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Matt S

Importing American Absinthe Into Australia

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I hope you have some luck on this front. The reviews on here make me sad Marteau, Ridge, Pacifique and Meadow of Love are out of my reach (baring a trip to the states)

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Yes it seems the odds are stacked against us here in Australia. The fact that none of Gnostalgics, Pacific et al has not responded to this thread or got in contact with me spells a market better looked after locally but perhaps in the too hard basket overseas. I understand the logistics to a degree however where Europe is willing to import here but not the US shows this side of reality I guess. We can only hope this change for the better.

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It would be very exciting to be in other countries. Many of the previous posts explain logistical challenges which makes my tiny brain swim. :twitchsmile: On a personal level, until you visit Vilya Spirits, it's hard to imagine just how small we are. While we have some precious friends and family that occasionally pitch-in to help, VS is literally a husband and wife team that handcraft extraordinarily small batches of absinthe and gin. We distill, bottle, sweep, mop, run the social media, market and try to satisfy the requests from our very kind distributor. In reality, I am a college professor with all the responsibilities of having a real job (that's not true, I teach theatre, fergodssake). The point is, there simply aren't enough hours in the day to do much more than what we're already doing.

 

The push would have to come from the outside (as Ian suggested, almost happened), for a distributor to tackle the logistics, laws and headaches and send a truck up our mountain goat trail of a road. Ultimately, that's how our spirits get to New York, D.C. and every other place outside of Montana. For all intensive purposes, it's out of our control. I wish I had better news but there is not much I can do about it except dream along with you. :cheers:

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Hey Joe, Thanks for responding. I appreciate that you are a cottage industry producer. Perhaps the limits of shipping costs far outweigh the cost/benefits of exporting for you. But wholesale aside, Im wondering why your retail distributors Catskill et al do not ship outside of the States where all the other European vendors do. Is there a law against shipping overseas in the US that doesnt apply to the EU distros?

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We've been approached by Aussie and Euro distributors on a few occasions. Never have found a way to make it economically feasible for an operation of our size, but we are always willing to re-visit the situation.

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But wholesale aside, Im wondering why your retail distributors Catskill et al do not ship outside of the States where all the other European vendors do. Is there a law against shipping overseas in the US that doesnt apply to the EU distros?

Honestly, I don't know what sort of restrictions retail businesses have. Perhaps you could pose such a question to Catskill Cellars or DUNY. Both businesses have always responded very kindly to any question I have sent their way.

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Thanks for your response Marc. As you can imagine its frustrating to read good reviews about your product but not be able to source it. Same for your lines as well Joe. I will investigate further the current barriers that be and look at how to get around this.

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On a personal level, until you visit Vilya Spirits, it's hard to imagine just how small we are.

 

I'm still surprised! I think my bedroom is bigger than your entire production room.

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Australian customs and subsequent alcohol importation laws are very difficult to work with. Shipping is expensive. Market is small. Final retail price is very high compared to other spirits, beer, wine on the market. Risk of any worthwhile return on investment is high. In the end, it would be a charity effort, and not a business decision, for any small US producer to ship to Oz on their own. The only possibility is to piggy-back on larger shipments of other spirits. This is now, and has been for years, been under consideration. Unless someone in Oz wants to suck it up and finance the whole she-bang, without expecting a profit, and even expect a loss, to bring these products to their domestic market. Any takers?

Edited by pierreverte

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how about a mail forwarding company, such as shipito.com? i couldn't see anything about alcohol in their faq, so i emailed them, and their response was:

 

We will be able to ship alcohol to you using DHL as a shipping method. If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact customer support.

would have to do the math on how much it would cost once you knew the exact dimensions of the package, but my guestimates indicated for 3 bottles shipping would be around USD 85 plus whatever the shipping within usa will cost (in the case of catskills, USD 17.50). that's still a lot less than what i paid when i ordered from verte d'absinthe. it's obviously not a distribution solution, but for someone in australia or europe who really just wants to try some of the usabsinthes, it seems like a good way to go.
Edited by simon

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,

how about a mail forwarding company, such as shipito.com? i couldn't see anything about alcohol in their faq, so i emailed them, and their response was:

 

Be careful!

i would do a little more checking first about that company.

I did a little google checking for you and found some negative comments

 

http://www.pissedconsumer.com/reviews-by-company/shipito.html.

 

and found a thread in another forum. mixed comments, I would read them all

http://stream-recorder.com/forum/shipito-com-scam-fraud-legit-service-t8239.html?s=3799be7c08e3f42f8beceadf91c1fed5&

 

I would do a little more checking before giving them your money!

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so would i. it's just an idea that took 5 minutes to google and send an email. surely not every freight forwarding company is a scam. i do want to get a bottle of meadow of love at some point, and when i have the money i'll research more thoroughly. won't be for a while though, sadly

Edited by simon

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Let me know how you go if you do end up using the shipito.com service Simon. I did enquire at Catskill or DUNY I think someone mentioned using Shipito.

 

NOW NOW I have a friend who is in the US (Bay Area) who is meeting me in Bali next month. :thumbup:

 

Im thinking maybe maybe......Do I get him to bring a couple of bottles with him to pass to me? And if he does what should I get - I want the absolute best quality from the US.. So do I get Meadow of Love and Walton Waters.... or one of these and a Marteau. Any firsthand unbiased advice is appreciated.

 

Also how have these bottles travelled in luggage - any packing tips? I dont know know what kind of corking is used and whther it could easily come dislodged in luggage. I certainly wouldnt want to lose any in transit!

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Here is what I do. I put the bottles in a nice heavy duty ziplock like a freezer bag. This takes care of keeping any leaks from getting on the rest of the contents of the suitcase. Never did have any leaks btw. It could save a mess should the worst happen like a bottle breaking.

 

I also buy a few of those wire champagne cork fasteners from a home brewing supply store. The ones that you place over a cork and twist tight. Especially on a T-corked bottle. However most of the times I did this were when it had already been opened and tasted prior to travel. Still a cheap insurance though.

 

I simply wrap up bottles in clothes. Works every time. Putting them in the center also helps.

Edited by greytail

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Thanks guys, Brian THat Bottle Armour looks great, Can I ask if it is more a one size fits all with the different types of bottles that absinthes come in - or is it designed for standard wine bottle.

 

Now the very very important question which two bottles should I get???

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Thanks guys, Brian THat Bottle Armour looks great, Can I ask if it is more a one size fits all with the different types of bottles that absinthes come in

While it's technically in the shape of a wine bottle, there's enough give, that I've never had an issue with an absinthe bottle not fitting, except a magnum.

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,

Im thinking maybe maybe......Do I get him to bring a couple of bottles with him to pass to me? And if he does what should I get - I want the absolute best quality from the US.. So do I get Meadow of Love and Walton Waters.... or one of these and a Marteau. Any firsthand unbiased advice is appreciated.

Only two bottles, that is a tough choice.

If you are looking for something that is just a little different, has a distinctive terroir from what is available from Europe, I would choose the Meadows, and then Marteau or Ridge V.

 

Meadows because it has a touch of violet, which makes it totally unique.

And then it would be a very tough call between Marteau and Ridge. You can't go wrong either way.

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Anyone recommend Walton Waters? Yes something distinct but sharing similarities to the European Vertes would be ideal. Keep them coming please.. If you were moving to another country and was allowed only 2 bottles of favourite US absinthe what would you get.

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