Thursday, November 29, 2007

Crapsinthe, or "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them"

FrankenPart of what this blog is about is trying to draw a line between real absinthe and, for lack of a better term, crapsinthe-- absinthe made without regard to its history, marketed with a pack of falsehoods either through ignorance or deceit.

Czech "absinth" and "absynth," sold with untested thujone claims, are so foul, it's no wonder they do a fire show and a shot to distract from the taste. Claims of crazy times make sense-- shots of warm, high proof alcohol go straight to the head, making for a surreal drunk buzz.

The commercial crapsinthe folks have been more active lately, setting up spam sites for search results, making false statements and claims and leveling false accusations against real absintheurs in their shill blogs and forum postings. I wonder if just one person is posting and selling the same fluorescent mouthwash under a dozen brand names...

It all comes out in the end, it seems, if absinthe's recent press coverage is an indicator-- any decent reporter figures out early on the flawed logic of the crapsinthe peddlers and pays them no attention.

Update: It might seem that the czechabsinthe blog hosts some interesting conversations, but many comments have been censored. One censored comment was a reply by T.A. Breaux which Alan spotted and saved before it was removed by the host.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happiness is...

...a fresh shipment from overseas...;)

Bloomberg: "Absinthe trickling back into the U.S."

The L.A. Times picked up a Bloomberg article on absinthe which helps fill in details on the approval process for Kübler and Lucid in the U.S. I had previously thought that Lucid did all the legal wrangling, but according to the article, Kübler (really Altamar Brands, its North American distributor) did most of the leg work (according to Wikipedia, getting "formula" approval (?) from the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau ("TTB") in 2004), with Lucid dealing with the last problem of labeling the beverage as "absinthe," apparently resulting in the "absinthe supérieure" designation. From the TTB "Industry Circular" #2007-5 dated Oct. 16, 2007:

The term "absinthe" may not stand alone on the label; it must be accompanied by additional or dispelling information so as not to appear as the class and type designation.
All in all, the Altamar Brands folks are doing a fine job of getting the word out about absinthe in the U.S.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kübler at BevMo?!

Spoon spotted Kübler at BevMo! so hopefully Lucid isn't far behind. (Not to keep dissing Kübler, it's just not to my taste.) Al Brown spotted both absinthes for sale in Boston at Liquor Land and a few other places last week-- it will be interesting to see if Lucid can keep up with the more experienced Kübler in terms of satisfying market demand.

Update 12/5: Well, it looks like absinthe is totally mainstream-- just picked up Lucid from the same BevMo where Spoon spotted the Kübler.

Monday, November 19, 2007

IWSC 2007: Absinthe Awards

Award winners for Absinthe from the 2007 International Wine and Spirits Competition helps to explain why PF1901 and Verte Suisse supplies have been decimated:

Country Award Category Winning Spirit Producer
France Gold (Best in Class) Absinthe - France - 65-70% Jade Verte Suisse Jade Liqueurs
Switzerland Silver (Best in Class) Absinthe - Switzerland - 50-55% La Fée XS Absinthe Suisse BBH Spirits
Switzerland Silver (Best in Class) Absinthe - Switzerland - 60-72% Absinthe Duplais Balance 60% Oliver Matter & Markus Lion
France Silver Absinthe - France - 65-70% Jade PF 1901 Jade Liqueurs
France Bronze Absinthe - France - 65-70% La Fée Parisian Absinthe BBH Spirits
Switzerland Bronze Absinthe - Switzerland - 50-55% Absinth Studer Studer & Co AG

Friday, November 16, 2007


Stephen Colbert featured Lucid absinthe ("...brought to you by Cats...") on 10/29 and led viewers in a tongue-twisting "Absinthetinence" pledge:

absintinence pledge 1/3 absintinence pledge 2/3 absintinence pledge 3/3

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Press for U.S.-legal Absinthe

There has been a lot of U.S. press over the last two months since Kubler joined Lucid on American liquor store shelves (er, at least in the New York City area...):

and lots more!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


There has been a lot of Mansinthe press since it became available, and I've been happy to read that it does, in fact, contain Artemisia absinthium, not just pontica, making it a proper absinthe after all! I tried a glass with Spoon and thought it was ok, though there was an artificial flavor that put me off, and the color doesn't look quite natural... but, then, Mr. Manson isn't exactly nature boy! Recent hype:

Hitting the Big Time

"Absinthe Returns in a Glass Half Full of Mystique and Misery" in the New York Times by Edward Rothstein made the front page "INSIDE NYTIMES.COM" band yesterday, and today is the third most-emailed article! A slightly stylized piece running down the famous names, glancing over details of the ban in favor of details on the lifting of the ban, including a tasting of Lucid and Kübler:

...once I sat down with bottles of Kübler, Lucid and some friends, the cause of absinthe’s reputation didn’t matter, nor did the absence, in these brands, of the pearly green color of legend. What I did find, along with flavors of anise, fennel, coriander, mint and other herbs, was something different in the liquid’s effect, a kind of relaxed alertness accompanying the lulling impact of alcohol.
NYTimes also published "A Fond Hello" about absinthe as its "Shaken and Stirred" cocktail column for 9/30 in the Fashion & Style section.