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Hi, I have been kindly invited to join the community by @Lloyd and @SDeurope as they thought I would fit well here. I have been monitoring the boards since quite some time now, and to be honest the friendly spirit that reigns here helped me take the leap. Well, AD is also nice and resourcefull.
So, as I know a little about you guys by reading your posts here and there, it's fair enough to give you some background about me. I have been interrested/involved in traditional absinthe since over a decade, in the early 2000's when the first drinkable products reached the market and were quite decent (or so we all thought at the time). This spirit had a lot of myth attached to it, mainly beccause of the fact that it was forbidden for over 70 years. It took the distilleries quite some time after 1988 (when it was legalized again in the EU) to get an interest in developping and putting on the market the "early days" products. At that time basically no one had an idea of what the drink should taste like, since only a handfull of people actually tasted pre-ban absinthe.
Then in 2004 the market took a turn thanks to the involvement of one very talented chemist, and the first scientifically-reverse-engineered replica of a genuine century old brand changed my/our perception of the legendary drink. The complexity, the intensity, the lenght of what he made surpassed all the existing products by far, and I was hooked for good. After a carreer change in 2007 I joined the newly established first "100% dedicated to absinthe" shop, and have been managing it for 7 years now. As I was an absinthe drinker (you'd be surprised of the amount of pros in this field who actually don't drink / don't like their products...) I eventually pushed to expand our line of products, and we developped 9 brands of our own to this day, along with some glassware. This was motivated by a 2 years period when the top shelf products became.... not as good as we wanted them to be (it's been fixed, and they are awesome again)
So I do have some oversight about what's on the market right now, what's hot and what's not, as well as an insider's point of view regarding what we all value the most here, i.e. how it's made by the big guys (well, we can't really call them big in this field, as the biggest single order for an export brand was only around 10,000 liters if memory serves right). But honestly it's a very simple drink to make, all of the regional styles recipes are out in the open thanks to the internet, the only problematic part for the hobbyist (and the pros from time to time) is to have access to quality botanicals with superior organoleptic qualities, beccause at the end of the day, it is what really makes the difference.
Please feel free to contact/ask me if you have any questions you think I could have an answer to, I'd be happy to hear from you :-h