Malice in Wonderland

August 1st 2007: Three Stars for Jennifer Rosen! of the Rocky Mountain News

😯 “And now, for the first time since 1912, you too can legally partake of absinthe, thanks to the European Union’s pointing out a loophole in the U.S. ban”

😯 “Most pre-ban absinthe contained less than 10mg of thujone per liter”

😯 “this travesty was invented in the ’70s by makers of cheap Czech Republic Absinth (sic) to make their ersatz product fashionable and a little less revolting. Note the missing “e” and give it a wide berth”

Rocky Mountain News, July 31st . Spin rating: 3 stars

A three star hit for Jennifer Rosen, the “journalist“… and introducing a whole new tactic from the spin meisters of absinthe! It was the European Union what done it, guv! Sure it was, Jennifer.

Dear Jennifer, you might also like to know that the only place you could get absinthe in the 70s was Spain, as the Communists shut down production in Czechoslovakia in the late 1940s. The people that told you this “story” were still in short trousers then! When production did restart in Czechoslovakia in 1990 they were also nowhere to be seen! They popped up recently, started “testing” bottles of pre ban absinthe, and styling themselves as “microbiologists“, “absinthe historians” and “experts“. Not jewellery dealers etc., as is the case. As a journalist you should ask yourself : were these tests peer reviewed. They were not!

Also Dear Jennifer, just in case you didn’t know: absinth is the German spelling of absinthe (which means wormwood in French). The language of the former Hapsburg Empire, of which the current Czech Republic was a part, was German.

Readers should note in the article a commercial plug for a specific online shop. An online shop run by a former jewellery dealer. Suspicious?…you should be.

To be continued…



101 responses to “Malice in Wonderland

  1. Name: Jennifer Rosen

    I wrote a reply to this yesterday, but it doesn’t appear to have been posted. Could it be you like to attack, but don’t want to engage in a dialogue?
    Or is it just some technical glitch?

    Hi Jennifer, thanks for your message. It looks like a technical glitch of some kind. I do welcome dialogue and do not censor comments unless they are really offensive. I haven’t got your comment – I checked the Askimet spam box as well in case it got caught by error but nothing there either.

  2. We are still waiting for dialogue with Jennifer Rosen.

    “Could it be you like to attack”

    Excuse me?

    “this travesty was invented in the ’70s by makers of cheap Czech Republic Absinth (sic) to make their ersatz product fashionable and a little less revolting. Note the missing “e” and give it a wide berth”

    Where did you pick that up? “ersatz” and “revolting” ? How many Czech absinths have you tried? I wonder if you have been misled.

  3. Wish my first post had worked because the thoughts were fresh and far more coherent.

    But here’s the gist:

    I have no dog in this hunt. I’m merely delivering the best information I’ve found.

    I do a lot of research before writing – usually have to trim 20 – 30 pages of it into a 1 1/2 page column.

    My area of expertise is wine, but whether wine or other spirits and subjects, I’m always open to readers’ feedback, and often learn a lot from it.

    So, no need to flame me. Just explain what you think I should know, or if you have a correction, back it up with facts so I can trust it.

    Perhaps you’re right and I HAVE been misled. If that’s the case, why not lead me in a different direction? It’s much more effective than a bitch slap.


  4. I’m merely delivering the best information I’ve found.

    What was your source, Jennifer?

    Na zdravi (Czech for cheers)

  5. “or if you have a correction, back it up with facts so I can trust it. ”

    There’s no chance at all of that happening here Jennifer. Absintheur doesn’t deal in facts, just misinformation and innuendo. And “ersatz” and “revolting” accurately describe most Czech absinthes (not all, but certainly most). Consult the Fee Verte Buyers Guide for numerous third party reviews to bear this out.

    For the facts on absinthe itself, consult Fee Verte, The Wormwood Society,, Heure Verte, Wikipedia or The Virtual Absinthe Museum. Absintheur is on the lunatic fringe – the only debate is whether he’s motivated by malice or by fathomless stupidity – or both. My money’s on “both”.

  6. The South African “absinthe historian” behind Doubs est arrive!

    “Fee Verte Buyers Guide for numerous third party reviews”

    Written by your sycophantic forum members like Hartsmar ( same story with the Wikipedia page.

    Josef Archleb circa 1843? Given your breathtaking knowledge about all things absinth, I am sure you can give us the chapter and verse on him, Mr Oxygenee?

    Go on…I’m waiting..

  7. the only debate is whether he’s motivated by malice or by fathomless stupidity – or both. My money’s on “both”.

    Money being a word close to your heart.

    How dare you insult me like this? My motives are very easy to understand – I am really sick of reading blanket attacks on the Czech Republic, as opposed to brand specific criticisms. That is why I have a section which invites genuine absinth drinkers, and not your groupies, to write their opinions about the many different brands that are made here.

    You sell – or sold – Doubs, a cheap oil mix, and some of the worst gut rot absinthe (with the “e”) comes ironically from France…unlike Doubs. A lot of European production is much worse than the wormwood rich bitter flavours of the majority of the Czech brands.

    There are a few Czech absinths I do not like – but they surprisingly do not appear in your reviews. The ones that successfully compete with your ecommerce operation sales – they do.

  8. Absintheur, “I am really sick of reading blanket attacks on the Czech Republic”

    I’m going to take a stab and say blanket attacks on the absinth industry are not equal to blanket attacks on the Czech Republic, and that blanket attacks on the industry come with a number of exceptions.

    Frankly if you really cared about how the czech republic was portrayed your blog would be taking issue with the many Czech companies that have given the absinth industry its reputation. That is if you really want things to change and aren’t trying to sweep it under the rug to up absinth sales.

    So far “CAD Watch” seems to be to point out the flaws in the absinthe world while ignoring those in the absinth world. Sounds like absinth spin to me.

    If this is for absinth drinkers, why bash absinthe companies?

    (I wonder if and when this and my other posts will be ‘approved’ (and how long till my apparently unanswerable questions stop getting posted))

  9. “and that blanket attacks on the industry come with a number of exceptions”

    In Ms Rosen’s article? A piece of journalism that looks like chapter and verse PR from a fax or email?

    Where does she say anything about the great brands that this country produces? She doesn’t.

    Sounds like the old sales stunt: knock the market leader and buy my “reverse engineered” perfume style absinthe from me and my buddies – one of whom is on this thread as well, attacking me as usual.

    The language is the same as your media mad friend in Combier, Ari. Quelle surprise!

    She couldn’t even be bothered to get the dates right in her “20 – 30 pages” of careful independent research!

    BTW: Today I read one of the most egregious pieces of Czech hate that I have ever seen; I intend to reply to it shortly.

    Indeed you recently wrote a joke about “riding in the trunk“, Ari. This is an atypical piece of stereotyping which likes to suggest that we are all a bunch of hoodlums. You shouldn’t lower yourself to this kind of talk as you are better than that, Ari.

  10. absintheur said, “In Ms Rosen’s article?”
    No, in general.

    And you didn’t actually address one of my main points (which isn’t a surprise as I’m still waiting for you do address points in another post).

    If you care how the Czech Republic is portrayed why don’t you also question/critisize the companies that are giving the absinth industry a bad reputation?

  11. I am about to retire to the pub – it’s 6:30 and as hot as Hades, but while I am out: Can you tell me which BRANDS give the industry a bad name and why?

    I promise to consider any reasonable points, as long as it is not another piece of Victoriana, i.e an Alan Moss style rant about sexy underwear in the advertising.

  12. “Josef Archleb circa 1843? Given your breathtaking knowledge about all things absinth, I am sure you can give us the chapter and verse on him, Mr Oxygenee?”

    Born 1843, died 1913. Founded a successful liquor distillery in Dobruska in 1865. Patron of several artists, including Frantisek Kupka. His company sold a product called “La Ferme”, also “Hawaian Rum” and “Original Genuine Jamaican Rum”. In other words, a jobbing commercial distiller, like thousands of others around the world. He (or the company, which continued after his death) may – or may not, I have no idea – at some stage have marketed an absinthe, or absinthe-like product. I’ve no doubt jobbing distillers in Guatamala, Bulgaria, New Zealand, the Congo, Denmark or any other country you could name at random did likewise during this era. So what?

    Actual relevance though of Archleb Josef to the history of absinthe: zero, nada, zip, nothing.

    The weird alternative Czech-centric absinthe reality you are trying to construct on this blog is no doubt the bizarre public manifestation of some private pathology we can only guess at. Whatever happened to you during your formative years (bullied at school? disappointed in love?), we’re sorry for your pain, Absintheur.

  13. Actually I did not see ANY underwear on the girls on the Absinthe Supply site. With all the money they make, it’s a shame they can’t afford to buy the girls some underwear.

    Nice of you to name check me for this rant. In fact, I previously only quoted a fraction of the codes that are used in many countries to assess drinks communication and how appropriate it is. Here’s an extract from the UK Portman Code which has been endorsed by over 140 UK and international drinks suppliers and retailers:

    A drink, its packaging and any
    promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way:
    (a) have the alcoholic strength,
    relatively high alcohol content, or
    the intoxicating effect, as a dominant
    (b) suggest any association with
    bravado, or with violent, aggressive,
    dangerous or anti-social behaviour;
    (c) suggest any association with,
    acceptance of, or allusion to,
    illicit drugs;
    (d) suggest any association with
    sexual success;
    (e) suggest that consumption of the
    drink can lead to social success or
    (f) encourage illegal, irresponsible or
    immoderate consumption, such
    as binge-drinking, drunkenness or
    (g) have a particular appeal to
    under 18s;
    (h) incorporate images of people
    who are, or look as if they are, under
    twenty-five years of age, unless there
    is no suggestion that they have just
    consumed, are consuming or are
    about to consume alcohol;
    (i) suggest that the product can
    enhance mental or physical

    Do the sites selling Czech absinth adhere to this code?

    To address your question: “Can you tell me which BRANDS give the industry a bad name and why?” It is generally not the brands that give the industry a bad name: it is, in many cases, the vendors of Czech absinth that breach the above code.

    Both Oxy and I have previously stated that it tends to be the vendors of Czech absinth who hype and mislead: indeed on my blog I stated that Hill’s and Oliva websites seem to be highly responsible. If the owners of Czech absinths could just control the independent websites that sell their brands, that would be a great step forward.

  14. Well ignoring taste for now there is the questionable or false marketing.

    L’or the makers of King of Spirits, KoSG, Staro, etc.
    •pushes false thujone effects.
    “Alcohol along with the neurotic drug “thujon” are designed for causing unusual euphoric states in the drinker of the beverage.”
    Producing a supposably EU illegal King of Spirits Gold to play on that belief.
    •Connecting their product to the french/swiss product “The cradle of absinth is the Swiss town of Couvet in the Travers Valley.”
    -Yet this is not how it was traditionally drunk.
    “The traditional consumption of absinth.. is let to get soaked in a lump of sugar… The alcohol is set on fire and then”
    -nor is this how it was traditionally made,
    “absinth is produced by maceration, i.e. in the cold way”
    -nor did it contain little anise like their products.
    Thus they probably shouldn’t connect their product to french/swiss absinthe.

    That’s not even mentioning what some sellers (who may or may not be connected to the company) say, such as, “Van Gogh, Picasso, Hemingway…Bob Dylan, Marilyn Manson and Eminem are just a few who used and drew inspiration from this original Absinthe and its effects.”
    “is bottled with fresh herbs and wormwood that distill inside and enhance the taste and thujone content.”

    Another company that plays on the connection between their product and the french craze.

    •Thujone claims
    “handmade with 10 mg/kg and 35 mg/kg thujone content will satisfy your quest for the “absinth effect”.”
    “Thujone… is what makes absinth, “absinth””

    That’s only a quick look at a few companies and only the most basic criticism.

    (If you are about to say “marketing thujone effects isn’t false marketing” then I assume you are going to answer my questions in the other blog post or better yet provide evidence to back it up).

  15. Everybody calm down…take a breath…

    I believe the point of this post was to point out the blind belief in one idea while wrongly condemning another–without provocation and without sources.

    Rosen blanketed the Czech Absinth world with a false comments and a very biased article, ending with a promotion for Oxygenee. That smacks of suspicion, I’m sorry but it does. It comes down to intent. If the reader can read that article and walk away thinking “man czech absinth is shit why do they do that! These other guys are in the know! So it was a french drink? The Belle Epoque was neat! Artists! whoo!” then yes, the intent was there. Biased, but that’s a columnist for you.

    Of course, when that suspicion gets raised, you have all sorts of people jumping on you. Which, coincidently is why I stopped worrying about the modern scene and giving reviews of the articles, news clippings, etc. The direction of my blog is far different and getting jumped on by Belle Epoque Nazis everytime I gather information from their own mouths doesn’t jive with me (see my Lucid debacle). But that’s for another time…

    With that said I have a bone to pick:

    “Van Gogh adds turpentine, Picasso prefers cubes of sugar and ice and Poe dilutes his with tears…” Is actually my favorite quote from the article. Not sure which part…the Van Gogh adds turpentine myth or the Poe dilutes his with tears melodrama. Great! That’s up there with Conrad’s “he painted the painting green…the colour of absinthe” lines.

    Either way. Absinthe or Absinth–you’d think that both sides would be united to stop the spread of misinformation and slander. Especially when the media is driven by interested parties…not pure lovers of the drink. But I guess not.

    “Absintheur is on the lunatic fringe – the only debate is whether he’s motivated by malice or by fathomless stupidity – or both. My money’s on “both”.

    Oygenee…damn man! Not cool. Let’s be civil here, however, it’s not too often your hear the word “fathomless” so you do get some points for that.

    I particularly enjoy how you still had to leave an exception to the “czechsinth is from Satan” line:
    “…“ersatz” and “revolting” accurately describe most Czech absinthes (not all, but certainly most).” Not naming names but still…leaving room for error.

    On another note: I like Alan. He was one of the first to come to my blog and show me what’s up. He has his way, I have mine. But, I dig that man.

  16. Oh what a surprise! Here we have the profiteers in action YET again. The two “masters” of the absinthe Universe (Ari and Oxy), directing abuse at a guy who — unlike either of you — has no commercial interests whatsoever. Are you both out of your mind? Don’t you see how transparent you both are? Don’t you see what people see?

    You two hate each other as much as you hate Absintheur’s blog (if not more) — you merely tolerate each other since that makes commercial sense for both of you.

    Is the article in question fundamentally flawed? Is it yet another piece of PR? Yes and yes.

    Which of you two fed that poor girl all that nonsense?

  17. they can’t afford to buy the girls some underwear.

    Nice to have “Victorian Dad” back on the blog!

    Oxy, Pan Buh or “The University of Google” couldn’t provide you with any Archleba recipes then for your smartarse reply? Pity.

    the bizarre public manifestation of some private pathology we can only guess at. Whatever happened to you during your formative years (bullied at school? disappointed in love?), we’re sorry for your pain, Absintheur.

    Damn! You are so rude! You’d love it here! We can offer you haven, now that the French are getting all litigious on your patch.

    How about recreating an Archleba recipe in your own little Moravian farmhouse, Oxy? Far away from the trouble and strife – and the internecine warfare that you create on your poison laden forum? I see that you are now even attacking poor old Gwydion Stone! and God knows what will happen to poor “Bunny” when you are finished with him!

  18. Note to “Thujone Boy” aka Ari: please can you provide the exact links to the websites that vex you so much.

    That would be a help – this blog is not about ecommerce activities that, for example, strangely fail to mention the ORIGIN of their products. Ahem….

    Anyone that writes pompous blog posts about “dishonest marketing” should make sure there own house is in order before taking the high ground, eh what, Meneer?

    Late News: According to the vote around the bar: all Ari’s posts from now on will be under the name “Thujone Boy”. Democracy in action! You have your own fan club, Ari!

  19. Sebastian, where am I making money on this? Where was I abusive? I think I’ve asked that before, and didn’t get an answer, how odd.

    absintheur said, “Ari: please can you provide the exact links to the websites that vex you so much.”

    For the most part they are from the company sites. The other site quotes about L’or products is from absinth biz.

    absintheur said, “Anyone that writes pompous blog posts…”

    and what does that have to do with my points? Or are you trying to change the subject again. I’m still waiting for those answers in that other blog post, or will they be ever lost?

  20. I think that many folks have realised that your inexplicable obssession with thujone – and the very recent “science” (i) created for yr benefit – suggests something from Macbeth:

    The lad doth protest too much, methinks.

    Older and wiser heads than mine have said so, Ari.

    (i) That science written by industry insiders and an obscure German with a peculiar, and unexplained, interest in promoting the new absinthe industry’s agenda.

  21. You’ll make money off it Ari — and a whole load of it — when your years-long lobbying efforts has convinced the FDA that absinthe is safe for sale in the U.S. of A.

    And thujone gets in the way here, doesn’t it, Ari, since that’s what bothers the bureaucrats? Hence your carefully-managed publicity campaign designed to disassociate absinthe and thujone.

    Who are you fooling, pal? I do PR. I know your game.

  22. Why wont you answer the questions you claimed you would answer?

    Why do you make claims (quite a few of them) that you apparently can’t back up?

    Why are you dodging my point’s about czech absinth?

  23. Sebastian,
    You do PR? For what company?
    And yet still no actual evidence I work for anyone or that I was abusive (go figure).

    (You do realize the FDA has approved thujone containing absinthe, right?)

  24. Don’t get angry now!

    We have a contact box on this blog and, thanks to Oxy’s personal vendettas, we get all sorts of “inside information” from all sorts of sources.

    Nobody takes you seriously anymore – although I was fooled for a while – as we all now know about your agenda, “Ari”

    You have been exposed elsewhere as an online “guerilla marketer” – not by me, by a genuine absinthe enthusiast. Shall I show you the link, Sir?

  25. Absolutely, I would love to see what guerilla or other Ape marketing I have been doing.

    (And yet no answer to my questions above, odd).

  26. We will of course answer genuine comments – but not from ficticious online personas that make racial slurs, as you have done, and whose genesis is the destruction, through ridicule and falsehood, of a proud nation’s booming alcohol industry.

    You have already been exposed – not here, but by others, and whilst I enjoy your rapier intellect, you are what you are…

  27. Wow, you can’t even back up your claims of me being a guerilla marketer. I believe I have put my e-mail in this blog thingy, I would love if you e-mailed me this supposed evidence.

    “but not from ficticious online personas” Says the ficticious online persona.
    What racial slurs have I made?

    Haha, that is awesome. I may have to use that destruction line as a sig.

    Why can’t you follow through on what you have said and answer my questions?
    Why do you continue to attack companies and scientists without any support?

  28. Ari-

    I think you deserve a post on this blog… never mind having your name lost in a bunch of comments…

    I am busy working now so you’ll forgive me for getting back to you later.

    Absintheur? An “Ari post” at all? He is such a star!

  29. I would love to see what guerilla or other Ape marketing I have been doing.

    Here’s something someone said in relation to you Ari:

    “Disingenuous and organized effort afoot” by this do you mean Guerilla marketing? In Guerilla Marketing paid propagandizers create a “buzz” for products by pretending to be regular people and for example spend day and night on absinthe forums pushing a few select lines of absinthe while bashing others? Also known as “brainwash marketing,” these sales reps are can be recognized by their changing positions as the object of sale changes. ie. “Oil mix is not real absinthe except for the one my friend sells which you should buy and try.” Just like Wall Mart but on a smaller scale the message is the same: “Huge companies make superior products to handcrafted products.” or ” Other countries make this product better than we can.”
    I have to go to a real job but watch out for people posing as passionate individuals, they might be getting paid to make you think that.

    This takes a while but is a great read. This is an account of a online guerilla marketer.

    There is another amazing article in adbusters about how they operate.

    Of course this was after you had been threatening people about homemade absinthe…somewhat ironic in light of the issue that Oxy raised about Hiram’s absinthe?

  30. Ari, your last comment was swallowed by Askimet and I cannot find it. This is a big problem with your posts – I have no idea why this happens, as it only usaully happens when people put links in the post and it thinks it is spam.


    Just checked in spam search and “Ari” appears in the name of lots of well known erectile disfunction ads, as a variation of the spelling. Not kidding ..please post as Arix or something like that …as this is a real pain.

  31. Wow your amazing source is DrSam (AKA Drabsinthe) who has been caught lying about who he/she is (among other things), who made oddly similar claims about the evidence, scientists and thujone as you but couldn’t back himself/herself up so oddly vanished from those threads?
    I see your quality of research hasn’t improved.

    And as expected that didn’t actually show *what* marketing I have been doing, or who I supposably work for.

    And you are still dodging the questions, why are you afraid of them?

  32. And where has it been suggested that you work FOR somebody? Do you?

    I think now you are really beginning to shine some light on what really is going on,

    Got no time now, catch you later guys. This is getting out of hand, by the way, I think.

  33. I strongly advise you to choose your words carefully, Ari. I have already poured enough oil on troubled water, and I’m not inclined to do it again in light of yr comments about the Hill family.

    The quote is NOT from DrSam, it is from a herbalist.

  34. What comments would those be?
    And why wont you answer my questions? Why are they so scary that you continue to attempt to change the subject?

    (If you payed any attention you would notice that Mercury was pointing out the term used by DrSam since some didn’t understand it and wasn’t actually saying that about me)

  35. We all know the comments were about you – just like the remarks you have made about people “riding in the trunk” on the Wormwood Society Forum. Your agenda is very clear, and that is why we treat you with derision you deserve.

  36. “I hear people who ask questions ride in the trunk”

    This is your response to a naff post on a Czech absinth thread from a well known poseur, who was thrown off this blog for insults, and who knows nothing whatsoever about anything – literature or absinthe. Choose your company more carefully. Ari – don’t be dragged into the gutter by these embarassing folk.

  37. All this just to dodge some questions how amazing. Speaking of agenda, why can’t you answer basic questions?

    Speaking of questions can you show me where Mercury claimed I was a marketer? (a general note, because I just have to kill some of the entertainment, I have talked with Mercury on other forums and know what he thinks of me, so you might not try to put words in his mouth).

    I find it funny you have taken a joke so literally, obviously (from the little laughing dude) I wasn’t serious. Although I was making a point that people seem to expect us to accept their claims with no support (interesting that you should pick that quote).

  38. Why doesn’t anyone answer any of my questions either!

    Ok, I don’t have any questions. But I was starting to feel left out…

  39. “I wasn’t serious…interesting that you should pick that quote”

    Interesting indeed – remarks like that are partly why this blog was born!

    There are numerous examples of these “jokes” – which play upon the idea of the Eastern European gangster – across both Fee Verte and Wormwood Society. The owner of the latter also indulges in this “sport”

    What do you think would happen if I started making remarks of a similar calibre about Americans? You seem to think it is OK, because most Czech’s who were trapped by the USSR, don’t speak English, but Russian?

    You don’t ask “basic questions” about Czech absinth – you make blanket remarks about the industry based upon your disagreement, or maybe frustration, with the succesful high profile Czech brands. These frustrations have over time turned into a virulent form of quasi racial slur – by those seeking applause from the nasty people that populate the two main online forums.

    If this was stopped you might have a better chance of engaging with the Czechs – most of whom choose to ignore you.

    Recently the Lucid absinthe PR machine has started attacking Czech absinth via “journalists” – why? If these products are so “disgusting” – a subjective opinion anyway – why not simply ignore absinth? The answer is that you need a whipping boy – not a brand, but a nation – to reinforce the spin about your new age absinthe, whose shakey foundations are based upon so called “experiments” with pre ban bottles and machinations in a Bangkok bar.

  40. Sorry, absintheur, but I really feel that you are reverting to the racist card in order to avoid responding to the points.

    You asked which brands give the industry a bad name. Ari answered with several, but you have chosen to ignore that part of his answer. Why?

    I have answered quoting the code of practice used in the UK for alcoholic drinks “communication” (there is a similar code in many other countries). It is clear that most of the Czech absinth vendors (many of them are not Czech) breach this code in several respects. It is this that gives the absinthe industry in general a bad name.

    Add to this the statements of some Czech brands who claim a link to French or Swiss absinthe where any such link is non-existent or spurious.

    As I said before, the Czech absinth brand owners should try to restrain the activities of the vendors who breach codes agreed by the drinks business in general in many countries, and NOT just by the CAD’s or Victorian Dads (thanks for the ad hominem, by the way).

    So can you answer me on the issue of why Czech absinth brands cannot control the activities of the vendors of Czech absinth? Activities that clearly breach almost every aspect of recognised drinks industry codes.

  41. Add to this the statements of some Czech brands who claim a link to French or Swiss absinthe where any such link is non-existent or spurious.

    You are wrong there. Some of the old papers from the 19th Century use a Czech word which means “Swiss style” and that is apart from the medicinal books, which are the derivation of the wormwood rich tradition. It has been clear for about two months that much of what has been written about Czech absinth is not only spiteful, but also wrong. Whether I get the scoop, or it is published by an another, is the subject of some wrangling.

    I intend to answer the points about “bad name” when I have located all the websites. I asked Ari for is time consuming to search for the original material.

    Whilst ecommerce sales are clearly of importance to you Alan, and Oxy for that matter…this blog is not about that. Nobody is trying to sell anything here – nor do I criticise the majority of honourable distillers who have refused to particpate in the organised campaign directed against the Czechs.

    I am not playing any race card – insults come from your side of the fence,and it needs to stop. You will never catch me making nasty remarks about the Swiss, or any other slurs based upon nationality.

  42. It is clear that most of the Czech absinth vendors (many of them are not Czech)

    You are right. In fact I think that none of them are Czech! Russian, American, and British I believe. As I say, I am not that interested in commercial online operations, so I may be wrong.

  43. You say, “Some of the old papers from the 19th Century use a Czech word which means “Swiss style.”” How convenient! We are not in the 19th century now, so let’s not use that as an excuse. What is at stake here is the continued misinformation used by the vendors of Czech absinth which only serves to mislead 21st century consumers.

    This is not Swiss:-

    Nor is KOS Gold based on a Swiss recipe. Absinthe Supply states:

    “Originally based on a Swiss recipe this Czech Absinthe has no artificial color or preservatives, and contains 100mg of the psychoactive thujone adored by some of the world’s most notorious artists and writers. Van Gogh, Picasso, Hemingway…Bob Dylan, Marilyn Manson and Eminem are just a few who used and drew inspiration from this original Absinthe and its effects.”

    I’d be interested to see this “Swiss” recipe but also wonder why, with the distilling heritage they have in the Czech Republic, they needed to get the recipe from Switzerland. And I’d be interested to know how Van Gogh could have drunk this particular absinth as claimed.

  44. We are not in the 19th century now

    Do you wish we were? 🙂

    Get back to you later – it’s time for lunch.

  45. “Originally based on a Swiss recipe”

    Didn’t the old Czech Oliva factory also use a Swiss recipe? So what? A recipe is a recipe.

    “mislead 21st century consumers”

    When you post on FeeVerte and Wormwood Society forums you use a tag line which says something like:

    “The vendor from the birtplace of absinthe”

    This is clearly in order to increase your sales. This is misleading as absinthe was not born in Switzerland, it was copied and commercialised there.

    Dr Ordinaire is a fake and the Henroid sisters copied their recipe from an existing tradition.

    You should say:

    From the place where two tricky sisters sold a recipe to Pernod who then moved to France and milked it big time.

    To suggest otherwise ignores Culpeper (1653) – a source which Oxy knows about, and studiously ignores. That recipe uses the three herbs that you say define absinthe, don’t they?

    I would not be surprised if a real historian – and not a commercially biased writer – could trace Culpeper’s source further to the real birthplace, which is likely Poland.

    You are talking about recipes, of which there are many, including many that predate the Henroids and the later era of Pernod hype.

  46. As usual you are avoiding the point.

    You specifically asked for details of which brands give the industry a bad name. You have been supplied details by Ari and by myself. And then you ignore them.

    Please refer back to the code of practice and look at any of the sites run by the vendors of Czech absinth. They are the ones who are giving the industry a bad name. Even Dan Hill doesn’t approve of many of the companies who sell absinthe on the internet. See

    where he states:

    “I wouldn’t buy anything from the internet,” says Hill, who has been importing Hill’s Absinth (spelt the Czech way without the “e”) to Canada since 2002. “First of all, you might not get it because of Customs. And (more importantly), a lot of these (sellers) are admitting to kind of making it in there own homes. If a seller doesn’t know how to mix alcohol properly…you could wind up blind or it could have adverse effects,” Hill warns.”

    Good to know that at least one Czech company recognises the harm done by some of these vendors. Why don’t the others do something about it?

  47. “The real birthplace, which is likely Poland.”

    So why don’t KOS Gold and Logan say that their products are based on old Polish recipes?

  48. It isn’t a “Czech company” it is a Canadian importer.

    If you knew anything at all about the onerous regulations regarding distillation in the Czech Republic, you would know this allegation could not be levelled at any Czech manufacturer.

    Nobody makes it in their home! That may be common in other places like the US, but not here.

    I’d like to see where Dan has read about any Czech “admitting to kind of making it in there(sic) own homes” He doesn’t say that though, does he? You have put that spin on it to create strife, as you were once responsible for selling Hill’s Absinth in the UK.

    This is not the first time you have tried to create a fuss using the Hill name.

    Frankly I do not know what he means.

  49. absintheur said, “There are numerous examples of these “jokes” – which play upon the idea of the Eastern European gangster”

    That’s funny as it was never a comment about eastern european gangsters but a broad comment (in the US throwing people in the trunk is for more than just eastern europeans). Oddly YOU are the one that has turned it into a race issue. Perhaps the calls of racism are hiding something (afterall you are the one that keeps refering to someone here by their location/race and not their name).

    absintheur said, “you make blanket remarks about the industry based upon your disagreement”
    So are you saying you approve of the false marketing I listed in this thread?

    absintheur said, “I asked Ari for links”
    And I explained they are from the main company websites, if you don’t know (or can’t search for) these sites, obviously you know less about czech absinth than you claim.

  50. “It isn’t a “Czech company” it is a Canadian importer.”

    Technically correct, but I assume Dan speaks partly for the Czech family business. Or is this another of those family businesses where they don’t talk to each other?

    “I’d like to see where Dan has read about any Czech “admitting to kind of making it in there(sic) own homes” He doesn’t say that though, does he? You have put that spin on it to create strife, as you were once responsible for selling Hill’s Absinth in the UK.”

    No spin, no strife and I don’t believe I sold more than one small batch of Hill’s miniatures once. I joined the importer at the same time that they launched La Fée Bohemian, so it would be fair to say that Hill’s was not a priority for the company at that stage. Incidentally what has happened to Hill’s in the UK? It is impossible to find it any more.

    “Frankly I do not know what he means.” I guess that because he was/is in Canada, operating through normal retail channels (i.e. no internet), he was endorsing his own way of operating. But that’s only a guess on my part and your guess could be as good as mine.

    So are you going to answer on these strange business practices as used by Russian, American and British vendors to sell Czech absinth? Do you not even have a personal view on them?

    You also didn’t respond to the claim by King of Spirits Gold that Van Gogh was one of their consumers. Do you think that is likely?

  51. “(in the US throwing people in the trunk is for more than just eastern europeans)”

    Since I’m from the US and have never heard any other implication…please elaborate.

    The only other thing I can think of is the old idea of hiding in the trunk to get into a drive in for free, but since there are only a few drive in’s left…

  52. Oh!

    There’s also “junk in the trunk”…but that means booty…and lots of it.

  53. Leif said, “Since I’m from the US and have never heard any other implication”

    You must not watch much TV. Virtually every crime drama has some sort of “Bad guy throws person in trunk, good guy has to find them” the Bad guy is of varied race. Then there is the obvious italian Mob throws snitch in trunk reference that has been used on virtually every mob show and is parodied a number of times in the simpsons. The supposed eastern european connection gets even more lame when you realize the Hill person in that thread lives in canada.

    I’m not sure if the constant and questionable complaints of racism by some here are real or just bluster to get out of providing a real arguments, since in the US non-racist race jokes are reasonably common and everyone gets picked on. I think if Absintheur watched an episode of the family guy or Triumph the insult comic dog he might explode.

  54. Ari_x,

    I’m quite confident that the complaints are real. It serves no end to create a shitstorm on a blog for something that doesn’t exist.

    As for getting out of “real arguments”, it’s Absintheur’s blog. If he wanted to stop arguing he most easily could (ie. blocking all of our comments). That’s obviously not happening.

    I agree with you up to a point, however. In America we definitely are more loose with our humor, etc. However, us Americans aren’t the only ones here and we should be mindful of that. So once someone (regardless of who it is) takes offense with something, instead of backtracking and seeing what just happened, but rather justifying it by saying that’s not what you meant and persisting doesn’t necessarily help the situation.

    “Virtually every crime drama has some sort of “Bad guy throws person in trunk, good guy has to find them””…that’s the point though! You can’t tell me that Eastern Europe doesn’t have a reputation for having some mondo mobs, and I’m sure (as we’re finding out) that people are sensitive to accusations that imply such associations.

    If I were to throw accusations around implying that people were “cross burners” we’d immediately know that I’m calling someone a racist. Even though there are enough tv shows mocking the KKK where I could attempt to justify my comments as “humor”.

    Regardless, we’ve obviously reached a sensitive issue here. And we’re getting nowhere fast. So perhaps we could all just back off, call a truce, and start over.

  55. Both forum leaders – Wormwood Society and Fee Verte – insult newcomers for lack of literacy, grammar and so forth.

    Ted Breaux briefs newspapers, sometimes using expletives, and nearly always now with an attack on the Czech industry. This then leads to more extreme slurs from the groupies – see post “Czech Absinth Haters

    The reason that the online absinthe community is the way it is? Take a look at the “doyennes”! – the popinjays in their online empires : abrasive, patronising, foul mouthed and very commercial.

  56. absintheur: “Written by your sycophantic forum members like Hartsmar ( same story with the Wikipedia page.”

    Oh, I’m sycophantic now? They say there’s a first time for everything and obviously there is. Please elaborate, I’m curious to see how I became sycophantic all of a sudden.

    Either way, is there anything in particular in any of the reviews, especially mine, that have hurt your little feelings absintheur? I’m sorry for not sucking up to you, but you’re not influential enough, see – the sycophant that I am I have to pick my friends carefully.

  57. “I have to pick my friends carefully.”

    You’ll know when Hartsmar likes you: he’ll buy you a Big Mac in Pontarlier (so I am told).

  58. 🙂

    You are a known FeeVerte groupie – you are the editor for the FeeVerte guide – and I have also read your “Bunny” comments with great interest.

    Show me your impartial nature by commenting on the Doubs vs Guy issue below, and I’ll not only retract my comments…I’ll allow you to define absinthe – as you see it – on this blog with a post.

    Can I say fairer than that, Sir? I know that I am a little fish in a big pond, but I breed well and may well be a piranha.

    Nota bene: Forgive the Hiramesque grandiloquence…but I do try to encourage a jovial atmosphere with “Victorian Dad” and “Thujone Boy” who are the main protagonists here…thus your open minded wit is very welcome here , Hartsmar. You have caused many belly laughs in the past – but are you sure you want to be assocaited with “lunatic fringe”? David may not approve!

  59. “I’ll allow you to define absinthe – as you see it – on this blog with a post.”

    Since when do any of us need your permission to do anything here? Or are you starting to exercise the censorship you accused others of doing (before you started to delete your own blog articles here)?

  60. I mean a post and not a comment – there is a difference.

    Hartsmar can write a post and send it to me – and I’ll publish it, if he likes.

    Chill out!

  61. Is it OK for David Nathan – Maither (double barrel?) – is that the Stellenbosch Maithers? ….to produce an oil mix absnithe thus after the court scandal:

    The existing production of Doubs Premium Absinthe is now entirely sold out and the current version of the Doubs product is being phased out worldwide. We will very shortly be announcing a stunning entirely NEW version of the product, which we believe will set a new benchmark for high-end modern absinthes. Building on the foundations of the Doubs brand, we’ve been at work behind the scenes for the last year on the new product, which we believe will not only delight all our existing Doubs fans, but win over many new admirers.

    As opposed to this:

    Doubs Premium Absinthe contains distilled wormwood, and the essences of 11 mountainherbs, including anise, fennel, hyssop and lemonbalm. It has a distinguished herbal and floral character, true both to its historical French antecedents and to the preferences of the most discerning modern palette.

    Its herbal complexity, smooth and refreshing taste, gorgeous green colour (which louches dramatically when iced-water is added) and well-rounded absinthe character have garnered it a growing following and a string of awards: it was a Silver Medal winner at the prestigious 2006 International Wine and Spirits Competition, the premier competition of its kind, and in tasting evaluations for the Fee Verte Buyers Guide, it has consistently achieved the highest ratings of any absinthe in its class.

    Here are the IWSC judges tasting notes:

    Bright emerald green. After louche a strong, milky green formed from the bottom up giving attractive opaque, creamy green. The nose is packed with fennel and anise with hints of citrus and mountain herb. Reminiscent of fynbos. Delightful floral backing. Light and flowery in the mouth with well balanced flavours without any one dominant. Great blend of what the nose promised. Long, sustained finish.

    Doubs Premium Absinthe contains just under 10mg/l of thujone, the maximum permissible level, and the same (or slightly higher) as that found in pre-ban Pernod Fils and other famous brands of the Belle Epoque.

    It does not trouble you, Markus, that David forgets to mention this absinthe is produced in South Africa!

    This blog is proud to report that we were the first to point out the “error” in the IWSC valuation as this absinthe being FRENCH!!! The very same organisation that Dirk W. Lachenmeier recommends!

    Fee Verte Buyers Guide – is that not your domain, Mr Markus Hartsmar?

  62. “I do try to encourage a jovial atmosphere with “Victorian Dad” and “Thujone Boy.””

    I find it a little insulting to have a nickname which reflects on my age. But since absintheur wants to encourage a jovial atmosphere here, how about a nickname for him too?

    I suggest KGB, because he/she is intent on:

    a) hiding who he/she really is.

    b) a long-term misinformation campaign.

    OK, KGB?

  63. Not your age, but your attitude towards L’Or adverts!

    Just a bit of fun, Alan! You should realise that the majority of Czechs are atheists, and they really cannot comprehend the nervy reaction about “saucy postcard” style adverts!

    When is Markus going to reply?

  64. Well you see, it’s fine if he calls people names, but if someone on a forum makes a joke anytime in the past that might anyway be connected to the Czech republic, that entire forum is evil.

    It’s also ok for his blog to be biased but anyone else even possibly being biased is evil.

    It is amusing.

    Absintheur said, ” that the majority of Czechs are atheists”
    General note, being an atheist has no baring on what one thinks of “saucy postcard style adverts”

    (side note, I still appear to have a post waiting moderation) 🙂

  65. I’ll reply when I’m a bit more sober. Swedish traditions going on right now…

  66. None of this troubles me at all since I know very well where and how the Doubs is produced. The IWSC is all about taste and appearance and not so much about origin. With your astonishing openmindedness you ought to be very perceptive to this, absintheur.

    So, absintheur, when will you counter any and all of your wonderful rants with any real views and “reviews” of your beloved brands? You know, the brands that you are in no way connected to. The Czech ones. Come on, give me one review. Just one – completely independent – as I have done the last 9-10 years at least. Please… come on. Until the day you can do that, I would like to ask you to shut up or put up, really. You know way less than you think you do. Simple as that.

  67. Just got home from art fair (day two starts in 12 hours), and before I pass out in a heap I’m here to chime in (given the state I’m currently in, I’m obviously an addict here):

    “the nervy reaction about “saucy postcard” style adverts!”

    I understand the reaction on one level and not on another:

    On one hand, people trying for “respectable” advertising/business don’t like affiliation with things deemed “irrespectable”. I think this area does cause the majority of the conflict in a lot of areas in the absinthe world (ie. thujone debates). (Oh! I have absinthe related stories based off of today’s art show, but that’s for another time)

    On the other hand, come on. It’s alcohol. Loosen up. It also seems like you can’t throw a stone anymore without hitting an advertisement for alcohol that shows either people partying, sexy women, or both. So, I while I can understand the desire not to have that kind of advertisement by some folks, I also can also understand the point of “hey, it’s not that big of a deal”.

    It’s just business, I suppose, and it’s all based on where you’re marketing to. If you have the guts to be balls out on a lot of decisions–chances are you’ll get some credit for it. However, you get the same credit by following the straight and narrow… Of course, this is what happens when you use Hollywood for a business model.

    But I digress…

    PS. as long as nicknames are being handed out and since “lunatic fringe” is already a group that I’m sure that I’m in, can I be called “art dude”?

  68. Leif, you are 100% wrong on this issue.

    Some people here, including you I believe, would like to have absinthe legalised. If that happens, absinthe should be subject to the same advertising and communication constraints as all other alcohol drinks.

    Currently many “absinths” are marketed in a way that:-

    a) ignores all codes of practice used elesewhere in the drinks business

    b) would not be permitted if absinth(e) was subject to the same controls as drinks available through normal channels.


    c) quite possibly hinders the long-time legalisation of absinth(e).

    Read the code of practice I have posted here, and you’ll understand that these are serious issues.

    It IS that big a deal.

  69. It’s a big deal to you for reasons which are very obvious – you are interested in selling absinthe “from the “birthplace” of absinthe” using Aunty Charlotte (who was she exactly, Alan?) and the racy idea of illegal Swiss bootlegging.

    Fill in the blank, guys:

    CAUTION: (BLANK) contains the maximum permissable thujone. Drink Responsibly, Maximum thujone.

    Hint: This is a brand sold VERY prominently by “Big Daddy” and it is, of course, not Czech.

  70. It’s not just an issue for me – it’s an issue for absinth(e) consumers around the world. Once absinthe can become a legal and respectable drink around the world, volumes will increase, and prices will come down (with shipping costs eliminated completely for USA consumers in the long-term).

    That must be in the interest of the “Czech absinth” producers too. However the vendors of Czech “absinth” don’t like this scenario, because they won’t be able to charge Americans $200 a bottle for something with a cost that’s less than 10% of that!

  71. “respectable drink”

    🙂 You should start selling covers for piano legs!

    because they won’t be able to charge Americans $200 a bottle for something with a cost that’s less than 10% of that

    That’s KOSG! and sold by a few webshops. As usual when you are on your high horse about L’Or, be it on the issue of ladies panties, or this one, you use the term “Czech absinth” just like Theodore’s publicity machine.

    I buy my absinthe for about 30 dollars a bottle – I do not know how much the manufacturer makes, but it is worth every penny.

  72. KOSG … and Logan Fils … and Zele.

    all around 200 – 210 dollars a bottle, excluding delivery charges.

    The point you make about being able to buy your “absinth” for about 30 dollars is a good one.

    Americans pay well over for KOSG etc, but they also pay about 50 dollars plus another 40 dollars shipping for a bottle of Reality (on one of the absinthe internet retailers). In other words, 3 times as much as you do, because they have to buy over the internet. Reality would sell a lot more in the USA, if it was available in the local shops for around 40 dollars, so they have a lot to gain by getting into that market as a whole at some stage.

    Yes, maybe I shouldn’t use the term “Czech “absinth.”” Drab used to get upset at “Czechsinthe,” so I don’t use that term anymore.

    And you continue to miss my point about “respectability.” the Code of Practice I have quoted is not mine, but a drinks industry standard that is used in many countries around the world.

  73. KOSG and Zele are very high thujone – Logan Fils? I’m not sure about that one – I included it on my list as someone told me it was Czech. Is it Petr Till?

    Reality is 35mg thujone, and therefore not allowed for sale in mainstreet USA. The production is gobbled up as quick as it is made – that is why they have had to build a new facility to keep existing clients happy.

    Kyle Bairnsfather is not interested in mass industrial production – all his products are hand assembled right down to hand polishing the bottles.

  74. Ok, if it ends up being a violation of law and/or something else. I was wrong, and yes, I agree. Don’t do it. Sorry Alan, I flew by that post that stated the regulations and such.

    “Some people here, including you I believe, would like to have absinthe legalised.”

    Darn tootin’!

    Finally, I was just at the Absinthe Supply site. Clicked on “wallpaper” and…yeah. But, here’s a question. Since the questionable content is under “wallpaper” wouldn’t that just be an equivalent to a pinup? We really aren’t seeing any actual woman bits and the advertising is for the website not the absinthe. Granted, it’s suggestive as all get out, but as far as anything else is concerned, couldn’t it be classified under a modern day calender girl? Sort of like an Elvgren girl for some motor oil company?

    If I’m mistaken on this, I’m ok with that…just curious.

    PS. I’m not knocking KOSG (or La Fee), but anything that costs over 100 bucks (I’m using that number to include the La Fee XS line) better come hand delivered in a gold box because otherwise it ain’t worth it.

    PPS. Man, am I happy that Reality is under my cut off policy.

  75. One more thing, I’m obviously not familiar with the alcohol rules in Europe and such, however, it seems that most alcohol advertising here in the US flies in the face of the rules posted (mostly the sexually suggestive part and really a lot of the other stuff too…)

    If that’s the case, will it matter for us or is this really a non-issue for the States.

  76. US code of practice is here:-

    Does alcohol advertising in the US contravene this?

  77. Selections from the US code:

    “Accordingly, advertising and marketing materials should not contain or depict … graphic or gratuitous nudity.

    Beverage alcohol advertising and marketing materials should not degrade the image, form, or status of women, men, or of any ethnic, minority, sexually-oriented, religious, or other group.

    Beverage alcohol advertising and marketing materials should not contain any curative or therapeutic claim except as permitted by law.”

    and my favourite one:

    “Beverage alcohol advertising and marketing materials should not contain the name of or depict Santa Claus.”

    These are not my rules; in fact they are not rules at all, merely a code of practice. However I am aware of countries where the big drinks companies have agreed with most of the retailers that brands that contravene the local codes will not be sold in local shops and bars.

  78. Santa Claus likes sherry and a mince pie. I suppose you’ll be telling us next that pirates never drank rum, or that ploughmen never ate bread and cheese for lunch! 🙂

  79. Don’t shoot the messenger: I am merely informing readers of this blog what the US code of practice is.

    And reminding readers that several Czech “absinth” vendors target Americans using practices that ignore this code completely.

  80. No, I agree with you here Alan.

    However, I do think that US advertising does all it can to get around these rules too.

    I remember a (I believe it was Coors) recent ad that had a dad handing his son a Coors in a rite of passage sort of deal.

    Then there’s disaronno, tangeray, any assortment of rum, etc. where you’re at a bar, women are dressed in skimpy outfits, a bartender is “attracting” them in a “suggestive” manner by dripping drops of whatever booze in their mouths, etc.

    It’s true, we apparently don’t “violate” the law over here, but we come darn close to ignoring it and loopholing it.

  81. Ok, and that Santa Claus one is hilarious.

  82. Just wondering why the reviews section here is devoid of reviews? The hosts of this blog site have no opinions? Or are afraid of offending the manufacturers of absinths they do not think highly of? Or don’t wish to appear in the pockets of those whose products they do admire? Could CAD really mean Czech Absinth Darlings? A power to be feared?

  83. Most people send comments through the comment box which then comes as a PM.

    Your speculation says more about the baggage that you have brought with you. Leave it at the door and chill out a little.

  84. Pan Buh, please…

    You remind me of the theory that goes: no one distrusts people more than the conman himself.

  85. Shucks, I was just trying to fit in.

    Besides, I don’t understand why you have a reviews section if you expect it to be filled with Private Messages. And shouldn’t the host lead the parade?

  86. We already have the Gilbert and George of absinthe (Ari & Alan) – I hoped that you might have come like a “Deus ex machina” Pán Bůh to spread goodwill amongst us mortals.

    I am interested in others opinions of absinth – I think everyone knows that I enjoy Reality, Absinthium, Cami, BF Bitter, and KOS when the mood takes me. Hill’s I like with cocktails mixed by a friend – I haven’t tried that many others.

    Which is your favourite, Pán Bůh?

  87. “I think everyone knows that I enjoy…”

    Not quite everyone yet, but I’m sure that as those in the world access your site they will spread the word to those who lack access.

    I only noted one absinthe in your list, and it happens to be one that I have in my liquor cabinet presently. Maybe we can share a glass sometime.

    Who knows, maybe we already know each other and it will be like a little reunion.

  88. Which one is in this cabinet – or is it a “gabinetto segreto”? Don’t be coy – which absinth from the Czech Republic do you drink? and how do you like it?

    🙂 be nice now and perhaps we can start doing away with the cute remarks.

  89. The absinthe where they first macerate wormwood, anise, and fennel and then distill it.

  90. I guess I can’t post anymore?

  91. “The absinthe where they first macerate wormwood, anise, and fennel and then distill it.”

    Ah yes, I believe that’s marketed as “Vague Generalities” by Sarcasm. Good stuff when consumed neat, I hear.

  92. Very bitter I hear…like “Pedagogue’s Old Peculiar” an acidic brew commonly “enjoyed” by staff at educational establishments.

  93. Wierd. I posted this thrice, and nothing showed up.

    Anyway, what I was trying to say, was that I wanted to answer your question, ‘theur.

    Along with all of the French and Swiss absinthe I have in my bar, I also have these styles (bohemian, spanish, etc). As I’ve mentioned many times before, I ALWAYS taste a product before I judge it. Here’s what I have, and my thoughts on each.

    Absenta Deva 70% – not bad, but not too good
    Absenta Serpis 65% – good with red bull, OJ, or slurpee. Not bad louched up either.
    Absente 55% – basic and boring
    Absinth Plneni (Stromu) – tastes more like a whiskey than absinth (not very good whisky)
    Mata Hari – not very enjoyable neat or louched, but works well in cocktails (as bitters, cynar, or campari)
    Wormwood Extract – vile
    Absinth Tabu 55% – WAY too sweet for me. an anise bomb
    Apsinthion 55% – also too sweet for me
    Staro – too harsh neat or louched. not too bad in cocktails in small amounts (as bitters)

    So, as you can see, there are qualities of many of these that I enjoy. Each has their own place in my bar. I just don’t enjoy drinking them as a traditional (or bohemian) absinths/absinth should be drunk. I also don’t do shots to get messed up. I have no need for that. I drink to enjoy the flavor of the drink (whatever drink that may be, absinthe or otherwise), not to get drunk.

  94. Okay, guys, stop kidding around.

    Shabba, I’ll bet you know which one of these is the only one that hits the trifecta and then gets distilled:

    “Reality, Absinthium, Cami, BF Bitter, and KOS”

  95. I don’t know why, but I keep trying to post some comments on the bohemian and spanish absinth I have, but it won’t let me.

    And before you even ask, no, it wasn’t adversarial in any way.

  96. Well there it is!

  97. Shabba

    It was Askimet – there was a “naughty” word – what the word it did not like is anyone’s guess. It does this all the time, and it even does it to me..which makes no sense…I am unlikely to start spamming my own blog!

    Thanks for your comment.

  98. Wormwood Extract – vile

    What is that one? Never heard of it.

  99. It’s been marketed alongside of the Absente (at least it used to be). It’s just an extract. Quite horrible.

  100. I had a chance to imbibe some of what I thought to be absinthe while in the Czech Republic. I was excited to experience this sharpness of mind, and taste the forbidden drink of yesteryear. Sadly, I was deeply mistaken. For what I had was not absinthe, but absinth, and without the e it’s really not the same. While absinthe was never banned in the Czech Republic, it was also never made there. Absinthe originated in Switzerland as a sort of cure-all, and was produced in France en masse, but nary a bottle ever came from Czechoslovakia- that is, until the 1990’s.


    In 1987 Radomill Hill, a clever Czech businessman, saw the new free market and a great chance for success. Having inherited an old distillery Hill began pumping out barrels of what he dubbed “Absinth”.

    Without any particular knowledge of absinthe, Hill invented the drink based on what he thought it was like, and while he was at it, invented some new customs to go along with it. The practice of lighting a spoonful of absinthe-soaked sugar aflame is an entirely new invention, (though has found its way into many movies, such as Moulin Rouge) and would have been seen as appalling to an absinthe drinker of the yesteryear.

    The absinthe of the days of yore shares more in common with Pastis or Ouzo then with modern Czech absinth. A delicate drink, it was prepared by dripping cold water through a sugar cube to sweeten the drink, and to cause it to “louche” . To turn milky with the addition of water, just as Ouzo does. It was made with wormwood but contained only a very small amount of Thujone the ingredient that was the supposed cause of madness. Surprisingly the very best absinthes are not even green. As absinthe ages, the chlorophyl (which gives it that delightful green tinge) breaks down and turns a light brown color. One can pay over 20,000 dollars for an original pre-ban bottle of the stuff.

    While I did not get the chance to taste true absinthe, there is still cause for gratitude towards Hill and Czech absinth. The runaway success of the fake stuff brought into sharp light the possibility of making actual absinthe. With the EU adopting a permitted thujone standard of 10mg/l for absinthe, (a very small amount, and around what many pre-ban Absinthes contained) the real stuff has slowly been getting back on its feet. One particularly interesting brand is that of Jade Absinthes. Reverse engineered by a New Orleans chemist from an original pre-ban bottle of absinthe, it is definitely the real McCoy.Though, at 110 dollars a bottle, it may be a while before I can add an e to my absinth.

    Oh? Lots of mistakes and the usual snide remarks by this guy, and also the usual link to the Jade Empire’s online shop….naturally.

  101. How about these comments made by Bairnfather himself in an article in the Sunday Independent on August 12, 2007:

    “Absinthe is neither blue nor red: it should be green and drunk diluted,” says James Bairnfather, a 39-year-old American who claims to be the only producer of Czech absinthe using natural herbs.

    However, some absinthe connoisseurs are bemused by the success enjoyed by the Czech distillers: they say their product is of inferior quality. “European legislation doesn’t set composition levels other than on the level of alcohol and thujone – so basically you can do anything you want,” says Bairnfather.

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