Author Topic: Anybody here...  (Read 8421 times)

Gemini Ambience

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Anybody here...
« on: February 05, 2008, 07:59:19 PM »
...an absinthe drinker?

I'll be trying it for the first time later this week in Miami when I am on holiday.

It's good to see the FDA finally educated itself about this drink and dropped the ban last year (if you didn't know, it's now legal again in the US).

The only US-based absinthe my friends and I could find on short notice was Lucid. Has anyone tried it?

It's getting mixed reviews from various absinthe forums.

Thanks for any feedback.

Jim

SunDummy

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 08:06:19 PM »
Don't know much about it, but my brother in law just told me he's getting some next week.  Why has it been illegal?  It's just booze, right?
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mgriffin

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 08:13:39 PM »
Absinthe without wormwood's active ingredient, thujone, has been legal for a while, but there is speculation that one or more of the brands now available might actually contain tiny amounts of thujone.  Actually I'm gonna have to read up again on the whole wormwood/thujone legal/illegal matter, get back up to date. We have a bottle of wormwood-free absinthe, and it's very good, tastes like a warm and fragrant version of "good & plenty" candy... actually, better than that makes it sound.

The question is, without wormwood or thujone, how is absinthe all that different from other anise or licorice flavored liqueurs or liquors, like anisette or ouzo or "absente." 

I have to admit, I have long been fascinated by absinthe, mainly due to my Hemingway worship in college, and the various evocative descriptions by that author of the absinthe experience (I'm recalling A Moveable Feast and The Sun Also Rises at least).  It seemed like a more mystical and poetic cousin of alcohol.  Now that it's readily available I find myself thinking, it's just another liquor, though maybe if I got my hands on some thujone-heavy stuff I might feel differently about it.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 08:15:10 PM by mgriffin »
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Gemini Ambience

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 08:48:45 PM »
Actually as long as thujon content is under a specific ratio, it is considered legal in the US; the same in Europe, but the European maximum amount is higher. But the thujon contreversy has always been based on myth. There are some really good short vids over at YouTube about absinthe's history and resurrection.

http://www.absintheonline.com/acatalog/about.html  (good info on the thujon myths)

It was illegal in the US because it was believed that thujon had similar effects and properties as THC. Also, there was a stigma attached to absinthe that it drove you mad or sent you into convulsions or siezures if you drank too much. T.A. Breaux is a good brewer to do a Google search on as well as he's tested many vintage pre-ban absinthes and has recaptured their essence in his modern recipes. His testing also showed that quality absinthes had thujon levels that were well below the modern legal allowances; helping to bust the myth that the mild trips it induces were not resulting from the thujon levels.

I'm definitely looking forward to trying it this weekend.  :)

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 08:50:59 PM by Gemini Ambience »

mgriffin

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008, 09:00:08 PM »
This is the brand we tried recently. 

http://www.absente.com/

It was about $40 and pretty pleasant (it grew on me after the first couple of sips) but nothing too exotic.  I certainly didn't hallucinate or wander the streets naked.
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Gemini Ambience

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2008, 09:06:50 PM »
Ya. My friend Steve has had some good absinthes in Europe and he said it's nothing like a psychedelic trip. He said it does give you a very "clear mind" and that it's very easy to concentrate/focus on thoughts while you're drinking it. He said he definitely notices effects that alcohol, alone, does not produce.

http://www.drinklucid.com/ 

That's what I ordered for me and my friends. Like I mentioned before, it's getting mixed reviews by hardcore absintheurs...but hopefully it will be a nice "introduction" to the drink and experience.  :)


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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2008, 09:10:10 PM »
I should add that I purchased that Absente without any expectation of traditional absinthe weirdness, and I was surprised to read that it contained any wormwood or thujone at all, after I bought it.  So i wasn't expecting any kind of Jean Cocteau weirdness, and wasn't disappointed to find it just about like drinking ouzo or anisette (except you won't find 110 proof anisette).
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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 02:38:50 AM »
I got excited when I heard real absinthe would be available legally in the states. I tried it various times on a mad cycling trip through the czech republic years back. I didn't document the effects, or store them well in my memory, but I definitely got fuming drunk, a kind of accelerated inebriation, as of a demon with warm hands softly gripping the back of the neck. Here is a photo from the trip:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b/Paul_Verlaine.jpg


Anyway, thanks for the heads up. I would like to do some further experimentation.

Wayne Higgins

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2008, 12:49:56 PM »
As far as Absinthe liquor, it's legal and available in most liquor stores.

The real stuff from the 19th century that Van Gogh and Poe and Gogan was on, I don't think you want to do that.
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Chad Hoefler

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2008, 09:55:31 AM »
So what are your thoughts on Lucid, Jim?  (Are you still recovering? ;))

Gemini Ambience

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2008, 11:31:43 AM »
Hi Chad et al!

Well...in a word, the Lucid was NICE. Absinthe was nothing like I expected, and completely better than I had hoped.  :)

Since Lucid is the only absinthe I've tried, I can't comment on its body/nose/texture/etc compared to higher-priced absinthes. But I can share my impressions and experiences.

I had a total of 4 glasses over approximately 3 hours. The first glass I louched the absinthe with a sugar cube; the other 3 glasses I louched only with cold water. In my opinion, Lucid is sweet enough on its own that it does not need the sugar cube during the louche. The only way I can describe absinthe is like drinking a glass of mental clarity. While there is definitely a "buzz" associated with the experience, it's purely mental. I did not get tipsy/sloshed after drinking that many glasses (one of the main reasons I don't like drinking alcohol...I hate that feeling). Instead, it's like entering into a refined, care-free mental continuum with an ease of concentration on any given topic. I had no slurred speech or hesistation while drinking absinthe like large amounts of regular alcohol would have induced.

The nose and flavor are very nice. The nose is quite herbal and the flavor after the louche is velvety, mildly spiced, and smooth. Once louched you can barely tell the liquor is 65% alcohol.  lol  It was VERY nice indeed. And as hoped, absinthe goes incredibly well with ambient music.  :)

Since my first experience with Lucid was so positive I plan on ordering a bottle of T.A. Breaux's Jade Verte Suisse 65. According to the few absinthe forums I was reading over my vacation, all of Breaux's "Jade series" are top quality absinthes:

http://www.absintheonline.com/acatalog/Jade.html

I highly recommend the experience to anyone who enjoys mellow, chilled physical experiences coupled with a heightened, calmed mental capacity. It was extremely enjoyable!

Thanks,

Jim

Gemini Ambience

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2008, 11:44:27 AM »
The real stuff from the 19th century that Van Gogh and Poe and Gogan was on, I don't think you want to do that.

Actually, there is no difference between the pre-ban absinthe and modern absinthe with the exception of the distillation process. According to the sites I've visited, many of the myths of absinthe were related to poorly-made absinthes that had unsanitary or improper distillations. T.A. Breaux's research and testing of original pre-ban bottles of absinthe showed that in most cases the liquor had the same (or even less) thujone levels in it that are considered acceptable today.

All modern absinthes still contain thujone...thus making it "the real stuff."  ;)

Cheers,

Jim

Chad Hoefler

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2008, 03:36:25 PM »
Hi Jim,

I'm glad that your Lucid experience was a good one.  (I recently ordered a bottle from NY).

As I am writing, I must confess that I have had a very nicely prepared glass of Jade PF 1901.  Wow!  A truly enjoyable experience (and that might be the understatement of the year).  That combined with listening to Dweller at the Thresholds's "Ouroborus" CD is about as close to the pinnicle of human enjoyment as one can experience.

Thanks for starting this thread!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2008, 03:54:47 PM by c. hoefler »

Gemini Ambience

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2008, 08:52:49 PM »
Hi Chad,

I'm glad to hear you are drinking one of the Jades. Definitely let me know your thoughts/experience with that particular blend. I still think I'll be ordering the Verte Suisse 65 first...but all of his Jade absinthes get REALLY good reviews on the forums I've found.

Perhaps we should all start a Green Fairy compilation album and the rule is you have to compose while drinking absinthe (sober mixing and mastering obviously. lol)

Enjoy!

Jim

Chad Hoefler

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2008, 12:13:19 PM »
Hi Jim,

The Jade PF 1901 was my first absinthe, so I am unable to make comparisons.  The bottle belongs to a friend who is more of a collector of interesting spirits than a drinker.  Anyway, after a recent discussion he offered to share some of it with me and my wife.  In short, I was surprisingly impressed (the aroma and flavor were fantastic and complex, and I really enjoyed watching the formation of the nicely opaque louche).  I had three small glasses (probably should have stuck to one or two :-[) over several hours and used sugar with the first glass but not the latter two.  I was amazed that I could taste no alcohol whatsoever, which tends to have a modulating effect on the rate of drinking for those, like me, who only drink alcohol occasionally (and usually only a glass of beer or wine in my case).  I can imagine that this is why the "green fairy" has the potential to catch up with people quite quickly.  I, too, felt that my mental concentration was enhanced in a unique way, although I don't know if I would experience something similar if I was drinking a high quality tequila or cognac, etc., since I stay away from the hard stuff (save last night).  On the downside, I did not sleep very well last night, and although I can't say for sure that the absinthe was responsible, I'm guessing that it played a role.

So I do recommend the 1901 for those who are curious about absinthe and have an opportunity to try it, though I understand that it is quite expensive to import.  (Also, I think that it would be a hindrance in the studio).

Scott M2

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2008, 03:17:48 PM »
Hi Chad,

I'm glad to hear you are drinking one of the Jades. Definitely let me know your thoughts/experience with that particular blend. I still think I'll be ordering the Verte Suisse 65 first...but all of his Jade absinthes get REALLY good reviews on the forums I've found.

Perhaps we should all start a Green Fairy compilation album and the rule is you have to compose while drinking absinthe (sober mixing and mastering obviously. lol)

Enjoy!

Jim

All pieces composed with three glasses of absinthe and three instinces of AbSynth.      8)

Chad Hoefler

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2008, 06:01:37 PM »
Great point!  I do have absynth in my studio and that is truly an asset.   :)

Gemini Ambience

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2008, 08:55:27 PM »
Chad,

Thanks for sharing your experience. The fact that you landed a Jade absinthe as your first is AWESOME.  :)  They're not too bad; around $120 USD/bottle. I'm willing to pay for quality over quantity because, like you, I'm a light-weight drinker. I too was impressed with how you couldn't taste the alcohol after the louche. That was awesome for me.  :)

I slept like a baby that night, however, and didn't wake up with any noticeable hangover effects like wine hits me with.

:)

Chad Hoefler

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2008, 07:26:21 AM »
I think that my friend said that he had to spend ca. $50 for the shipping fees (from the UK) that were associated with the import of his Jade.

I should have made it clear that I did not have a hangover per se (haven't had one of those since the undergraduate days).  I just didn't sleep well because my mind felt like it was untethered (i.e., I just felt "awake").

My bottle of Lucid should arrive later today, so I may try a little over the weekend (and I know that the quality is not quite as good as the Jade varieties, but it does have many favorable reviews).

Cheers,

Chad

Gemini Ambience

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Re: Anybody here...
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2008, 10:41:55 AM »
Enjoy the Lucid.

I found it more enjoyable without the sugar added to the louche.  :)