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Adolphe-William Bouguereau - Evening Mood

ABSINTHE LIQUORS:

Spanish absinthe (Absenta in the Spanish language) is considered to be the first level of Absinthes. There are at least a dozen brands manufactured in Spain. You can be assured that these absinthes are a better grade than all but maybe two Czech absinthes. I do not desire to discuss the Czech brands as they are mostly of dubious contents, taste, and quality. All Absinthes sold in the European Union have an estimated 10-mg/kg of a substance known as Thujone. At one time it was believed that Thujone caused the so called secondary effect of absinthe, (also called the secondfairies), by many fun loving absintheuers. Most knowledgeable absintheuers now have learned from scientific research that a type of herbal synergy is actually responsible for this effect.

As of 2002 the French began making absinthe again and quite a few experts feel that it is superior to most of the Spanish Absenta. The French absinthes for the most part are considered to superior to the Spanish with at least one exception. There are oil mixed and macerated absinthes among both the French and Spanish brands and most will agree that the French oil and macerates are the best. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of true distilled absinthe from Spain except for the exception already noted. This of course being the very well regarded Absenta of Julio Segarra. There are several well regarded French absinthes which are produced by distillation and most knowledgeable absintheuers agree that only some clandestinely made absinthes are better than the French distilled absinthes. Some of the French distillers are related to the original absinthe distillers in France and are still in possession of old family recipes. The Guy distillery in Pontarlier being a good example of a descendant of one of theses original distillers. The Pernot distlllery is another example from Pontarlier.

The Jade absinthes produced by the American, Ted Breaux, but distilled in France have been well received by the absinthe community for the most part and are alleged to be recreations of unique and original Pernod family absinthes. These are considered to be some of the best French absinthes.

Absente, now available in the USA, has absolutely no wormwood or thujone at all: it is a consumer farce - the name means absence!

Suisse La Bleue is of clear color and exquisite in taste and purity, the "holy grail" of absinthe. Suisse La Bleue absinthes are crafted exclusively by farmers in Western Switzerland, and are made by the locals primarily for the locals. High quality Swiss absinthe is a clear brew perfected to a fine art for over a hundred years, imparting old family artisan quality with no commercial alcohol and more herbs than ANY other absinthe made in the world today.

This traditional absinthe is from several specialized producers in the historic area of origin: Val-de-Travers, Neuchatel, Switzerland. These absinthes are clandestine bootlegs and are not machine made products. They are not sold in liquor stores OR commercially anywhere. These absinthes are distinguished by their crystal clear color and silky smooth flavor. In truth, the quality and smoothness of Suisse La Bleues enjoys such a strong reputation that some commercial products attempt to emulate/imitate the La Bleues in description and name..be careful.

Suisse La Bleue absinthes are made in accordance with the underground tradition that began with the Swiss absinthe ban of 1910. Swiss authorities often looked the other way as rural farmers quietly enjoyed their artisanal absinthes. The unique style and flavor of Suisse La Bleues is attributed to their use of locally grown herbs (more and fresher Alpine herbs than any other modern made absinthes in the world) and careful distillation in the same old copper stills the grandfathers of the present distillers used for decades. Quality varies unless one knows the farmer and buys direct. The best examples from the Val-de-Travers area of the Neuchatel Canton in Switzerland. All of the private farmers are between 60-80 years old and have no desire to be licensed by the government or told how much of what herb to put in the absinthes. And neither are they able or desirous of producing more than small, potent batches for their friends and families. So please, again, be careful. Since the European vendors can only sell commercial that is what they will sell. But it will not be the true and original Suisse La Bleue. It will contain less of the traditional herbs and, subsequently, be less potent. The original and unchanged Suisse La Bleues will never be sold at the corner grocery store!

Absinthe is now legal in Switzerland but these absinthes' recipes are modified to be in alignment with European law, similar to other European countries that are now importing absinthe into the USA. The new Suisse law that commenced January 2005 does not include the stronger made contents of private farmers' Suisse La Bleues. These farmers will remain hidden from the authorities as they do not want to dilute and transform the infamous La Bleue. In other words, the rare and unique Suisse La Bleues are and will be as illegal as ever.

Even where Suisse La Bleues are concerned, not all are created equal. One usually prefers the vivid absinthe effect, and NOT to be in a drunken blur because of high alcohol content. ALL ABSINTHES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL. The better La Bleues made by older, more experienced artisans, are crystal clear and have more refined flavor. Even companies in England, Germany and Spain are now advertising the sale of Suisse La Bleue but it has been commented by customers who have tasted several Suisse La Bleues from various sources that the INFERIOR quality ones are being exported from/to other countries in U.K., Europe, and the USA.

Also, and very important to know, is that recent research has shown that not just pure wormwood creates the absinthe effects but, instead, the herbs in combination produce the sought after results that mesmerize and heighten the senses.

 

Regards,

Betina
Empress of Absinthe Artifacts
USA

 

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