Absinthe: Please teach me

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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby Bigbob » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:04 pm

Sounds like another great meeting! Thanks Randy Marsh to get this going. :thumbup:
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby jedneck » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:06 pm

So how many bottles are gonna make it to Jedfest?
welcome aboard some of us are ornery old coots but if you do a lot of
reading and don't ask stupid questions you'll be alright most are
big help
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby RandyMarshCT » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:10 pm

I had a Lucid today, it wasn't too bad. Really light color and thick white louche. We were correct in it's standing, though (dead last). Then I had another Jade... that stuff is so damn good. The color is a darker emerald green and even the louche is slightly green. I really do like them all, even the Pernod. I expected the La Clandestine to be better, but I think I just haven't figured out how to prepare it the best way yet.

We toasted you Skow, on the Jade. I see what you mean about the ice cubes... it is nice to have a cube right in it.

As I was cleaning up this morning, I found the 2 little jars we poured of the Walton Waters and Meadow of Love. They were as clear as the bottle strength absinthe. Somehow the louche disappeared overnight.

Shine, I cant thank you enough for the taste of Italy you brought. And Rager, great steaks last night and this morning. My table is still covered in liquor bottles... I don't even know where to put them all. Rager, your rye and wheat bourbons are excellent.... I had to make Odin's samples up before my wife hammered down that whole rye bottle. Those are some very good grain bills. MC stayed true to style and brought his own table worth of bottles... tomorrow when my computer is charged I'll put some pics up. Working off of the phone at the moment. Gonna sip some of Shine's great UJ and make a plan for tomorrow's tasting session, courtesy of MichiganCornhusker. I need a sober approach to those froot loops, haha. This has been one hammered-up weekend for sure. I'm glad you guys all make really good cuts!

Every bottle will be at Jedfest... and I'm gonna buy another Jade too.
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:31 pm

Late to the after party, but the main event was raging. Randy, it truly was an awesome time. Thank you so much for putting the event together and having us all in your home. It was a true HD event.

It was a rare lifetime event to be able to try so many absinthe. The spirits were awesome. Both the green ones, and the homemade ones. You nailed your bourbon, Randy. I would be proud of that.it truly stands by itself. Rage, it was a pleasure to try your samples. I feel we cut on the same spectrum, so it was nice to meet someone like me in that sense. Corn husker, what can I say? You really give all us rebels a good name. Your kind and generous, and your spirits are what I aspire to do. Crazy good, crazy quality, crazy unique. Thanks for coming.

I am really looking forward to seeing you all again at Jeds. Such a short time to be there, such a long time to be gone...
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby rager » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:16 pm

welp im a little late to the party,

first off thanks to randy and his wife for putting us up, and putting up with us drunking until 330am.

so a big thank you to both for the hospitality !

I have to say it was a hell of a night. I guess I should start from the beginning . this was my first meeting of randy/shine/mch. the night started with shine bringing an amazing platter of smoked meats and cheese from little Italy (Bronx) . unbelievable the cheese and meet platter we started off, thank you for that shine!

after a few cocktails and some meat and cheese we dove into the first round of absinthe. this was my first real adventure into a spirit most don't know much about it seems. either case.

so we ended up sampling the first 4 bottles over about a 4 hour period. to me I had some I like and some I liked more. there really wasn't one I didn't like. during this time between sample I was able to ALOT of other likker. shine had some Uj that I that was pretty damn good. my first sweet feed ( not to sure whos it was) but still not bad at all. mch came over with a some stuff that I was very happy to sample and I would say lucky to be able to sample . first off that fruit loops likker is a hell of a drop. I mentioned if would be perfect if you wanted to make a white Russian out of the bottom of bowl of fruit loops cereal/ milk it would be nutty. I was also able to try the walnut liquor . which I actually really like. it is a little odd ball but I liked it. I was able to sample jimbos bourbon I believe , it had a fantastic flavor. it had a slight bite from the heads but nothing that was over powering or ruin the drink. im guessing that's just where he makes his cuts, but not bad by any means.

this was all before dinner . dinner wad amazing. fresh tuna from randy, corn from shine, I brought some steaks, and randys wife had some salads. oh and a lot of hot sauce. that pretty much brought us into round 2 . aka 10pm

from there on we started the second round of absinthe. I think this is when jimbos was sampled next. im going to agree, it was very light in flavor and color but not far off from the major players in the absinthe game. the thing about absinthe from what I learned was some have a very strong nose when you smell it but light on the tongue ,and it goes the opposite with light smelling with tons of flavor. jimbos just ended up being a little light on both but the color was nice. im not to sure what he had for experience to even attempt making an absinthe but he wasn't far off. we sampled a " blanc" that was clear from the swiss and had no body. nice louche but light. I would put it toward someone with a light palette .

so the night dwindled down to me , randy , shine and mch. we ended up sampling 8 different bottles. the last one we sampled it seems we were all in agreement that it was the best . there were a few better than others but for the most part were all actually quite good. drinking absinthe seems to bring on an upper kind of buzz. even by 1am I wasn't tired at all. and we pushed it until 330. lol

so all and all it was a fantastic . I probably sampled 20 different likkers on top of the absinthe . between mch, randy, jimbo, shine, I think boomtown, and probably a couple a cant remember. woke up with no hangover so everyone cuts were right on.

fyi don't go into randys garage after 3am. lol. :crazy:

it was a hell of a night. so thanks again randy . hope to catch up with you all soon,



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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby Bigbob » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:15 pm

Great report Rager! Wish I was there,but east coast/west coast just a tad too far. Told you guys that Jimbos could stand with the big boys, the man is a distilling genius!!! :thumbup:
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby Bigbob » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:18 pm

Oh and another cudo, props to MCH for his froot loops and walnut brandy.......both excellent! Again,wish I was there!!
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby RandyMarshCT » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:05 am

So here's what was left for me....

Donations.jpg


Left to right: Shine's UJSM, Rager's barrel strength rum, MC's snowmelt, maple, scotch, cherry, froot, yamjuice, walnut, Jimbo's absinthe verte, Jimbo's wheat bourbon, Rager's wheat bourbon, and Rager's rye bourbon.

Thank you guys so much!

Rager, the Rye is gone... I made Odin's sample up and my wife killed the rest of the jar, haha. You make some great whiskey! A little more time on oak and the wheat will be right at the same level as the rye... even better in my personal opinion as I'm partial to wheat.

MichiganCornhusker, it was great to see you again. I had to wait until I had a clean palate to go back through your offerings.

Froot - Clear; This stuff is hilarious... was it 1 run? Very apparent aroma of Froot Loops, more so than I even expected. There is a little bit of burn, what was the proof again?

Yam Juice - Clear; Unique smell, bit of a smokey flavor. I bet this stuff would be great on oak.

Cherry - Clear; Wow! Awesome full smell of cherries. Very clean taste, like a cherry vodka, with a great aftertaste. This stuff is great with sprite. Really great!

Maple - Nice golden color, a lot like the color of my maple spirit. Very light aroma, with a great whiskey flavor. What wood(s) did you use on this one? A good sipper served neat.

Scotch - Great light color, looks like all the fancy scotch I've drank (I'm more a bourbon guy). Nice light smoky aroma, like I prefer... I'm not big of the Islay or Lowlands high-peat aromas and flavors. You said it was 100% peated malt, right? Tastes really good. I think you should get a small used sherry cask and age it further. This stuff could get VERY good. I know you said you were thinking to re-run it, but I think all it needs is additional time on wood... the spirit tastes good.

Snow - Dark amber color; Sweet butterscotch aroma with hints of vanilla. Wonderful mouth-feel that coats the tongue, but finishes dry with a smooth aftertaste. Slight hint of tobacco in the flavor and aftertaste. I really like this stuff!

Walnut - Dark 'walnut' brown color; Smells like a cola or Dr. Pepper, with the addition of cinnamon. Almost like a dark rum flavor, but much smoother. There is not as much of a cinnamon flavor as there is on the aroma. I bet you couldn't taste this stuff in a root beer float, even if you used 3 or 4 shots. What a unique spirit!
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby RandyMarshCT » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:14 am

Bigbob, any chance you'll make Jedfest? I'd love to meet you. The stories from S3 reminded me how bummed I am that I couldn't make it.

I'll have these 8 absinthes at Jedfest 2 as well as another offering from Jade... depending on what I can source between now and then. At the moment drinkupny.com has the 1901 as well as the Edouard. I'd get both, but that's another $200 on absinthe plus shipping.... and I'm having a hard time convincing my wife that I should be spending more money on absinthe at all. Any advice on one of those Skow or Bushman?

Also, here's a pic of the Walton Waters and Meadow of Love after sitting out all night:

Next Morning.jpg


These had a nice thick louche when we poured them.... next morning, right back to clear.
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby Jimbo » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:42 am

Great writeups! Man I wish I was there. MCH's swing tops are great. They're appearing all over the country now LOL. He must buy them by the gross. Even that one from me is from him, repurposed.

Thanks for the honest writeups. Next go round on absinthe Im gonna ditch the Star Anise, and double up on all the other herbs. Im happy to hear the flavor and aroma were good, the mix of herbs I used were put together after reading through others recipes here on HD and lots of reading on various Absinthe websites. From your comments Ill leave the mix and proportions alone and just bump the overall qty.

RandyMarsh, I was looking into getting a bottle of Jade, but $100 wow. I also noted Jade makes a few differnet absinthes. Is there any story behind that? Does each represent some special historical recipe or something?

Cheers guys, looks like a great get together.
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby RandyMarshCT » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:00 am

I don't know a real lot about the backstory on the Jade offerings, but I do know their Nouvelle Orleans is the best I've tasted. There is some serious coin in those bottles... the cheapest were $65, which is why it took me from New Year's Eve to August to get this gathering together. I spent over $650 just on the bottles, but I spaced it over 8 months and justified it by telling myself many people would learn from my expenditure. This is why I will make absolute certain these bottles will all be at Jed's. We drank less than 15% of each bottle, so they really go a long way. I'm really set on getting those other 2 Jades, but they aren't always available. Hopefully they will be when I can spare the coin. I feel confident it's the only way I could get a bunch of HD folks to consume lots of commercial spirits.

Jimbo, on your recipe, would it be possible to replace the star anise with fresh aniseed? That might be all you'd need in my opinion. It's much better than the Lucid, and that stuff is popular as hell with the L.A. crowd (Paris Hilton scene).
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby Jimbo » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:26 am

My recipe is mostly green anise seed, so yes, Ill ditch the star anise and double the green anise. Here's my recipe viewtopic.php?f=11&t=38593&hilit=jimbo+absinthe&start=30#p7071993
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:46 am

RandyMarshCT wrote:I had to wait until I had a clean palate to go back through your offerings.


Wow, getting through that lineup in one day is quite a whiplash rollercoaster. Who else but me would bring Froot Loops and walnut brandy to an absinthe party??
I think everything was proofed to 80 or 90, so yeah, the one-run froot loops might be a little hot.
Used no wood for the maple, just added a bit of syrup back in to sweeten a touch and to give it a little color. It really tasted bad when I ran it, but it has come a long way.
Scotch was all peated malt. The Simpsons peated malt is much milder than the specialty smoked malts like cherrywood or beechwood. Still plenty smokey, but not overwhelming at all.
I agree that walnut brandy might make a great mixer, a very unique cocktail if I could come up with the right recipe. I wonder if black walnut bitters would help or hurt?

I'll be putting together another collection of these for Jed's. That will probably be the end of the line for the yams, taters, and froot loops, for better or worse.

Back on topic, here is my final report on the absinthes:
I think we agreed that we sort of put them loosely into 3 levels, none bad.

I remember the Pernod and Pacifique being very smooth, lighter than the others, not as intense. Good user friendly approachable drinks.

I really liked the Delaware Phoenix bottles, the Walton Waters, and the Meadow of Love (how the heck could a person not want to like that?)
They seemed very similar to me, but I would love to take lots of time to discover the differences that were there. Very interesting bottles with, I think, more flavor layers than the first two.
The Vilya Spirits was very good, too. I think I remember it having the least of the anise assault. More accessible to the absinthe rookie, perhaps, but very good flavors, and a sort of creamy, oily feel to it. I thought it was the most different taste.

I'm not sure where to place the Clandestine. That was the blanc, right? I would like to have a go at that one on its own, without the distractions of all the others. I felt like it was probably very balance, subtle, and classier than I was able to appreciate.
I would like to think that is partially because I was all hepped up on the other absinthes, but it is also because of my inexperience trying to get up to speed in one night on the various flavors and aromas.

The Jade was the real show off. Rich green color that carried all the way through the louche. Dense, viscous, powerful, this one will smack ya on the face and take no prisoners even at the end of a long day of absinthe drinkin'!

Unfortunately, I can't even place Jimbo's into my absinthe matrix yet. I feel like we didn't get a chance to approach it on its own terms. I am looking forward to trying it with less water at Jed's. I remember the smells and flavors were all hitting the right notes, nothing standing out as out of place compared to the others, but I feel like we just watered it down too much to compare.

Btw, thanks to your buddy for introducing me to that Maurin, I really liked that. Will need to find a bottle to put on my shelf.

The last thing I needed was another path to explore in the spirits world, but there is no way the wormwood bug is going to let me go peacefully now.

EDIT: All of my ramblings should be read as the impressions left in the brain of a total absinthe noob. But this will be my first step of many into this world!
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby skow69 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:52 am

Well Randy, it sounds like you throw a helluva party. That one should go down in history as an epic tasting of fine absinthes.

As for another Jade, you really can't go wrong with either Eddy or 1901. I looked back in my old tasting notes and I gave them both an A-, but I am a very tough grader. (N O got an A.) I've only had one bottle of each, and they were not alive at the same time, so there is no direct comparison, but if forced to choose, I think I would go with the 1901 based on the color and the louche. Actually I wouldn't want to have to defend that choice because it's impossible to fault Eddy's louche. We are really splitting hairs, here, as we should be. And at those prices they should be faultless.

Jimbo wrote: I also noted Jade makes a few differnet absinthes. Is there any story behind that? Does each represent some special historical recipe or something?


Jade is unique among absinthes, as far as I know, for its scientific roots. The story goes that Ted Breaux, an American chemist and passionate absinthe enthusiast, became disillusioned with all the claims made by modern producers that their product was made according to an original recipe passed down through the ages, and therefor the true descendant of "real" absinthe as it was known before the ban. So Ted rounded up some samples of vintage offerings and retired to his laboratory, determined to reverse engineer it and discover the secrets of the magical elixir so famously revered by all the bohemian writers and artists of the Belle Epoche. Better living through chemistry, as it were. Ted naturally moved to France where he hooked up with the Combier distillery to bring his discoveries to life. Ironically (in my mind, at least) his first release was Lucid, which became one of the first absinthes legal in the U.S. and developed a large and loyal following. Luckily, he didn't stop there. Ted turned his talents to more pre-ban samples and now we have the entire Jade arsenal. Presumably, one based on an offering by Edouard Pernod, one copied from C. F. Berger, and one cloned from something made in 1901, as well as an orphan called Verte Suisse and the delicious N O. I hear tell there is also a new one, called Terminus. Disclaimer: This is all accurate to the best of my knowledge, but I am not one of the inner circle. Absinthe is rich with legends that date back for centuries. This is obviously destined to become another.
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby RandyMarshCT » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:38 pm

Thank you for the backstory, Skow!
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby Bigbob » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:01 pm

[quote="RandyMarshCT"]Bigbob, any chance you'll make Jedfest? I'd love to meet you. The stories from S3 reminded me how bummed I am that I couldn't make it.

i would love to make it, but that weekend is usally my annual family's deer hunt. There is an outside chance of that being moved, but I wouldn't hold my breath. :?
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby skow69 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:41 pm

Rager said: drinking absinthe seems to bring on an upper kind of buzz. even by 1am I wasn't tired at all. and we pushed it until 330. lol


I think you guys discovered the much touted "secondary effect" of absinthe. It won't make you hallucinate or "trip balz" but there is something just a little bit different about it. Something that makes it special. It really isn't just green booze.
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:48 pm

skow69 wrote:
Rager said: drinking absinthe seems to bring on an upper kind of buzz. even by 1am I wasn't tired at all. and we pushed it until 330. lol
I think you guys discovered the much touted "secondary effect" of absinthe.

Well we sure gave it the ol' college try. 8 absinthes over the course of 10 hours, if there was a secondary effect to by had, I'd like to think we had it!
Thanks, Skow for all your input. Since Randy's fest I've been reading up on absinthe and I really enjoyed the thread where you discovered chartreuse, gives me a whole new avenue to explore.
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby RandyMarshCT » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:08 am

Speaking of other avenues... you and Jimbo have derailed my absinthe quest with kirsch. I've been kirsched.

I'll have to keep drinking the absinthe to stay on track. Had a Villya and a Jade N.O. last night. I'm starting to become very fond of this spirit.
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby skow69 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:48 pm

MCH, it's my pleasure. Nothing I'd rather do than talk about absinthe. Counterfeit Chartreuse has become a staple around here. It's the only liqueur I have ever found a taste for. Very popular with the fairer sex also. Sourcing the ingredients was a bit of a challenge, but it was worth it.

Randy, in the spirit of the title of this thread, it occurs to me that your education might be better served if your next purchase was not another Jade. You've had a nice sampling of American absinthes, but there are literally hundreds of other European offerings to explore, of all stripes and styles. They are no harder to source than Jades and certainly no more expensive. The last time I looked N O was the only Jade being imported, so you'll have to cross the pond for 1901 or Eddy anyway. As long as you're paying that kind of shipping you might as well check out the European big boys. It's interesting that the most popular bottle in your lineup was the only European verte.

I haven't played this game much in the last few years. Money was easier to come by back in the day. It's surprising how fast new offerings crop up. I feel out of date. I had good luck dealing with Absinthes.com, absintheonline.com, and a1-absinthe.com. Good service from all, and I never had any problem with customs. FedEx would hand it to me and say, "Enjoy your wine." The wormwood society has good reviews, but they seem to focus heavily on American offerings. You might want to check out La Fee Verte or The Misfit Absinthe Forum for a different perspective. Or, as always, I would be happy to make suggestions. It's a big, wide, absinthe world out there.
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby Jimbo » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:00 pm

Skow, how do you like Pastis? As I said below I developed a taste for it back in the 90's, Ricard was my go to. Pernod is ok but I didnt care for as much. I think the main difference is star anise in pastis and green anise in absinthe, is that right? Also with a list of different herbs for the back flavors. You also mentioned a few other related drinks below. Id be curious to try them I enjoy these types of anise flavors, simple with an ice cube, any suggestions?
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby skow69 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:29 pm

Good question, Jimbo. I've actually never had pastis before, so I ran down to the liquor store and picked up a bottle of Pernod (that was the only choice) to see how I liked it. I guess this will be my review, live in real time. BTW I never do this, because I don't think my palate is good enough, and I don't have the vocabulary that those guys use. But I will be honest, and just hope I don't make a fool of myself. I poured two fingers over ice, and here we go.

It certainly does have a thick louche. That is something that I work very hard for in my HGs. I don't see any opalescence in it, but that doesn't make sense. Anethole is anethole after all. It is probably there, I'll try it tomorrow in sunlight and see if it shows.

It doesn't have much aroma. (Since we are comparing to absinthe) when you pour a good absinthe, the aroma fills the room.

The taste is anise and then liquorice in spades. I expected it to be sweeter. The liquorice turns bitter quickly and the bitter/astringent really coats the tongue. I suppose that must be the star anise, but I don't have any other experience of it so i'm really just guessing. There is a little numbing, but not much. It reminds me of the paragoric I took for stomach upset when I was little. The flavor lingers forever after swallowing. The mouthfeel is pretty flat.

It's really not fair to try to compare this to absinthe. They're apples and grapefruits.

When I first discovered absinthe I went through some pretty sketchy stuff. Not only because of my own ignorance, but also because there were not many COs to choose from. It took some time for civilization to recover from the ban. I have read that pastis were created to fill in the gap created by the ban, take advantage of the demand by making an anise beverage without wormwood. So it makes sense that early post-ban COs would resemble pastis. Pernod reminds me of some of my early absinthe mistakes. I probably won't be getting another bottle.

Sorry man, it's just not my cup o' hooch.
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I'm not an absinthe snob, I'm The Absinthe Nazi. "NO ABSINTHE FOR YOU!"
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby Jimbo » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:56 am

haha, thanks! liquid licorice. Defintely one dimensional compared to the grocery bill in absinthe. I havent bought a bottle in about 15 years. I should try it again and see if I still like it. Back then at least I found the Pernod thinner on flavor and more bite. The Ricard is warmer and deeper.
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby rager » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:51 pm

skow69 wrote:It doesn't have much aroma. (Since we are comparing to absinthe) when you pour a good absinthe, the aroma fills the room.

The taste is anise and then liquorice in spades. I expected it to be sweeter. The liquorice turns bitter quickly and the bitter/astringent really coats the tongue. I suppose that must be the star anise, but I don't have any other experience of it so i'm really just guessing. There is a little numbing, but not much. .
sa


randys wife said the same thing when she first walked into the kitchen . apparently the kitchen had a serious absinthe aroma going on.

I as well as other I believe would agree that there was a few samples that had some tongue numbing effects.
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby rager » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:51 pm

skow69 wrote:It doesn't have much aroma. (Since we are comparing to absinthe) when you pour a good absinthe, the aroma fills the room.

The taste is anise and then liquorice in spades. I expected it to be sweeter. The liquorice turns bitter quickly and the bitter/astringent really coats the tongue. I suppose that must be the star anise, but I don't have any other experience of it so i'm really just guessing. There is a little numbing, but not much. .
sa


randys wife said the same thing when she first walked into the kitchen . apparently the kitchen had a serious absinthe aroma going on and I think we were on our second bottle.

I as well as other I believe would agree that there was a few samples that had some tongue numbing effects.
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby skow69 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:48 pm

The big aroma is a classic sign of quality. It swells and blossoms with the louche.

The numbing i think is neither here nor there. I kind of enjoy a little numbing, but I don't care if it's not there.
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Re: Absinthe: Please teach me

Postby Essayons » Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:37 am

If anyone needs any hard to find items for this or lives in the 802?
Try the Lebanon Brew shop. The have wormwood, fennel, anise, everything!!
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