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It all boils down to this. Different strokes for different folks. I would not care if I was the ONLY one on the planet who like L'ancienne for what it is.

 

I can't argue with that.

 

And, while I agree with M-squared about how much this year's L'Ancienne has softened over the last few months to allow the taste of the the more traditional components to shine through, I never considered its flavor to be un-absinthelike.

 

Maybe that's reflective of all the 'fringe-y' beers I enjoy. Certainly, if one is familiar with Firestone Walkers blended Anniversay Ales, it's easy to understand how many died-in-the-wool Budweiser drinkers could accuse them of not being very beer-like. That doesn't mean they aren't, it's simply a case of an individual being open-minded enough to expand his or her definition of what beer tastes like.*

 

I think there should be room for such flexibility regarding the flavor of absinthe, as well. Hopefully, if its resurgence lasts long enough, the evolution of absinthe will allow for this to occur.

 

 

* Of couurse, I didn't attempt to compare FPB's palate (or vast tasting experience) to that of a typical Budweiser drinker's, just to be absolutely clear on that point. :laugh:

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It all boils down to this. Different strokes for different folks. I would not care if I was the ONLY one on the planet who like L'ancienne for what it is.

 

I can't argue with that.

 

I can't argue with that either, however in what appears to be a response to my post it seems a little defensive and a lot dismissive.

 

And, while I agree with M-squared about how much this year's L'Ancienne has softened over the last few months to allow the taste of the the more traditional components to shine through, I never considered its flavor to be un-absinthelike.

 

Wow. All that careful consideration, an hour burned making that post about some subtle points, choosing just the right words to accurately convey my thoughts, and that's what you got out of it; that I said it wasn't absinthe-like? I guess some days I should just keep my mouth shut.

 

The difference isn't between it being completely "un-absinthelike" or completely "absinthe-like". There's lots of room in between. The observation I was trying to convey is that I think it is finally settled into a phase that represents well rested absinthe. After every previous tasting I was always cautiously optimistic, but not highly enthusiastic. Yesterday's tasting began to perhaps change that.

 

BTW, I've added a paragraph to that post to further explain my observations.

 

...it's simply a case of an individual being open-minded enough to expand his or her definition of what beer tastes like.*

I think there should be room for such flexibility regarding the flavor of absinthe, as well.

 

I've never thought of myself as being closed-minded. The majority of my post really has more to do with the resting/aging issue than the fundamental profile of L'Ancienne. You of course know that almost every alcohol beverage produced (including beer) involves some resting/aging before release for sale. It has been my opinion since receiving the L'Ancienne 2011 that it was released too early. That's just my opinion, for what it's worth. It doesn't really count until I buy Stefano out and produce L'A myself, but that's not going to happen. And if anyone, in particular, doesn't agree with me, I'm not voicing this to assail you personally. We can disagree. Interestingly, in the same email I referred to in the other post I also told Stefano that "every time I have tasted it, it just seems very young to me". He was puzzled by that. Probably my fault for not making it clear that I wasn't saying that I couldn't see the inclusion of characteristics to make it appear aged, but rather that the product as a whole just seemed green (young, fresh, nervy, un-rested, etc.).

 

I've always been with Gwydion in that I welcome cautious innovation as long as the attempt is not to completely re-define what absinthe is. L'Ancienne is certainly not that.

 

* Of couurse, I didn't attempt to compare FPB's palate (or vast tasting experience) to that of a typical Budweiser drinker's, just to be absolutely clear on that point. :laugh:

 

The fact is I'm an atypical Budweiser drinker. :harhar:

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So I think the decision to push the release back to February is probably a good one, and frankly, IMO, something more like the 8 to 10 month range wouldn't be too much.

 

I would enthusiastically agree, except I'm afraid of how much the price of a bottle might rise as a consequence of those extra months of resting. :laugh: ;)

 

At any rate, thanks for your expounding, FPB. The carefully thought out subtleties and nuances of your original post weren't lost on me, though.

 

And as for you being an atypical Budweiser drinker, I never doubted that for a moment. :tongue:

 

 

Now back to my celebratory Thanksgiving Firestone Walker Fifteen (which has improved significantly with a year's resting), a critter I like to think of as the L'Ancienne of the beer world. :)

Edited by Absomphe

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I always will defend what I believe in or like regardless of the fallout.

 

There really shouldn't be any "fallout".

 

You know, I really don't want to turn this into a public pissing match, but if you read your post carefully, what you are defending is yourself. Only the last two sentences are focused directly on L'Ancienne. None of my comments in post #419 were focused directly toward you, or specifically anyone else here. I'm happy with the way I couched the whole opinion as my opinion, and my opinion only.

 

greytail, you can regularly voice some brusque and pretty harshly critical opinion here, many times framed as an immutable truth rather than as an opinion. Some times I don't agree with you. But I've never presumed to see it as an affront to my point of view. Please don't make that presumption when you don't agree with me.

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FPB, after sharing a glass of this absinthe with you in person, in the Spring, I'm glad to see you are continuing to get to know it. I understood, BTW, your points and did not take them in any way other than you intended. I opened a new bottle of this just yesterday, and I have to say that I too, noticed that the time in the bottle has improved this absinthe even more. The first bottle I opened from this batch was great, the 2nd equally, and many months later, this 3rd bottle is the best L'Ancienne I've ever had... There's no question that it continued to soften and round-out in the bottle. I sensed no shifts in flavor or personality, simply with maturation in the bottle, it became more elegant for me. I'm very happy that I did not drink it all too quickly! I love L'Ancienne, and can't wait to get a few bottles of the new batch!

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I couldn't agree more on the constructive criticism being the most useful kind of feedback! Some times in the past some of these comments had been real eye openers, not only because, as said, the creator of something cannot be 100% objective in its evaluation, but also because some times things are right there in front of your eyes but you can't see them, like typos in a piece you wrote.

 

The other interesting thing about being a creator of something (artist or artisan) is the difficulty in finding the perfect balance between humility (which allows you to accept criticism) and confidence (which allows you to keep following your idea). On one end of the spectrum you have people with no humility, who make something and they say its the best, and don't care about what other people think. On the other hand you have people with no confidence, who constantly modify and adapt their work to match the feedback they get, not realizing that every person has a different taste. If you adapt your work to make someone happy, you'll make someone else unhappy. For example when I made L'Italienne some people loved its floral character, and complexity, and subtleties, while other complained that it was too light on anise, too idiosyncratic, too unclassic. I could have twisted the recipe adding more anise and decreasing the complexity and the uncommon herbs, but then it would have become just another classic absinthe and the people who liked it at the beginning would then be disappointed. But this doesn't mean that I didn't listen to the criticism, and in the second batch I tried to improve the louche and thickness without increasing the anise and without changing the balance. The improvement was small but it was there, and the criticism helped me to make in my opinion a better product.

 

Now going back to the L'Ancienne, the oaky, lumbery, however we wanna call it is very interesting. Knowing how the absinthe tastes right after the production process (including the barrel resting) is over, and in the following months, I can say that to my palate the flavors from the oak consistently increase, not decrease, with resting and aging. They are actually barely noticeable at the beginning. But then again, different people, different palates. My best guess is still bottle shock or the wine base. I actually think the wine base is responsible for some of the peculiar flavors some perceive (like when someone mentioned the nail polish thing).

Several distillers use a wine base, but every base is somehow different. The one we make and use for L'Ancienne has a very strong character and it does evolve even after the 4-6 months mark. This 2012 année is distilled using the last liters of the original wine base, which now has been aged for 3 years, Im really eager to heard what the feedback is!

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I would enthusiastically agree, except I'm afraid of how much the price of a bottle might rise as a consequence of those extra months of resting. :laugh: ;)

 

And that's always one of the considerations when setting release dates. Wine is the same. Either the consumer rests it, or you pay the producer to rest it.

 

Now back to my celebratory Thanksgiving Firestone Walker Fifteen (which has improved significantly with a year's resting), a critter I like to think of as the L'Ancienne of the beer world. :)

 

I've never gotten to taste that beer, and I want to. I would think it could improve substantially from the resting it gets while reading one of my posts! :twitchsmile:

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Stefano, your description above of the process of tweaking is so wise... it applies to all forms of art, distilling, cooking, making guitars, juggling cats, whatever...

How creators have to balance their vision, the happiness of people who enjoy the creations, and the people who do not, is a challenge! Nicely said.

 

As I've come know you better each time we've met, I can say I've rarely met someone who cares as deeply and intensely about what they do. As we get older, that intensity can change... it can (but not always) mellow with time, kind of like our creations do! Experience, thankfully, makes up for these shifts along the journey. Hope to see you again soon!

Edited by Scott M.

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I've never gotten to taste that beer, and I want to. I would think it could improve substantially from the resting it gets while reading one of my posts! :twitchsmile:

 

Now that's :thumbup: :cheers: a new twist on the old standby, "Too many werdz"™.

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Yeah, I guess I'm known for that. Maybe we just need to say TMW.

 

With regard to paragraph #2 of post #427, I'd say ARW ("All the Right Werdz"TM). And Stefano, I wouldn't have you do it any other way. :cheers:

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Had two glasses today. When I first tasted it I thought it had a holiday vibe to it. And it really goes great after a day of Thanksgiving fare that got topped off with pumking pie.

On the top five list of absinthe for me. A list that includes every absinthe I have tried.

Edited by Père Ubu

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He really is. Kindest person in the absinthe community I have met in person. Very humble. Know that L'Ancienne is made with lots of care and love.

Edited by greytail

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Here is a little video about the herbs and distilling of the 2012 batch, for those of us allergic to the book of feces.

 

Thanks much for posting that, I just thought I'd amend it slightly for clarity's sake. :cheers:

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Did your email have a spot where you could go to an actual pre-order page? Even when I was logged in, mine only let me put in my email to be notified when the product was released...I couldn't find a way to give them my money.

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