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GoatKart

First REAL absinthe down the gullette

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Well, I know some of you guys may laugh at me, however round one is complete.

 

My friend who I invited to join in on the tasters choice selection process and myself, completed round one of the tasting. Tonight was the baseline, setting what we will be comparing all further absinthe to, and I would say both of us were blown away.

 

We started with the Lucid of course, as many of you already knew. I wasn't expecting much and forewarned him that this was in fact the baseline "bottom shelf" test. So it should not be expected to represent much in the way of any other future premium selections.

 

The first thing i noticed, beyond the exceptional louche, was the smell. Never in my life has something just blossomed in front of my very eyes. The color from light pale green to opaque as milk took a minute or two, but the herbal bouquet seemed to explode and fill the room. Just putting the glass to the nose was an experience I must say i was taken by, new and exciting at the same time.

 

Following that huge surprise, was the taste. Something I can only call eye opening. After having had several bad non-sinthe's. The taste in the mouth was not only unexpected, but like a wash of taste. From front to back, I had taste in ways I can seldom recall any beverage delivering, including some high end whiskey. I admit, I still am at a bit of a loss for a description.

 

Now, I stand at a point, where I can only consider tomorrow. When a choice between either Marteau or Clandestine must be made. I have to admit, if Lucid is considered the bottom shelf, and relatively bleh in the absinthe world. I am ready for these other two bottles to blow my socks off.

 

Eager anticipation is an understatement if these other two bottles are any amount better than the Lucid.

 

 

-GK-

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I have to admit, if Lucid is considered the bottom shelf...

I'd say it's middle shelf. It's a completely authentic, distilled product with natural colouring. It's lacking in many areas but even at its worst it's in a totally different league from Pernod and La Fee.

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Good absinthe is a treat for at least 4 senses, my 6th sense is sadly undeveloped. I only wish it could make sound. :)

 

Have fun with the next 2. I have a feeling you'll be blown away by the Marteau

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I'd say it's middle shelf. It's a completely authentic, distilled product with natural colouring. It's lacking in many areas but even at its worst it's in a totally different league from Pernod and La Fee.

 

Agreed on that, and it's widely distributed which means I can get some bars to carry it for me so I can have a glass when I come in. A caveat though is that I've noticed it really needs a couple weeks of age, so when one of my watering holes gets a bottle in I ask them to open it and recork it and I'll have whiskey for a couple weeks until it's ready.

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You're not the only newb here, Goatkart -- I'm right there with you. In fact, I too had my first taste of absinthe recently (three days ago, actually), and I also chose Lucid as my first to be a baseline. My reaction (and that of my tasting partner's, aka girlfriend) was similar to yours and your friend's. I was very pleased with the Lucid, and am in fact having a glass right now. I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying yours as much as I'm enjoying mine.

 

I have a few more bottles of different absinthes on the way, so I might take Jonathan D's advice and cork the Lucid for a few weeks and then check it out again.

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Man, I get excited reading new absinthe drinkers first reactions. I know I've only been an absinthuer for a a little over a year, but it still warms my green heart!

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I tried Lucid the other night and found it to be good --- I have had absinthe I like better, but I felt lucid was very acceptable.

 

 

.

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The first thing i noticed, beyond the exceptional louche, was the smell. Never in my life has something just blossomed in front of my very eyes.

 

If you think that about Lucid, just wait until you try the North Shore Sirene Absinthe Verte (available at Binny's). The floral bouquet from this absinthe is the best I have ever experienced (and I've sampled over 70 absinthe's).

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Sirene? Really? Wow. Decent stuff, but different strokes...

 

GoatKart, you're going to love Clandestine. Marteau has it's merits as well, but I think you're going to have to find the "butter zone" with watering it just right. I know I did.

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Thanks for the support and comments gang, I took the time to re-read my post and decide how I felt the next day about the experience compared to my immediate thoughts. Everything I wrote seems to still hold strong and true.

 

First, let me jump in on the calling of Lucid a bottom shelf absinthe. I admit, it was a poor word choice, my calling of Lucid a bottom shelf was not meant in the traditional since of well liquor, it was meant more in the bottom rung of what I willing will drink sense. By that logic, the true bottom shelf liquors, are not on a shelf at all. So that is why I was referring to Lucid as a bottom shelf, and thus LC and Marteau as "premium" absinthes. Hope that makes myself clear, and doesn't offend anyone.

 

The one interesting thing I found, and this is certainly new to me, was the "linger" as I will call it. Most beverages have some kind of after taste which then fades quickly until gone. I found the Lucid left a taste that "lingered" for a long period of time, very pleasant to the mouth. Its the first time I had the urge to go get another glass, because my mouth wanted more. It was like the inside of my mouth had a residue which left just a smidgen of a reminder of what I had just experienced, and called for just one more glass.

 

I must admit, its hard not to prepare another glass right away today, I certainly could stand another go around with out flinching. Curious, and a bit scary, I'll just attribute that feeling to my shock from the first glass blowing my expectations out of the water.

 

Tonight is still a question mark, I think we might go with the Clandestine tonight, primarily to change from verte to blanche. We both were curious about the difference in final taste between what lucid delivered as a verte and what the blanche will deliver.

 

 

 

 

If anyone has any watering tips for tonight feel free to share.

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I only wish it could make sound. :)

I have a few possibilities, though one is frivolous. :biggrin:

 

Drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...

drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...

 

-or-

 

Whizzzzzzzzzzzzzz (Uh, for lack of a better onomatopoeia.)

 

-and-

 

YUM!

(I'm kinda stretching it with that one!) :pirate:

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Lucid was my first, followed by Vieux Pontarlier and then Marteau. In all honesty, I think Lucid is pretty good, just different in taste. I loved the VP, and as for the Marteau.. it was good. I had the hardest time trying to find the best water to absinthe ratio for my tastes though. It was perhaps a bit too complex for me to settle into. This may be insight into my absinth virginity, but I found Lucid and VP to be easier to get into, and they mysteriously evaporated quickly from their respective bottles. My Marteau is still lingering around though.

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I found the presence of green peppers on the palate a bit off-putting, but with the right water ratio, it improves. Now, I will say that I had it a second time with food (something I don't ever do), but it was pretty damn good that way, for some reason.

 

I only wish it could make sound. :)

I have a few possibilities, though one is frivolous. :biggrin:

 

Drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...

drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...

 

You can't tell me you haven't sampled that sound yet...I know I have.

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Lucid was my first, followed by Vieux Pontarlier and then Marteau. In all honesty, I think Lucid is pretty good, just different in taste. I loved the VP, and as for the Marteau.. it was good. I had the hardest time trying to find the best water to absinthe ratio for my tastes though. It was perhaps a bit too complex for me to settle into. This may be insight into my absinth virginity, but I found Lucid and VP to be easier to get into, and they mysteriously evaporated quickly from their respective bottles. My Marteau is still lingering around though.

 

 

I absolutely love VP. I had a glass last night, after not having any for a few months... it mellowed into something really tasty! Easily in my top 5!!!

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I only wish it could make sound. :)

I have a few possibilities, though one is frivolous. :biggrin:

 

Drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...

drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...

 

You can't tell me you haven't sampled that sound yet...I know I have.

This is totally me being a picky bastard when it comes to field recording, but I haven't cos it's not resonant/sonorous in that certain way that pleases me. Then again, I probably could make something I like out of it with a good amount of manipulation/carving in Audition.

 

I have sampled a slow drip in a drain pipe on the house, just after a rain.

 

VP! I like that stuff. Wormwoody to my palate.

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Here comes Phoenix to tell you he's not a VP fan.

 

If you drink pre-ban and follow it up with anything else, of course it's going to taste like bong water!

 

This is totally me being a picky bastard when it comes to field recording, but I haven't cos it's not resonant/sonorous in that certain way that pleases me. Then again, I probably could make something I like out of it with a good amount of manipulation/carving in Audition.

 

I found the same thing. That's what the Freesound Project is for!

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Here comes Phoenix to tell you he's not a VP fan.

Me? I liked the Vieux Pontarlier quite a bit.

 

If you drink pre-ban and follow it up with anything else, of course it's going to taste like bong water!

Ain't that the truth. VP is good, but it's not that good.

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ahhh... pre-ban absinthe, that will be my goal someday. A true taste and touch and smell of history. A foot in the door of time. Oh well, in the meantime there are so many absinthe roads to travel, so many sights to see.

 

Somewhere, somehow... someone is going to twist those words and make it sound like I just said absinthe makes you hallucinate or some nonsense.

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If you drink pre-ban and follow it up with anything else, of course it's going to taste like bong water!

 

Definitely too much of a generalization.

 

I can think of at least two or three commercial releases that were superior to a couple of pre-bans I'd tasted..

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Care to name some names? I already know you'll say Pacifique as one of the modern ones. I'm more interested in which pre-bans didn't blow your skirt up.

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Premier Fils, and H. Bazinet Jeune are the two that come to mind.

 

I haven't gotten around to tasting the Delaware Phoenix creations yet, but I'm sure that I would choose either of those, Pacifique, L'Italienne, Doubs Mystique, and Jade PF 1901 over either of the above.

 

I can't remember the details, and I never officially reviewed them, but they were somewhat underwhelming, and in the case of the Premier Fils, also overwhelmed by the (admittedly very fine) grape alcohol base.

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Well, tried the Marteau last night. Honestly it came to the flip of a coin on which bottle to try. So, open it was, and down it went, we added one more person to the tasting for fun, and I am glad we did. Absinthe is certainly a social drink, and it worked well that way.

 

What surprised me most, was that the Marteau was nothing like the Lucid, perhaps it shouldn't have but none the less, I kind of assumed that Absinthes would in the end share the basic flavors, and just move around the back end of the flavor. Not so at all. I found the Marteau to be better in color, longer in louche, and requiring just a smidgen more water.

 

Flavor wise, it seemed more even, where the Lucid SCREAMED spice at me, the Marteau seemed like a significantly more put together Absinthe. The flavors combined as one for sure, but each one also presented itself individual and distinctly, and left a final pleasing aromatic taste.

 

Where the Lucid seemed to want to punch you in the face with its flavors, the Marteau seemed to be awash with smell once louched, filling the room quickly, but being subdued in the taste so that it wasn't jarring to the senses like the Lucid had been.

 

 

To summarize, the Lucid seemed to grab you by the throat, and shake you by your boot straps all at the same time, screaming I am Absinthe! The Marteau by comparison seemed to be elegant, creating a powerful aroma, but a smooth and pleasing taste on the palate.

 

The Marteau was a tango, where the Lucid was thrash metal.

 

 

Both enjoyable in their own way, but distinct and different in very notable ones.

 

 

Final Verdict: Nummy!

 

 

Tonight: Cladestine!

Edited by GoatKart

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Me? I liked the Vieux Pontarlier quite a bit.

 

I'll cop to the fact that VP is not among my favorites--I've said so before. I've never been able to fully embrace it because of that trademark note of "funky banana" in its aroma and taste. I will say that my bottle has mellowed out a bit since I opened it a few months ago, allowing me to enjoy it more than I did before. I've also discovered that I prefer it with less water than usual--around 2.5:1. Somehow this prevents the note that I find objectionable from dominating so much. I recognize the fact that it's a well-made absinthe, but it will never be in my top 5--or even top 10. Too many other truly great brands out there now.

 

But, hey, to each his own! :cheers:

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Clandestine down and out.

 

Well the third bottle was tasted, and I must say be it from better watering technique or from a generally better bottle, I was incredibly impressed by the Cladestine. Certainly it was different from the other two vertes I had tried, no doubt about it. However, what I remarked upon mainly was not only was it different from the verte's it seemed to have a personality, different from the vertes as well.

 

Between the Lucid and the Marteau I could easily draw a line from A to B. I could find the flavors easily, and other than differences in complexity, and general taste, I could easily see how the two were brother drinks.

 

The Clandestine however, was more like a cousin, similar, and from the same family tree, but distinctly its own. I could appreciate a slightly lower alchol content, but all together smoother feeling and tasting drink. I could tell a distinct difference in mouth feel from the other two beverages, and noticably different aroma.

 

Now don't let this sound like I am talking the other two down, because I'm not. What I am saying, is that I found them distinctly different to the point of not comparing them at all. They were all very much absinthe, containing the same basic components, but the blanche just seemed to come with a different attitude, compared to the vertes, subdued and subtle, compared to the verte, but not lacking in complexity or taste.

 

I can't say for sure yet, because I want to go back and re-water the marteau and lucid with a slightly higher ratio for fairness in comparison, but right now I am tied very closely with a slight leaning towards the Cladestine as a favorite. The marteau is nipping at its heels, but either from familiarity since I drank it last night, or from actual favoritism, currently the Clandestine is in the lead.

 

 

More once I get a chance to rewater the Marteau and Lucid with a slightly higher ratio.

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