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New Yorker piece

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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.

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You may be onto something with that. The thin yellow/gold color is usually an indication of the distillation being taken too far. Perhaps that is what is with the Combier Blanchette? Think about all the Swiss clandestines (now no longer clandestine). They are not yellow. Kübler is made on a large scale and is not yellow.

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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?

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The article is broad in scope and isn't without (minor) discrepancies and omissions. Verte Suisse is absolutely clear prior to colouration.

 

I found the "Lucerne" descriptive odd as well, but that's journalism.

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  A lot of Lucerne smells like cow manure, as the cows graze freely on the hills, so that's how I took the reference.

 

 

 

The same can be said of East Bumfuck, particularly on a Thursday, so I hereby rename my principality Lucerne. B)

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The article is broad in scope and isn't without (minor) discrepancies and omissions.  Verte Suisse is absolutely clear prior to colouration.
In the Combier distillery, Breaux glanced at the hydrometer chamber and checked the emerging distillate; it was the color of pale straw.
Hm. Must have been the light that made Turner see it that way.

 

Next, Schaf produced a small, iodine-coloured vial containing a sample of home-distilled American hooch. "What these guys are doing is illegal," he said. It was vile, with a strong, acrid aftertaste that Schaf ascribed to home distillation over a naked flame.

 

Should have given him some of the good stuff.

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Hm.  Must have been the light that made Turner see it that way.

 

The description of the liquid is correct. The description of where it was being diverted at that particular point time is not. It matters little, he did a remarkable job.

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The article is broad in scope and isn't without (minor) discrepancies and omissions.  Verte Suisse is absolutely clear prior to colouration.
In the Combier distillery, Breaux glanced at the hydrometer chamber and checked the emerging distillate; it was the color of pale straw.
Hm. Must have been the light that made Turner see it that way.

 

Next, Schaf produced a small, iodine-coloured vial containing a sample of home-distilled American hooch. "What these guys are doing is illegal," he said. It was vile, with a strong, acrid aftertaste that Schaf ascribed to home distillation over a naked flame.

 

Should have given him some of the good stuff.

 

it was a 2004 ADN Montpellier...didn't age well...journalist didn't completely record my opinions, but did report his own impressions of the taste...pity

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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.

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i'm sure he tried it, there was much more that he didn't mention, including vintage berger. you can't tell a journalist what to write and what not to write. i made the effort to bring out the only 'decent' and recent HG i had, from whom is well known for some time as a good maker. my description of 'an open flame' was based on using a stove top burner, though heating sources, etc. can be only speculative, just like the actual identities of those who make it.

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i'm sure he tried it, there was much more that he didn't mention, including vintage berger. you can't tell a journalist what to write and what not to write.  i made the effort to bring out the only 'decent' and recent HG i had

 

That clears things up a bit.

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Sorry to those who feel slighted by the reporters comments about American HG but maybe suck up your pride a bit, when you are doing something that's a felony I don't think you want serious publicity. It's probably best the general public thinks American HG are bad to non existent. Those who care know the difference. Those that don't know the difference also don't know where or how to get it.

 

There is a big difference between running a bootleg still and skipping out on the couple dollars of tax you may have to pay on boxes that aren't always "deceptively" labeled.

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