absinthe is of interest, including a recipe that is supposedly what Pernod Fils used in 1906 (I highly doubt it), as well as a La Bleue recipe from Motiers written by someone who seems to know what they're talking about. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritueux_au..._d'absinthe
  6. A 2004 ADN is hardly representative of the current state of American HG, nor was it representative of the best American HGs from 2004, as I'm sure you know. The end consequence is that American home distilling came off looking bad, thus giving the impression that it can't be done right at home. Journalists will of course write what they wish, but when their exposure is limited to flawed absinthes, one cannot be surprised that they described them as flawed. As for the illegality of home distilling, it might have also been good for the author to know that shipping untaxed alcohol to the US in deceptively labeled boxes is also illegal. There is nothing wrong with the article focusing mostly on Ted's work. He is a skilled distiller and an astute businessman, and certainly deserves recognition and even money for his hard work and accomplishments. We should all be on the same side here, and that is the side of good absinthe. Ted makes good absinthe, and so do several people in America. Perhaps it was an absent minded error to give the author only old flawed home distilled absinthes, but the end result was that American home distilled absinthe came off looking quite bad by comparison, when we know in fact that several home distilled American absinthes are outstanding.
  7. Funny, I thought he meant Lucerne, Switzerland. A lot of Lucerne smells like cow manure, as the cows graze freely on the hills, so that's how I took the reference. I was told the yellow could be due to wormwood seeds, but the writers says Mr. Breaux was making Verte Suisse, not Blanchette, so apparently Verte Suisse is yellow prior to colouring too. Perhaps the distillate is being taken too far, though Jade does not smell like tails. Or could it be possible the batches are too small for the size of the alambic and the herbs are sticking to the bottom and scorching?
  8. An interesting bit of the article is the journalist describes the end of the pre-tails distillate being a "pale straw" color. In my experience, that yellow is indicative of an error in the process. I am not experienced with distillation on a large scale, so perhaps there is an aspect of the large scale process causing this, but the pre-tails distillate should not be yellow.
  9. Blog schmog. The doctor has a prescription for you. Absinthe.
  10. The article also teaches you where Absomphe's name comes from, of all things. An unusual form of enlightenment, to say the least...
  11. Actually, Mantovano is quite optimal: ?-pinene, 0.51; Myrcene, 0.74; Limonene, 53.95; ?-Terpinine, 3.36; Fenchone 0.00; Methyl Chavicol, 0.82; Fenchyl Acetate, 4.61; Anethole, 28.92. What it lacks can be compensated for through careful blending with the other cultivars. <{POST_SNAPBACK}> I second the good Doctor's observation. Mantovano fennel is best used in blanches, mainly due to the high Limonene content which imparts a citrusy taste, as opposed to fenchone, which is camphorous. It's too bad Monsieur Bugnon isn't using that incredible Fennel (ZF) that was developed in his own homeland, as that contains the best of both worlds: High anethole, low fenchone. It seems odd that even the Charlotte recipe contains too much fennel, as I hardly taste any fennel in it. It makes me wonder if perhaps he's not using florentine fennel, and that's what is putting the fenchone meter in the red in the Charlotte recipe. It does have a slight camphorous tinge, which I assumed to be from Hyssop, which can also have camphorous properties. Perhaps I am wrong.
  12. Your definition is as good as ours. If you ever watch a professional chef, you'll notice they rarely if ever use measuring cups/spoon.
  13. I was wondering about the answer to Gatsby's question too. Thank you for the clarification doctor.
  14. It has a bleachy clean aroma, rather than the usual anise aroma, which I suspect might be what is irksome to Martin Lake.