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cboy321

Question about Absente

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well, as I have mentioned in one of my last post a local store was supposed to be getting Lucid fairly soon. Well it turns out the guy had no Idea what he was talking about...

 

I have seen Absente in a few stores and I know that it is not real absinthe, but I was wondering how is it taste wise to absinthe, mainly compared to something that I could easily get like Lucid or Kübler.

 

 

Thanks

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Concur with Speedle; the reviews are helpful. I personally tried a friend’s Absente in comparison to the Absinthe I brought to a ‘drink-in’ one night. It was early last year and the bottle's I had came from Germany. At the time most of my friends were “into” Absinthe but hadn’t the slightest clue what to do or where to go and were affraid mail-order would get them busted by the Fed's. Absente offered them something to drink. I found it to be bland and very reproduced tasting. It had a hint of Absinthe, but like something had gone wrong. And it had a bad aftertaste. I thanked him for his sample but chose to stick with my bottle.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

The reason I was wondering this is that I picked up a bottle of this and found that it was "ok" but I didn't find it too enjoyable, yet bearable and I was wondering if a Lucid or Kübler was better tasting.

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Once again thanks for the replies,

 

I was debating if I should order a bottle of Lucid, but wasn't too sure how it compares to Absente. But I figure I will eventually order a bottle of Lucid, what could it hurt, right???

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I actually just ordered my first bottle of Kübler about an hour ago. I wasn't aware of drinkupNY.com and no one in my state was carrying it. I can't wait to try it!

 

One note on Lucid though: it seems to get better as the bottle gets some oxygen in it. My first glass had a nasty "mouthful of chives" aftertaste that put me off Lucid for a few months. When I tried it again the aftertaste had mellowed, and now it is gone entirely. So just a heads up (unless of course I just had a bum bottle!).

 

(edited because me caplock got bumped and left me shouting)

Edited by Retrogarde

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I've disliked Lucid more each time I've had it. I don't know if it's getting worse with age or if the things I don't like about it just stand out more every time.

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Every fresh bottle of Lucid I've gotten has had something I didn't like about it. But after about 4 weeks or so, it all seems to be blending much better, as I use the bottle up. Or, I just get used to the taste, who knows.

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Lucid: As a dear friend once said about a turkey I directed, "It is what it is." Lucid is a fine introductory absinthe for 'Merica. Not too complex. Not too daring. A safe start. There is nothing to hide the flaws to a discerning palate but it is a legitimate, real absinthe. It is an American version of Frankie Guy, I think.

 

(edited because me caplock got bumped and left me shouting)
Arrrr, Matey! Way to use that edit option! :arrr:

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Lucid: As a dear friend once said about a turkey I directed, "It is what it is."

 

Do you often direct turkeys? What is it you direct them to do? Are there other ornithoids you like to boss around? B)

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I have some Lucid somewhere and all this talk makes me want to find it see how it has fared. It's been months since I've sipped any. I'll be back in a little while and edit this post I imagine. :devil:

 

I already have an opinion about it.....let's see if it changes.

 

 

 

 

Edit: Nope, same opinion. Very herbal with some Jade funk. Funk is not a bad thing but it lends character that makes me wonder what it is. It isn't as chrisp as Kübler. I wish I could put a finger on it. All the Jades have it. It's just more prominent in the Lucid. Ted may be laughing at this. I mean no offense. I'll still steer newbies towards Lucid and Kübler with the understanding there are several directions to go from here. These are readily available and I haven't tasted absente yet, which is how the thread started. :)

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I was debating if I should order a bottle of Lucid, but wasn't too sure how it compares to Absente.

 

I find Absente to be fairly insipid. Lucid is not the best absinthe on the market by a long shot, but it's pretty good and at least has a certain complexity.

 

If you really want something good, spring for a bottle of PF 1901 or Roquette 1797, or La Ptite, which is a very good blanche as I recently discovered.

 

(Thanks for the rec, Shabba.)

 

Edit: I agree with those who point out that Lucid gradually improves once it's been opened. It has a peppery aroma that is a little bit much at first, but which mellows with time.

 

And yes, I think most absinthes improve a bit once they've been exposed to air. I found the finish of the Belle Amie badly flawed when first I opened the bottle, but it improved on me with time (though I doubt it will ever be a favorite of mine).

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Absente is entirely one dimensional, and similar to an ouzo, IMO. I would recommend a good arak or the Henri Bardoin pastis as more enjoyable, more complex, and better approximations of absinthe than Absente.

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Cripes...is the Lucid that bad? I just went in to my local wine store to pick up some Noir for dinner, and what do I see right next to the $600 Cognac in the glass case? Lucid! I almost crapped myself. I was going to buy it on the spot, but only had fifty dollars on me (it's going for $70 a bottle here).

 

I was thinking of going back and picking up a bottle this evening, but with these "horror stories," I dunno if I want to drop $70 on a bottle of goat piss... I've had Duplais Balance before, and enjoyed it thoroughly, for what that's worth.

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I'm probably Lucid's biggest detractor around here and even I wouldn't call my experiences with it horror stories.

 

Enough people like it that it may be worth your trying it, but the $70 price tag is ridiculous. The suggested retail price is $60 and even that's stupid as hell in my opinion.

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Enough people like it that it may be worth your trying it, but the $70 price tag is ridiculous. The suggested retail price is $60 and even that's stupid as hell in my opinion.

 

Agreed. The only thing that makes the $60 semi-reasonable is that the really good stuff costs at least that much per bottle plus an arm and a leg for shipping. At some point, Lucid will have to improve its formula or drop its price, or better brands will drive it out of the market.

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Well, I went ahead and bought the bottle. It smells like absinthe, looks like absinthe, and even tastes and feels like absinthe, but certainly is not nearly as complex or satisfying as the Balance. I wouldn't say unidimensional, but, meh. However, the difference isn't enough for me to warrant paying $100 to get a bottle of Balance shipped over here.

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re Absente: There are two versions. Unfortunately, reviews of Absente (including the user reviews available from the front page of the Wormwood Society) rarely make this distinction. The one sold in France (and perhaps the rest of Europe?) DOES contain Atemisia absinthium (Grand wormwood). The US version of Absente replaces Grand wormwood with Artemisia abrotanum (Southern wormwood) and Artemisia officinalis. Also, the European version is sweetened while the US version is "nearly sugar free." (The source of this information is an email I received from Alain Robert, Managing Director of Distilleries et Domaines de Provence.)

 

As far as taste goes, I have only tasted the European Absente. It is very nice, especially for newbies. Accessible. Not so in-your-face as many of the better absinthes. Since it is already sweetened, adding sugar to it in the French manner makes it very sweet, something our American soda pop-habituated taste buds really love. (At a tasting at my house last year, a group of eight absinthe virgins chose it as the favorite, over three Jades, green and white Fougerolles, Un Emile, and La Ptite. If you'd like to read my report, it's here: Tasting Party Report - L-O-N-G!)

 

As my taste has matured (I was one of the absinthe virgins - well, almost a virgin), I have come to appreciate the complexities and personalities of the premium absinthes better, and I doubt that I would like the Absente as much as I did a year ago. My memory of it is mainly that it was sweet and minty. My favorites these days (more or less in order) are Duplais Balance (mainly for the astonishing "mouth feel"), Monty (for the surprising hints of cinnamon and mint), and Mansinthe. (There, I said it!) Then, any of the Jades (I am not a fan of their "funkiness" but once I get past that, they're quite nice), then, beyond that I guess maybe La Ptite? (Though I must try Clandestine some time and compare it with La Ptite.)

 

I am thrilled that we can buy absinthe in the US, but am a little disappointed that all we can buy so far is Lucid, Kübler, and St. George. (I haven't followed this closely - there may be some others that haven't shown up on the shelf at my BevMo yet.) I find Kübler pretty bland and one-dimensional. St. George is interesting - it has something about it that makes me think of it as "wild" or "untamed," sort of a teenager of absinthes. (If that makes any sense at all?) Not bad for a first attempt at a US-produced absinthe - not bad at all! - but again, not something I reach for with regret. (As in, "Jeez, here I go drinking the Balance again, and that bottle's almost as empty as my wallet." That kind of regret.)

 

Of the three US absinthes I just mentioned, I definitely think the Lucid is the best. (And, although it has been almost a year since I tasted the Euro-Absente, and I've never tasted the US-Absente, I'd bet it's head and shoulders above either of them.) But there's something about Lucid that bothers me. I always feel like I've added too much water to it. It's just a bit thin. But if I add less water to the next glass, it still seems to come out just a bit thin. Plus there's a little of that "funkiness" that I don't like. The Jades (which were "designed" by Ted Breaux, the same guy who "designed" Lucid) all have much more complexity. Lucid is "very nice" but it's not "great." Three and a half to four stars, maybe?

 

I think it was Hiram who first called Lucid "Jade Lite" and I couldn't agree more. It's a great intro to "real" absinthe for America. The real deal, a quality product, made with care. Complexity, aroma, mouth feel, louche action - it's all there. It's just that I've been so fortunate (or unfortunate) to taste a few absinthes that I like even better!

 

Three bottles of Duplais Balance, with shipping from LdF, ends up costing me about $118 per liter. Lucid costs me $95 per liter, with tax, at BevMo. Based strictly on how much I like them, I think the difference in price seems about right - about $23 to $24 "per star." But when you consider that I am having to import the Balance myself, three bottles at a time, the Lucid seems way overpriced!

 

I wonder how much Mansinthe will sell for when it finally hits the shelves in the U.S.?

 

(edited - I "dis-remembered" the price of Lucid at BevMo)

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However, the difference isn't enough for me to warrant paying $100 to get a bottle of Balance shipped over here.

Now you're getting the picture. Although I didn't like the Balance, and I drink Lucid regularly when I can't afford Jade, which is alot of the time.

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I agree with peridot's last post.

 

The true crime of bad absinthes is not that they're bad, it's that they cost upwards of $70. I mean, that's about the upper ceiling for ordinary top-shelf liquors. For that much money, you could get a really nice bottle of scotch.

 

These industrial-style distilleries, that put no attention to detail, are churning out low-end products products because they're cheap to make and the producers have seen how much a bottle labeled "absinthe" can sell for, as compared to a bottle labeled "ouzo" or "pastis." And the fools who buy the stuff without reading honest reviews are feeding the frenzy.

 

My rule: if you do buy a cat in a bag, make sure you're not paying $70 for it.

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The look of this bottle is sure to enhance any private collection or bar

 

 

The look of this bottle has sure enhanced my closet. The shipping alone is more than I'd give for another bottle.

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The true crime of bad absinthes is not that they're bad, it's that they cost upwards of $70. I mean, that's about the upper ceiling for ordinary top-shelf liquors. For that much money, you could get a really nice bottle of scotch.

 

These industrial-style distilleries, that put no attention to detail, are churning out low-end products products because they're cheap to make and the producers have seen how much a bottle labeled "absinthe" can sell for, as compared to a bottle labeled "ouzo" or "pastis." And the fools who buy the stuff without reading honest reviews are feeding the frenzy.

 

My rule: if you do buy a cat in a bag, make sure you're not paying $70 for it.

 

I wouldn't call Lucid a bad absinthe. Not great, but certainly not bad. And Lucid was developed and produce by Breaux, not some "industrial-style" distillery. Early adopters have to pay a price for anything, including absinthe. I'm sure the prices will equal out once more products are available. Until then, stick to drinking whatever it is you're drinking over there.

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Just to add a note from someone with an undeveloped palate.

 

At the moment I'm in the habit of drinking Kübler or another blanche, watered down a touch more than most people here would have it, and skipping the sugar.

 

To me, Absente (US version) tastes similar to a blanche while I'm drinking it, but then has a bad after taste. I won't call it nasty, but sufficient that I'd be happy to avoid it in the future.

 

And I'll second that Lucid isn't bad, but I'm simply in a blanche phase right now.

 

Agree about thinking that more competition in the US will be good for absinthe consumers.

 

(Ack! Almost made an Abs-worthy typo on that last word!)

 

-- T

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One last thought about Absente:

 

I've always pronounced it ab-SEN-tay, but I heard a guy in a liquor store call it (straght-faced) ab-sen-TEE, which I thought was pretty fitting since one of its defining characteristics is actually what is *absent* from the ingredients list. :cheers:

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