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Lucid - Absinthe Superieure

 
3.4 (4)
 
3.3 (30)
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30 reviews

5 stars
 
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(1)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Appearance 
 
3.2  (30)
Louche 
 
3.7  (30)
Aroma 
 
3.3  (30)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.5  (30)
Finish 
 
3.2  (30)
Overall 
 
3.2  (30)
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Lucid: A Nice Start for the American Market
(Updated: April 21, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
3.4
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Lucid's a pleasant drink but value comes into question, considering you can get 3 bottles of the [superior] Duplais Balance for 56 each through LdF at the time of this writing. By contrast I paid $70 for the bottle of Lucid. For someone who only wants a single bottle that price is hard to beat. Update 2014: There's now more competition on the market. Lucid isn't as much of a value proposition anymore.

Regardless, I'll get down to the brass tacks of the review. I'm sure anyone reading this is not interested in budgeting tips. I was on the fence regarding color...3 or 4? I gave it a three because, in my opinion, it has a certain lack of clarity, a kind of very faint white prelouche, if you will, that I don't think should be there. Not unattractive, but if you hold it up to the light it's not exactly clear, and, thus, not exactly a four. No nuclear fluorescents, which is what I was expecting when I first heard of Lucid.

That aside, the actual louche was close to spot on. In fact I'd say this is Lucid's best quality; it puts on quite a nice show. One point shy of the mark because it wasn't quite the epiphany-in-a-glass I'd expect from perfection.

With the aroma, I was again on the fence. When I smelled it neat, it certainly reminded me of the Duplais I've had in the past (ie: it smelled like absinthe should). However, there was something not right. It seemed too simple. In the glass, diluted, there's not much more complexity. One reviewer somewhere mentioned there was a slight odor of Mexican spices. Underneath the peppery scents, I do detect something vaguely reminiscent of cumin. Granted, I don't think Breaux is tossing taco kits into his vats, but this odd smell is still present, if one looks for it. Ultimately, I'm sure it would pass for a four in some cases, but not with me. A solid 3...not terrible by any stretch, but certainly not great. Good on a good day, passable on every other.

Flavor was a dead ringer for a four rating: "correct, pleasant, enjoyable." I really could not have said it better myself. Of course this is about as subjective as it comes, and handicapped by my lack of experience, but I find Lucid to be all of the above. My palate isn't developed to the point where I can identify the individual nuances of the respective herbs, but with Lucid there aren't too many nuances for me to focus on. In this sense, although it is quite pleasant and enjoyable, it falls short of the European varieties. I can't call it one-dimensional, because it's quite a step up from that, but when push comes to shove I'm sure the die-hard absinthe enthusiast would give Lucid a 3, or even a 2 for flavor, but as a casual sipper, I give it a four with no reservations.

With the finish, "present, but unremarkable" sums it up quite nicely. As others have said, fennel bomb. Not out of line for an absinthe, per se, but not distilled genius either. If I were to drop pretensions and be true to my taste buds, I'd give it a 3.5, but as I don't have that option, I'll just keep my nose in the air.

Overall, I think one needs to consider this absinthe is being hocked, first and foremost, to the bar crowd. Second in line come the curious. A distant third are those who actually enjoy drinking absinthe. Fortunately for us here on the third tier, whomever was behind Lucid had Breaux come up with the recipe. It's quite obvious cost, and the apparently degraded American palate, came into effect during its development, but the end result isn't bad.

In fact, when I first got wind of Lucid I dismissed it immediately as a gimmick, but when I heard Breaux was behind it, I had to try it. Now that I have, I can't say I have any regrets. Would I buy it again? I haven't come close to finishing the bottle, so I couldn't really answer that, but who knows? (ie: most probably) It's not bad, like I said, but I'd be so much more willing to spring for this if it was $50 as opposed to $70. I suppose when you stack this against its European counterparts it is of dubious value, depending on several factors. If you like absinthe and haven't spoiled yourself with the top of the range I'd say grab a bottle, you probably won't regret it. Lucid is also ideal for the uninitiated. If you hate Lucid, chances are you won't like any other 'sinthe.

We'll see if it grows on me, but in summation Lucid gets a solid threeish, with no points given for value or any of that. Hovering around three, on a scale where PF 1901 or Belle Amis is approaching five, is not bad at all. Indeed, for the first US absinthe to even be compared to those greats is quite a testament to its validity.
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"Jade Lite?" They Could be Right.
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Lucid is a great starter Absinthe. It is perfect for showcasing the flavor and aroma of Anise, Fennel, and Wormwood in good balance. It may not be the balance I would choose if I crafted my own but the levels are appropriate and well done if a bit light.



Let's face it, not everyone falls in love with the flavor of Absinthe from the first sip. I started with the Jade Verte Suisse 65 and there were quite a few involuntary shudders in the first few glasses. The Verte Suisse is a powerful and complex Absinthe, sometimes one may want something lighter. Lucid is lighter.



The color is a very pretty green (but lighter than even the PF 1901). The louche is pretty but fast and less complex. There was a sharpness to the aroma that put me off a bit but I believe that had to do with the beet base. The flavor is sharper and lighter than more complex warm spice Absinthes and, in my opinion benefits from sugaring.



Lucid is probably at the top of my list for recommending to a US newbie. It's a solid Absinthe to cut one's teeth on yet allows room to progress into the wide world of the Green Fairy.
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Lucid - Takes a licking and keeps on Kicking
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Preparation



Lucid was my first Absinthe and I suppose for that alone it will always have a place in my heart as perhaps not an extraordinary drink, but a damn fine good one. With company we'll break out the fountain. However as an "every day Absinthe" a slow drip from the Poland Springs cooler or carafe of ice water works just dandy.



Color Before Water





Lucid isn't as green as any of the Jades I've tried. It leans more towards a yellow. It's pale and crystal clear - pretty enough but by no means gorgeous nor eye popping. It's also incredibly consistent, I have yet to notice any variance of the slightest shade. And although I find the bottle itself rather silly and unfortunate in the sense it plays to the propaganda of Absinthe, perhaps the use of dark glass keeps the light at bay and from changing the color. Just a theory.



Aroma Before Water



If you love Anise, you're in for a treat.Many a time I've opened a bottle only to find my partner or friends arrive shortly thereafter and announce "I could smell that before I reached your front door" Some people might find the aroma a bit too candy like ~ especially when compared to higher end brands but it suits me just fine. If the bottle is left to breathe, more complex notes will blossom most definitely of Fennel with slight under tones of floral and herbs.



Louche





Lightening fast. But non the less interesting. Appealing strands of oily goodness cascade from the top down and a puffy white cloud forms at the bottom. The Louche becomes turbulent with wonderful movement as it encompasses the elixir within. The final completion is an off white with a very decent opalescent quality. This makes it appear thicker than it actually is ala mouth feel but again, it's very decent and never disappoints.





Aroma After Water





Still heady with Anise but the more complex aromas have a chance to shine through. I would say Lucid shoots from the hip, no odd herbs, no peculiar deviations as with some of the odd ball Absinthes such as the ST George. Purists may find it in fact to direct and too simplified but I would counter and say it's consistency bottle after bottle is a good thing indeed. The heat of alcohol gives way too a more complex fragrance than from the bottle alone. Albeit it never loses the wallop of Anise and Fennel.









Flavor





Perhaps a bit too sweet, I can't imagine using sugar with Lucid. And I do miss the sharp tone of Wormwood and that "bite" of lovely bitterness that I have found with other, more complex and certainly more expensive bottles of Absinthe. But that aside I find it delicious and although a bit thin on mouth feel a very pleasant drink in every way. The after taste can be a bit sticky sweet but there are herbal complexities that shine on.



The Finish





Again a bit too sweet perhaps. But it's absolutely devoid of any funky or strange aftertastes.The Anise and Fennel linger on the palate which isn't at all bad, but I do miss a bit of a bite from the more bitter ingredients which if in tact would balance Lucid out beautifully.





Final Impression





Lucid is a fine "first Absinthe" and an equally decent daily Absinthe to have around the house. I don't hesitate to recommend it ~ silly bottle and all. It was close to what I imagined Absinthe to be. Is it wonderfully complex? no, not really. But it's a lovely drink, it's affordable, available and again consistent. I would say the positives here far outweigh the negatives - There will always be place on my bar for the black bottle with two silly glaring cats eyes.



Peter
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Not a Chopin Nocturne, but still pretty good
(Updated: December 29, 2008)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
3.0
This is an absinthe that I genuinely enjoy drinking, even though I would not list it among my very favorites. Visually, it's unremarkable. It begins a pale peridot, natural but not extraordinary, and it louches to a substantial jade green (with a slightly yellowish-grey undertone). The aroma is clean and refreshing and maybe just a little peppery, but though not bad I do think it is a bit unusual. The taste is an enjoyable mix of sweeter herbs and bitterness. It's not as complex as the various Jades are, but it is nonetheless pleasing. The finish is likewise good and interesting, and there is no obtrusive bitterness in the aftertaste. The numbing quality is comparatively strong, however.

Overall, I feel Lucid shows a lot of promise and is a worthy introductory absinthe for the US market. And there is no denying it: it's as affordable as absinthes get.
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A Pleasant Experience...
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
What you really want to know: No, you won't go wrong buying a bottle. Very much worth it. If available, look for the gift set that includes two nice reservoir glasses and a spoon for the same price as a bottle ($57 USD). Overall, you can get better, but it's far from being a low-grade disappointment. Good basic absinthe that will stay stocked on my shelf. If I had to sum it up in a word, it would be "natural." If you're the kind of person who thinks a woman smells better with a pint of perfume and looks better with two hours of makeup than when she first steps out of the shower, this might not be the drink for you; stick to Pernod or Absente.

Color - Light olive... in fact, perhaps a bit too light, but I was very pleased to see no use of artificial dyes. I don't like my absinthe to wear makeup. Natural and correct. Almost, but not quite, a 4 rating. Had it been artificial, I never would have rated it above a 1.

Louche - Immediate, nice oily trails at first, good blossom of the louche. Like the color, though, the louche is a bit light; doesn't quite hit the opalescense that I was expecting.

Aroma - Very nice. If you're used to a pastis like Pernod, or other substitutes like Razzouk Arak, you will be very pleasantly surprised with its complexity, both before and after water. It's not the most complex, but there are some definitely interesting and correct notes. Predominately anise and fennel, of course, with a decently forward wormwood nose and something definitive about it - couldn't quite discern if it was coriander or perhaps cumin. Not much of a floral bouquet, but very interesting and spicy.

Flavor - Enough of a coriander and wormwood nose that there was a pleasant herbal taste, almost a hint of celery, but not grassy. Of course, coriander sometimes gives the illusion of saltiness, but it wasn't overly powerful, just enjoyable. A huge step up from the one-dimensional taste of Absente, Pernod, or Razzouk. Each taste was a bit of an experiment, trying to put words to exactly what was being tasted. If I had to identify room for improvement (and to be honest, I would definitely not characterize the experience as a disappointing one overall) it would be the relative lack of some of the more floral notes in both the aroma and flavor. Still, a flavor that kept me intrigued and ready for the next sip.

Finish - Spicy, herbal (think gourmet cooking spice, not floral candle shop) pleasant aftertaste that lingered just long enough. For my second glass, I added a bit more water to 4:1, the better to lighten the alcohol and try to separate the flavors.

Overall - Heads and tails above any of the pastis or other absinthe "substitutes." I like pastis and arak for what they are, but this is a very positive and uniquely absinthian experience. Also, hands down, better than anything I've gotten off the shelf in the US as of the end of 2008. I haven't yet tried the other T.A. Breaux designs (the Jade line), but if they really are quite pleasantly superior to Lucid, I suspect I'll be extremely happy with them even at a higher price. I'll be buying Lucid again soon (unfortunately, probably very soon, as it seems I'm going through it a bit quickly - a tribute to its interesting character.)

B
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