absinthegeek

absinthegeek

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Topettes

August 13, 2013

Topettes

Green set

July 31, 2013

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L’Incroyable by Jacob

February 13, 2013

Ouraline

November 23, 2012

Un Edouard

October 12, 2012 2 Comments

Photos by www.antiquespirits.com

Literature

October 12, 2012

Absinthiades 2012, part 2

October 11, 2012

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The theater in which they held the Absinthiades was decorated with an absinthe garden. Aromatic wormwood scent (distributed by spray bottles) filled the air.

If I remember right, in the previous years the place was always decorated with both the Swiss and French flags. This year of course, there was no Swiss flag to see.

But also the Swiss absintheurs stayed away. And the same did the Swiss absinthes! Last year, there were 20 absinthes in the competition. But this year, with the Swiss absinthes missing, they took in a few rather surprising names and they still only got 14. Among the participants were Hapsburg. Yes, you read right.

The organisators and helpers were friendly and professional as ever. While the jury was doing their duty I was hanging out at the bar, chatting with the French barkeeper and a Belgian group. Several times they had to tell us to keep quiet, but one of the Belgian fellows really loved his absinthes and the more he drunk, the more festive got his mood.

Meanwhile the jury members fought their battle against the green fairy.

And some fought against their neighbours. All in good green spirits.

Absinthiades 2012, part 1

October 8, 2012

In 2012, Absinthe has been legal for just over a whole year in France, while Pontarlier was celebrating its Absinthiades for the 12th time in a row! You think this is reason for celebration across the borders, but alas, the recent events have distressed the once amicable Franco-Swiss relation. Even though I wanted to stay neutral in this matter, I think I might have to dedicate one of the next posts to this subject. But for now, I would like to share a few photos with those who couldn’t make it to the Absinthiades, or who chose to stay away for political reasons.

Each year I would have a look at this little antiques shop in Pontarlier. Last year, the shop displayed just a few absinthe spoons that they had borrowed from a collector. This year, they could show off a nice little collection. There were also some collectible spoons in a corner.

The local spirits shop had a nice collection of absinthes.

Later I noticed, they had many of the absinthes in the contest. How convenient. 🙂

These were the 14 contestants at the Absinthiades.

Distiller portrait: Martin Zufanek

September 2, 2012 2 Comments

When people tell me that they have tried an absinthe and they didn’t like it all, chances are that they drank a Czech absinthe. One of the bad Czech absinthes, to be precise, because not all Czech absinthes are bad, and certainly not the ones made by Martin Zufanek. He founded his distillery in 2000. In addition to fruit liqueurs and all-natural spirits he also produces three green absinthes: La Grenouille, St. Antoine and L’Ancienne.

In this portrait I would like to focus on L’Ancienne. L’Ancienne was designed to evoke the flavors of pre-ban absinthes. To achieve this very ambitious goal Zufanek teamed up with the Italian distiller Stefano Rossoni, who himself produces the widely known and much loved L’Italienne. So the big question is, how close does L’Ancienne tastewise get to pre-ban absinthes?

Well, one has to keep in mind that we don’t know with certainty how absinthes tasted back in 1913. When we drink for example a Pernod Fils 1913 today, the absinthe has aged, which means that the flavours of the different herbs have changed and a good part of the alcohol has evaporated.

L’Ancienne is very harmonic and has a satisfying and round mouthfeel. The herbal flavor-profile of L’Ancienne does indeed remind of vintage absinthe, yet there is a distinguishable difference in the flavor and smell of the alcohol. At this point I feel that the alcohol dominates the fine flavors of this very promising absinthe, so I am curious to see, how the same bottle will taste in a year from now. I also plan to keep a bottle or two unopened for a few years.

For visual impressions, please check out the pictures of the louche. Martin Zufanek’s homepage is: www.zufanek.cz