Well damn. Just when I was thinking that the Swiss IGP was dead per the last few posts on the European definition of absinthe (here and here), it sneaks in under the radar and blooms into full idiocy.
What this means is that the terms “Absinthe”, “Fee Verte”, and “La Blue” are protected in Switzerland as having origin in the Val-deTavers (VdT) region, the birthplace of absinthe.
It seems odd that the country that banned absinthe in 1910, paving the way for others, takes such nationalistic pride in it now.
One news article states that the EU will back this as well, so this might effect all of the European Union. Meaning that absinthe made in France, the historically popular center of absinthe, can’t be labeled as such. An industry insider I know claims that this is false and the geographical protection will only effect Switzerland pointing to the term “En Suisse” used in this article. Time will bear the ultimate truth out.
With option number one, absinthe made all around the world would be banned from being labeled as such. Even if it was made in the epicenter of absinthe; Pontarlier, France. Absinthefiend’s post on the subject highlights this matter succinctly (Please read. The Fiend brings up a few things I was going to, especially about Spain. No sense in repeating).
Option number two, any absinthe made in Switzerland outside of the Val-de-Tavers regions could not bear the designation. There are many producers outside of the VdT that this could effect. One of note is Oliver Matter, who distills a plethora of absinthe including Marylin Manson’s brand of Mansinthe.
The supposed intention is to act against fake absinthe coming from other countries. Yet, Switzerland already does that by being the only country with a definition of absinthe (must be distilled and contain no artificial colors) in the first place! Obviously this bill was passed with other intentions than what its promoters have claimed, especially if it only effects Switzerland.
I really don’t like the way this played out. Essentially, either option is a mess and as far as the ‘protecting against fauxsinthe’ argument goes, I don’t buy it.
So let me tell you a few others things I don’t buy since I first learned of this IGP while it was in progress. Any products from the following:
1er Mars 10 – 2108 COUVET
Tél. +41 32 863 36 46
This includes the phenomenal “La Clandestine” and the recreation of pre-ban American absinthe “Butterfly”.
Absinthe Kübler SA
Rue du Château 7 – 2112 MÔTIERS
Tél. +41 32 861 14 69
Yep, that Kubler.
Bovet Racine Sàrl
Rue du Temple 46
Tél. +41 (0)78 662 40 63
Fax: +41(0)32 861 10 53
Absintherie Celle à Guilloud
La Valote Sàrl
Rue de la Gare 5 – 2112 MÔTIERS
Tél. +41 32 861 10 82
Grand’Rue 9 – 2108 COUVET
Tél. +41 32 863 20 36
La Raisse – 2114 FLEURIER
Tél. +41 32 861 46 47
Absinthes Alain Rey
Rue de Buttes 9 – 2114 Fleurier
Tél. +41 32 866 11 49
Distillerie d’Absinthe la P’tite
Gaudentia et Jean-Michel Persoz
Rue Fontenelle 9
Tél. +41 (0)32 863 30 88
Fax: +41 (0)32 863 30 88
Absintherie du Père François
Ruelle Rousseau 5 – 2114 Fleurier
Tél. +41 32 861 23 18
Association des cultivateurs d’absinthe
Le Montsegand – 2105 TRAVERS
Tél. +41 79 217 50 58
I suggest you do the same.
The one person this screws over, no matter what, is Oliver Matter. The timing of this is odd since I just drank the last bit from my bottle of his absinthe made in protest about this issue over the weekend. I will continue to support this Swiss distiller and I highly recommend his A. O. Spare absinthe. Fans of Marilyn Manson might want to get a hold of some Mansinthe while they still can as well.
If you want to read more about this issue I recommend this thread from the Wormwood Society.