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M_Glenn

Unguesting and finally joining the forum after years of silently reading...

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Greetings from Monterey, California... I've been a guest/lurker occasionally stopping by these boards ever since I found out Absinthe was legal, available, and reasonably safe about five years or so ago...

 

My first encounter and realization that "hey, the legendary green fairy is back" was seeing a bottle of Lucid in a BevMo, down in SoCal where I used to live-- before buying it, I went home & did a lot of research and reading on the net-- Wormwood Society was probably the most informative and straight-forward site that I could find and I greatly appreciated the knowledge I gained by browsing the site. I went back to the store, got that bottle of Lucid (and a couple of reservoir absinthe glasses & an absinthe spoon); served myself up a nice glass, about 1:4 ratio of absinthe to ice-water, slow-dripped over a sugar cube... drank it nice and slow, thoroughly enjoyed it, and I've been an absinthe fan ever since.

 

I have gone on to try several more brands of absinthe since, and I admit I've come to rely on Wormwood Society's reviews and comments as one of my basic guides for what's decent and what's not so much, all these years since I started. I can't say any of the info I've gotten here has ever led me astray. It's just finally gotten to the point that I thought I ought to stop lurking and start joining the conversations. I also just moved... gotta recover from the cost of moving and get settled in, then I just might chip in as a subscriber as well.

 

Some comments on the absinthes I have tried so far:

 

Lucid was my first taste of absinthe, and I still rather like Lucid. It has remained my basic "ordinary day" absinthe, kind of my standard baseline to compare other absinthes to, and my "bottom line" in the sense that any other absinthe I buy and keep has to at least measure up to and compare favorably with Lucid. Whatever its flaws, it's still one I enjoy and still one of my go-to bottles for introducing someone to absinthe.

 

Courtesy of some friends, I have tried a few "faux absinthes"-- the less said about them the better, but I mention it here because I am grateful for the info and advice I've gleaned on the WS site that has kept me from going astray with such flawed drinks (I've never bought a bottle of the stuff-- the ones I've tasted have been someone else's mistake in purchasing and I usually take the opportunity to break out the Lucid and let them taste a little real absinthe...).

 

Tried La Clandestine-- and love it. I'm kind of partial to vertes aesthetically, yet a good blanche is still a wonderful change of pace.

 

Mansinthe-- might love to bag on it for its association with Marilyn Manson, but I just can't... it's actually a really fine beverage.

 

St George's-- to me, getting a small bottle of this was a mistake. It's made right, it's a real absinthe... but I didn't like the taste and the color (both before and after louche) reminds me of pictures I've seen of chemical warfare "mustard" agents. I can't get that association out of my head and the flavor just isn't for me (not knocking anyone who does like it-- there's plenty of room for differing tastes and opinions :) ). I gave the rest of the bottle away to a friend who did really like the St George Absinthe.

 

Leopold Brothers-- honestly, I kind of prefer Lucid and Mansinthe... the Leopold Brothers stuff is good, I can't knock that-- the problem probably is that when it comes to other alcohols, I'm fond of beer, rum, and liqueurs (yes, the sweet flavored kind) and I'm really not a wine, brandy or cognac drinker. My own limitations and preferences, I think-- it still has a place in my liquor cabinet though.

 

La Sorciere Verte -- So far, I've enjoyed sipping on this one. Haven't quite determined whether I'm going to replace it or not when the bottle runs dry (I always drink in moderation and I don't drink all that often, so they last quite a while on my shelves), but I don't regret picking it up. Where it stands in comparison to Lucid and Mansinthe in my personal opinion/taste, I'm not sure. I do really like Mr Kuchan's "good stuff needs no special effects" quip on the bottle.

 

Kübler. Seems like this doesn't have the best reputation around here, but to me it's real absinthe-- can't deny it's distilled and made right-- and it's a good, solid, basic "ordinary day" absinthe. It's kind of "the Lucid of Blanches" to me, and as such it's kept its place on my shelf (I don't know if I'm going to buy more or stick with other blanches when the bottle runs out though).

 

That's pretty much my absinthe drinking history so far. I picked up the absinthes listed above, because I could find them in my local stores at times when I had the cash to spare on another bottle of absinthe, and (very important) each of them was reviewed and seemed to me to be acknowledged as at least passable (and real, distilled absinthe) here on WS. I'm still a working-class stiff, so I do not have the spare cash to indulge in buying all the different absinthes out there that I'd like to try, but I really do enjoy the stuff I'm able to get. Y'all really have been my guides to avoiding missteps as I continue to enjoy my occasional glasses of absinthe. I have located Jade Nouveau Orleans & La Sorciere Bleue in two of the local liquor stores in the Monterey area; when next I have the cash to spare on bottles of Absinthe, these are the next ones I'm planning to get my hands on and enjoy.

 

Looking forward to reading-- and occasionally commenting in -- more of the discussions around here.

 

M. Glenn

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I have an uncle named Glenn. His son was named Glenn also, but later changed his name and had the second 'n' dropped. Now it's just Glen. Both great guys. Welcome.

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Seeing how there a lot of comments here'n'there around the site that more people reviewing absinthes they've tried (even ones that have already been reviewed many times), I've requested a review log-in tonight. :) We'll see when I get to post my first review.

 

Broke out my bottle of Lucid for a night-cap and a tasting session with the WS Absinthe Score sheet, so that will be ready to post tomorrow evening (or whenever after that I get access)-- little preview of my ratings on revisiting the bottle (well-aged by now, btw): Appearance: 3 (natural, correct, clear, acceptable-- but IMO too pale for the 4 or 5 ratings). Louche: 4 (I'm tempted to give Lucid a 5 here-- it's a great Louche-- except that I've seen Jade N.O. and La Clandestine louche... and I have to acknowledge it gets better than Lucid....) Aroma: 3.5 (I think it's acceptable, correct, good proper absinthe-- it's just a little undistinguished compared to the great ones, but there's nothing wrong with it) Flavor/Mouthfeel: 3.5 (It's correct & proper-- I still like Lucid, even after trying several other varieties of Absinthe-- if it's got a flaw, it's that there's still a little more "burn" instead of "smooth" than I'd expect from a top-notch absinthe, and compared to Jade & La Clandestine-- two of the others I've tried-- it comes off as undistinguished. Only by comparison though. Still totally acceptable & nothing wrong with it. Finish: 3 (the standard descriptor, "Lingers pleasantly, no outstanding characteristics." says it all-- nothing wrong, just not truly "outstanding"). Overall: 3 (again, it fits the rating perfectly-- IMO, entirely acceptable and it's the very epitome of the proper mid-market standard). Final score: 3.35.

 

For those interested: I'm actually not quite sure of the exact water-to-absinthe ratio I use as a fractional measurement-- but I use the same glasses, I fill the reservoir with absinthe to the same line, I fill it to 1/2" from the brim with ice water every time I prepare absinthe, using a broullier or dripping over a spoon, with a sugar cube-- so I am consistent in my methods and amounts each time. And yes, I'm one of those who always takes absinthe with sugar by preference.

 

As I've indicated previously-- I like Lucid, I'm going to keep drinking it occasionally, and when I finish this bottle, I'm going to buy another one. It's my standard, go-to, ordinary occasion Absinthe. It's my "I just want to enjoy sipping on a simple glass of absinthe at the end of a long day..." choice. I'm well aware there are absinthes that are made better, are more complex, perhaps ultimately tastier-- and I plan to indulge in them when I can, whenever I want something good & complex; and definitely for special occasions. The existence of higher end absinthe doesn't change my decision that Lucid has a place in my liquor cabinet and at my table. However, since Lucid is readily available, it's also still my "baseline"-- I find Lucid fully acceptable, but any Absinthe that doesn't compare favorably with Lucid is unacceptable to me-- it is the basic standard that others must equal or exceed.

 

Because I am NOT wasting money on another bottle of the stuff-- the next review I'll post will probably be St George, but I'm gonna have to do it from memory. And IMO, it didn't reach the "Lucid standard"....

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Lucid is quickly becoming my guilty pleasure; it's not as good as the other bottles of absinthe in my cupboard, yet I really like it, anyway. I didn't find the louche to be that great, but it was average. Granted there are a lot of variables that affect that. For the most part, I agree with the rest of your assessment; I do enjoy the flavor and mouthfeel of Lucid a bit more than you, while I find the finish to actually be sub-par; but my overall rating was a 3.5 (which, combined, with the other categories made for an "overall" overall of 3.3). It seems like that's more or less where just about everyone lands in rating it.

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Belated greetings! :cheers:

 

I find lucid to be barely drinkable, but I will say that it more conforms to the standard of what an absinthe should taste like than does St. George.

 

However, if you find Lucid to be enjoyable, I can't wait hear your opinion of a couple of the Jades, or even better, Meadow of Love or Pacifique, should you happen to try those.

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Belewfripp-- I'm still thinking about it, and although I've posted the review already, I'm tempted to go back and give Lucid a "4" for flavor/mouthfeel... I do like Lucid a lot; I'm just still torn by considerations of how well it stacks up to the higher end absinthes I've tried and whether it's sufficiently distinguished to merit the higher rating with those comparisons in mind. For now, I've put the 3.5 on it for that category but given the chance I'll revisit that review in a month or two and see if I should upgrade that particular section.

 

Absomphe-- I've tried Jade Nouvelle Orleans, and it's the reason I felt I had to give Lucid a 3.5 on flavor... it's about where it measured up against the full-on Jade, if you call the Jade a "5" :) Sometimes I still just want a "Jade Light" after a long day though, y'know? I will get around to posting a review of the Jade that I have, next time I break it out. Pacifique is on my list of absinthes to acquire and taste some day, and so are the Delaware Phoenix products--- so I'll let ya know how I feel about those down the road, when my budget permits me to make the purchases and do some more tastings.

 

Zman-- thank you. As indicated in the paragraph above, one of these days I'm going to try your fine product-- I'm hoping it lives up to the high reputation it has when I do. :)

 

 

Oh, and my St George review is also posted: overall rating, 2.3.

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I wouldn't let my opinion sway you - I'm still rather new to this, too. The review system only allows for half-point increments, so I gave Lucid a 4 for Flavor/Mouthfeel, but if there were more granularity in the grading, I'd probably slide it down to 3.8, for the reasons you mentioned. Most of the other absinthe I've tried tops Lucid in that area, but I felt Lucid was closer to a 4 than a 3.5 (again, only for that area). Frankly, though, it could go either way. There are a lot of variables that play into it, anyway. I tend to look at half-point variations as being within the "normal" range that can be accounted for by things like batch, age, drip type, drip speed, temperature, personal preference/palate differences, etc.

 

I also think Lucid benefits from an extra slow drip. Could be my imagination, though.

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As opposed to rushed, frenzied glasses of VC and VP? :twitchsmile:

 

Is there an absinthe that abbreviates as VD? "So much star anise, it burns more than just my tongue."

 

-----

 

Seriously, though, yes, maybe the anticipation of the slow drip helps the end evaluation. Not enough to fix the finish, though :closedeyes:

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That makes sense. That would also imply that you could just pour the right measure of ice-cold water into a measure of absinthe and get the same result as from any kind of drip.

 

EDIT: I've read a number of older threads on that very subject, and there seems to be some disagreement, so I guess I will test it for myself and see.

Edited by belewfripp

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I think when you power louche, the louche development takes a little time after dumping in the water. It's not instant. When you slow drip, that development is taking place over the course of adding the water. That is primarily what makes for the illusion of a slow drip creating a better final outcome. I like the slow drip for the visual entertainment along the way.

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Temperature and chemistry-- and give a little time for the louche to develop, regardless of how you add the water-- also makes sense to me.

 

Maybe it's psychology and playing head games with yourself, but subjectively the slow-drip ritual, taking a little time with the preparation, still adds to the experience/enjoyment for me in a way that just immediately adding a measured portion of sugar water, stirring and ensuring that it's fully mixed and the louche is complete, wouldn't do even though the final drink in the glass is, objectively, the same. :)

Edited by M_Glenn

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