17 November 2008

17Nov- in which I describe my disappointment with Absinthe
Honestly, I don't know what I was expecting. And, perhaps, I haven't had enough of it so that its unique properties make an impression on me but, still.
And I certainly hope the person who told me never to try it because she said she would be sad at my disappointment isn't reading this.

So Christine brought me some absinthe from Prague in mini-bottle form and Leigh and I finally broke into it the other night. I'm a big fan of accessories, so naturally as soon as I got the bottle I bought an interesting looking absinthe spoon on eBay and some nice, rough-hewn Bosnian sugar cubes (lumps would be more accurate) from the European Corner store on Two Notch (way out.)
It was interesting and fun in that way that entirely new experiences can be and, since it didn't louche, I decided I wanted to see absinthe louche.

Columbia has recently seen a boom in absinthe offerings. This boom consists of about four brands. Thanks to Christine, again, for some over-the-phone research while i was in the store. she helped me avoid Grande Absente, despite the cool, free spoon that comes attached to the box (at Total Wine). Evidently, it doesn't contain the original wormwood that made absinthe so crazy, but rather a relative of it. And many reviewers at the Wormwood Society took dumps all over it.

Kubler, also, seemed to get lukewarm reviews.

The people behind Mythe Absinthe (which caught my eye because it's also available in 375ml) evidently spent years figuring out how to remove the thujone molecule (a compound found in wormwood that has been blamed for some of the more interesting effects of absinthe but, as of late, has been identified as having not much to do with anything at all.) Of the many less than stellar reviews I found, one said "I wonder how many years of research it would take to remove the *suck* from it." Good enough for me, and it stays on the shelf.

So, it would seem that, locally, the best choice is Lucid.

People generally said that it was a good introductory absinthe that gives one the general idea of how a good abisinthe might taste. Basically, it didn't blow anybody's socks off but it also didn't warrant that much criticism. This is available at both Greens stores as well as Total Wine. I didn't check Morganelli's, but if they don't carry it I'm sure they could get it for you. Plus, the Total Wine and the Green's on Piney Grove have the gift box that includes two glasses and a spoon, which I would've gotten if i hadn't waited until I hit the Green's on Assembly, which doesn't offer that.

Anyway, the price is readily discovered with a modicum of research if anyone is interested, so I won't state it here.

And, to be honest, I find myself coming to the decision that there's not much this absinthe offers me from a taste perspective that I couldn't get from a bottle of NyQuil. Though it does have a slight waxy quality to it and, on the nose, in addition to all the anise and herbs you'd expect there's a slight touch of human sweat to it. cumin, perhaps? And it does louche, which is pretty cool to watch. And I get to use my spoon, interesting French glasses I found at T.J.Max, and neat sugar cubes but the experience to price ratio just doesn't cut it for me. Fortunately, I've always enjoyed the black jelly beans.

Supposedly, a lot of things happen. realistically, one is supposed to experience an unusually clear-minded buzz. I have a mild buzz, and I do feel rather clear-minded, but I also drink for a living so that result is questionable.

I don't know.
Leigh has a friend who lives in Switzerland who's coming for a visit. I think I'll ask her to ask him to bring me a bottle of something universally regarded as good and we'll see how that works.
Until then, I'll poke at the bottle of Lucid for a while. And i'll have it at the bar, just in case.

I mean, I bought kind of cool glasses and everything.

Viktor Olivia's "Absinthe Drinker"

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