Archive for January, 2008

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Moulin Rooz 60% – Review

In the spirit of Australia Day, we offer you…

Moulin Rooz 60%

The Australian Vodka Company – Tambourine Mountain Distillery

Reviewed: 26 January 2008

With/without sugar? Both

Reviewed – Robert Maxwell & Jonathan Carfax (Reviews in tandem! How modern.)

According to Aboriginal legend, the first platypus were born after a young female duck mated with a lonely and persuasive water-rat. The duck’s offspring had their mother’s bill and webbed feet and their father’s four legs and handsome brown fur.


In much the same way that the eurocentric Royal Society gasped in disbelief when New South Wales Governor Captain John Hunter sent a platypus pelt to London, only to have it dismissed as an elaborate hoax – those of us learned absintheurs of French, Swiss or even Spanish tastes may find ourselves perplexed by what is before us.

Moulin Rooz, Australia’s first modern commercially distilled absinthe, really is a surprising creature indeed.

Moulin Rooz-1

The first thing one notices is the extreme emerald green colour of the raw absinthe, presented in quite a long, nouveau-inspired clear glass bottle with t-cork closure (As it happens, the height of this bottle is it’s undoing in terms of my absinthe collection – it doesn’t fit in my absinthe cabinet. How tiresome. – Robert). The labelling is somewhat “home-spun” reflective of its cottage-industry origins, and features a kangaroo in quasi-fin-de-siecle costume with a bottle of MR and two more stuffed in her pouch.

Given the colour of the absinthe and the clear glass bottle, one immediately assumes that this is an artificially coloured absinthe, which is indeed the case. The label information tells us that:

“Moulin Rooz is Australia’s first premium Absinthe. Five times-distilled from the finest Australian grapes, with perfect balance of Elderflower, Gentian, Fennelseed, Hyssop and Wormwood(thujone), Moulin Rooz is further enhanced with Australian Native Aniseed Myrtle and other selected botanicals. A perfect expression of bitter and aromatic herbs, with hints of the Australian Bush. (Natural herbal particles may be present)”

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Posted by Robert on Jan 28th 2008 | Filed in Absinthe brands,Absinthe Reviews,Distilleries,Reviews | Comments (0)

“The huts look pretty amongst the trees…”

Port Jackson 1788

The disembarkation of the troops and convicts took place from the following day until the whole were landed. The confusion that ensued will not be wondered at, when it is considered that every man stepped from the boat literally into a wood. Parties of people were every where heard and seen variously employed; some in clearing ground for the different encampments; others in pitching tents, or bringing up such stores as were more immediately wanted; and the spot which had so lately been the abode of silence and tranquillity was now changed to that of noise, clamour, and confusion: but after a time order gradually prevailed every where. As the woods were opened and the ground cleared, the various encampments were extended, and all wore the appearance of regularity…

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Posted by Robert on Jan 26th 2008 | Filed in Events,History,News,People | Comments (0)

Of Convicts, Coffins and Nails

Old Sydney Burial Ground 

For those in Sydney with an interest in both the macabre and the historic, this is one of your last chances to see a slice of early colonial Sydney before it is lost to time. Archaeologists (including yours truly) are currently excavating over 50 graves belonging to a portion of the Old Sydney Burial Ground, one of the first cemeteries in the colony and the last resting place of convicts, officers and free settlers, with it’s first official iterment in 1792, and it’s last in 1820. And you can get a look at it, for one day only.

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Posted by Robert on Jan 20th 2008 | Filed in Events,History,News,People | Comments (0)

Review – Mansinthe 66.6%, Not A Copy Of An Imitation

I’ll get to the point up front – this is a decent Swiss absinthe.

Adorned with a slightly surreal painting by Manson of himself in old age, one might become suspicious that this is largely a ‘vanity label’ or ‘celebrity brand’. But rather than just another product looking for a celebrity endorsement, we have a much more interesting story of a modern entertainer who has worked hand in hand with a traditional distiller to produce something that maintains the right aesthetic for both.


I would generally like to avoid using the term ‘brand’ here because Manson’s portfolio of interests is extending well past music into art, film, literature and now absinthe – would it be fair to call ‘Andy Warhol’ a brand? Well, yes, the Warhol Foundation has seen to it that it is now through extensive licencing.

So if Manson must be conceded as a brand, thank goodness it is a brand with certain minimum values.

I remember reading a story about Mr Manson ‘holding court’ with fans on an occasion – and at this meet and greet, the truly tragically gothic and beautiful were overlooked in favour of the geeky and awkward. And here is a dichotomy I think some people miss with Manson – for all the ‘distinctiveness’ he projects, I don’t believe he seems himself as forsaking society like some ascetic, but to evolve as he is ‘within’ the confines of that society. He is not inaccessible.

I’m trying to use this anecdote as a metaphor for saying that Manson has put his name to an accessible absinthe – with a quality and price point that allows anyone, the geeks, the goths, the “it must be French/Swiss” absintheur and even the “woohoo! absinth shooters!” consumer to try it (and hopefully change the behaviour of the latter).


In fact, accessibility seemed to have part of the very intent in the crafting of this absinthe by Swiss distillery Matter-Luginbühl AG. Read the history and you will see this product is as much about a family tradition as it is about a man with his name on a bottle.

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Posted by Jonathan on Jan 13th 2008 | Filed in Absinthe brands,Absinthe Reviews,People,Reviews | Comments (0)