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Monday, June 23, 2008

New Absinthe's on the market

Only 8 months after real absinthe has become legalized in the U.S., the importers and overseas producers have really started taking advantage of the buzz and mystique that absinthe holds and launching like crazy here. With more absinthe launches than vodka lately, it may not be long until the brands are just as gimmicky.

Three new absinthe's have launched this week in hopes of garnering early market share in a soon-to-be-crowded market.

La Fee Absinthe Parisienne is made in Paris and has been around for a while as it's been sold in 20 countries for the last 10 years or so. The product is made by traditional standards and the owner of the recipe still approves each batch of La Fee.

For a while, Lucid Absinthe was the only one you could get in the US as it wasn't made from the traditional Grand Wormwood (until March of 2007) so it could get away with going around the law. The producers guessed that the stuff that was considered a fake (but still very flavorful) wasn't going to be on top of the market anymore so they added two more real absinthes to their stable.

La Clandestine is a Swiss absinthe and is made in the "La Bleue" style which means that it's colorless right out of the glass. It's based on a 1935 recipe and is named "La Clandestine" because it was sold for several years during absinthe prohibition.

Nouvelle-Orleans Absinthe Superieure is a French absinthe (duh) derived from a genuine Belle Epoque recipe that gives it it's green coloring and traditional absinthe taste. This one has only been around since 2004 but has already won tons of awards and is looking to pick up steam quickly for it's US launch.

La Fee is available right now in New York with other states rolling out throughout the summer. La Clandestine and Nouvelle-Orleans Absinthe Superieure are both going to roll out starting in the fall.

La Fee - US$59.95
La Clandestine - US$79.95
Nouvelle-Orleans Absinthe Superieure - US$110.00


Alan said...

Thanks, Rick. Lucid wan't launched until Spring 2007 and has always contained grand wormwood. It never went "around the law:" it played a major role in establishing the law.

We (La Clandestine) started talking with them (the owners and importers of Lucid) in summer 2007. The demand for good absinthes was riding high then ... and continues to grow.

There will always be gimmicky products, but in the USA the growth of absinthe is being driven primarily by high quality ones. Long may that continue!

Rick Dobbs said...

Thanks Alan! Corrected!

Joseph said...

Is the recipe for La Clandestine the same? I thought that it had more thujone than was allowed in the USA? I guess that was changed for the USA version,right?

Anonymous said...

I'm unsure about Lucid "playing a major role in establishing the law".

According to the TTB's website, Absinthe containing less than 10 part per mil Thujone has never been illegal in the US. (apart from the obvious prohibition time)

The original French Pernod Absinthe didn't have that much Thujone to begin with.


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