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Lucid - Absinthe Superieure

 
3.4 (4)
 
3.3 (30)
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30 reviews

5 stars
 
(0)
 
(13)
 
(16)
 
(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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Ordering
Good everyday absinthe, an authentic introduction
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
4.0
I haven't had a bottle of Lucid in the house for some time, so I took the occasion of its new local availability to buy some and hence, to review it in the light of some other similarly priced absinthes I've had recently.



Color - Lighter than I remember, but certainly the correct hue for a verte.



Louche - One of the strong points of this absinthe, Lucid produces a substantial louche that rolls like the fog over the bay, just like it should, while leaving a clearly defined green layer just until the very end.



Aroma - Perhaps the weakest aspect of this absinthe, it has an appropriately spicy nose that hits the right fresh herbal notes, marred only by the occasional whiff of something akin to burnt plastic.



Flavor - Ultimately I drink Lucid for the flavor, which as many have said by now, is "Jade-light" in nature. Well balanced and clean, without any surprises for me.



Finish - Dry, light, and, although clean, presents the merest hint of a "funk" that I can easily look past.



Overall, if Jade Edouard represents to me the essence of what an absinthe should be, then Lucid reflects, through it's maker perhaps, enough of that essence to be a good value given it's ready availability.
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An American beer drinkers absinthe
Overall rating 
 
2.6
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
2.0
Color: Light olive. Somewhat dull and unremarkable but looks natural. After louche the color is murky, like dishwater.



Louche: The louche begins forming immediately. It could be thicker, but I wouldn't describe it as thin. It never becomes opaque. Not very attractive.



Aroma: Something immediately strikes me as "off" in the aroma. Not something I'd describe as clean. I find the peppery notes a bit distracting as well, but not all bad. Perhaps just a bit too heavy handed. The wormwood presence is more forward than I expected. And of course the predominant note is anise, no surprise there.



Flavor: Again I'm getting something I can only describe as "murky". It's pretty flat and uninteresting, like a light American beer. No flavors really jump out on my palate and demand my attention. Not very complex. I get that anise and underlying wormwood, along with the peppery presence.



Finish: The fennel becomes more noticeable in the finish along with a slight wormwood bitterness. Lingering but I wouldn't describe the duration as long.



Overall: I know that this is a quality made product, which is what I want to see entering the U.S. market. I'm just not a fan of this particular brand. I wonder if Ted attempted to cater to what we all know about the typical American beer preference (bland, watered down) when crafting this? This absinthe is to American beer as his Jades are to a full bodied ale.
NA
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Nice louche, but. ...
(Updated: May 23, 2010)
Overall rating 
 
2.7
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
2.0
Color: A mostly yellow-yellow-green, clear liquid. I see some opalescence after the louche; the finished glass of Lucid is mostly white with some blue and green highlights. It's acceptable.

Louche: Glass brouilleur was placed over my classic Pontarlier absinthe glass, which has a nice glass bubble on the bottom to hold and measure the correct amount of absinthe. Sugar cube was put into brouilleur and filtered ice water was poured in. A small stream of iced water poured into the Lucid through the brouilleur. (I can control the drip of the brouilleur by placing it flush over the top of he glass to create a tight seal. The water won't drip then. I slowly slide the brouilleur to open the seal to control the flow, from drip to slow stream.) This time I simply went with the slow stream all the way. Surprisingly, the louche took its time finishing. Nice oily trails appeared through the lower "bubble" in the Pontarlier glass, for what seemed a goodly time providing a nice show ... before turning into some lovely swirling white clouds, which went on for longer than usual before finally turning to an opaque, mostly white drink with very slight blue and green highlights.

Aroma: Strong anise and fennel aroma that is slightly peppery. Not very complex, but not bad.

Flavor: Again, strong anise and fennel taste, slightly peppery. Wormwood clearly numbs the tongue, so it's present. The "trinity" is there — it's a real absinthe — but I can't tell what are the other herbs. Not very complex is the main thing. Problem? Aftertaste is quite poor, perhaps due to the beet-based alcohol. Mouth ends up quite numb with not the most pleasant taste.

Finish: I'm through with the first glass and waiting for the second. Aftertaste of the first is a bit unpleasant and now I'm considering the elixir quality. So far it's mediocre. However, my mouth is numb; in that way, the slightly unpleasant background taste is thankfully minimized.

Minutes later ... OK, I've had most of the second glass. Again, it's a real absinthe, the "trinity" is there, my impression is slightly "complex," better than after just one. Still, the low quality of the beet-alcohol base is too evident. Why use beets and charge this price? There are plenty of wine- or brandy-based spirits in France, this country of elite alcohols, aren't there?

Overall: Again, it's a real absinthe. Lucid leaves you with not the most complex or pleasant taste, but a slightly complex "impression." It's very average, not the type of thing I would want to have at a sunny café late in the day, but rather something desired in a blues bar late at night while wearing dark glasses, if it was on "special." It is quite overpriced: I paid more than $80 including tax at a local liquor store in New Jersey for it. At this price range, I would certainly consider other absinthe "vertes," such as the Duplais Verte or the Pacifique Verte, a Swiss and an American brand respectively. They are far superior choices. Lucid's louche is nice, yes, but the beet-based alcohol has been cited as the main issue here concerning poor aftertaste, and it might be. Still, I'd cite the lack of excitement concerning the herbal ingredients as the main determining factor in giving this an average to slightly below average score. Also, the bottle with two light green eyes on a dark green bottle — the "green lady," is it? — with the word Lucid in dripping green, it's all a bit purposefully creepy. It makes what's in the bottle seem sinister. The half-empty bottle is going to the back of my liquor cabinet, a souvenir of the first offering of a real absinthe in the USA in a very long time.

Update May 20, 2010: This is often the best choice in liquor stores in New Jersey, as it beats out Pernod and all of the hyped Czech brands. New Jersey liquor stores have yet to catch up and it seems very, very few carry the superior brands, such as Pacifique, Walton Waters, Absinthe Duplais Verte (or Blanche!), La Clandestine, et al. But Lucid is usually stocked — So far, it's invariably the best thing on the shelves here, and it's a reasonable choice.

Update May 23, 2010: If it's Lucid or Pernod, then get the Pernod. Both are subpar when compared with Pacifique, Walton Waters — the "boutigue" brands — but he Pernod was just better for me for taste, aftertaste, and secondary effect. The Pernod's liquor base is also "cleaner" IMO. Still, these are very average brands, and I recommend St. George, Absinthe Duplais varieties and La Clandestine (as a blanche) as more better choices. All are far superior to Lucid or the current Pernod offering.
AL
Top 50 Reviewer 8 reviews
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Somewhat biased, as this was my first *sigh*
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Dose was 40ml to 200ml of chilled water.

Color: I have purchased several bottles of Lucid. There is some inconsistency in the color. For this review, the color happened to be a pale yellowish-green, slightly cloudy, but I have had others where it is more green and clearer. Rather than a count against, I take this as a by-product of natural techniques applied.

Louche: I drip water from a measuring cup that has a "beaker-like" protrusion for pouring. The louche forms quickly from the bottom, and larger *blop* drops of water burst into clouds, as opposed to bursting into tangles of trails. So the louche is faster forming than some, but with nice refractive attributes and that "what color *is* that?" kind of green/greyish/amber hue.

Aroma: Pre-louche, it is somewhat strongly alcohol but with kind of a "smoky" melange around an anise core. Post-louche: I love this aroma. It is anise but subdued by a heady mixture, which seems to be that smokiness "exploded". That mixture... I live on a farm, in the spring, the meadow air has components of this aroma: that combination of flowery and weedy and grassy and woody. In this case, I am weighing more heavily in favor of the post-louche aroma with the number rating, because pre-louche is fairly harshly alcohol. Smelling the louched glass is almost as nice as drinking from it.

Flavor: Louched, I bring it up for a sip, and the combination of aroma and flavor reminds me of my great-grandmother's house. Is this because she was alive during the Belle Epoch? Because you don't just taste an alcoholic drink, you smell and taste it at once. Her house had a potpourri aroma mingled with a mixture of dusty antiquity and brass. Knickknacks everywhere, a clutter, but her ancient and thickly bespectacled visage also provided a focus, as the anise does in this flavor.


Finish: Yes, there is a murkiness, an indeteriminant jumble, like the items cluttering the shelves, and this fades behind the gentle insistence of the wormwood, but also a sweet clarity in the integration of the anise. The pressed meadow foliage reconstituted in the louche, tethered by the wormwood, dancing around that sweet anise maypole, fading softly into light anise notes as the wormwood dances up just slight into the sinuses! Did I mention I was slightly biased in the title of this review!?!

Overall: Ok, ok. So I have not tasted the greats of antiquity. The sole "solid 4" rating among these reviews that I have experienced is Kubler 53, and I would rate it higher than Lucid. But there is obviously a crafted effort that has gone into this liquor that surpasses an artful bottle and cashing in on the absinthe mystique. The sweetness of the anise, and the numbing of the wormwood is nicely balanced, with a host of herbal flavors that are at times maybe murkily tangled, but not unpleasantly so. The only real "dings" in the experience as I see them would be the aroma as poured out of the bottle, and some inconsistency in the coloration.

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Great Starter Absinthe
Overall rating 
 
3.2
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Color- Thin green. A little bit hazy as well. No sediment and it’s leaning towards a nice peridot.

Louche- It takes a while to develop and is a welcome change from some ‘premature’ star anise louches that are over in an instant. Decent refractions and a nice green tinge at the edge of the glass.

Aroma- Fennel and anise dominate with a bit of ‘dirty sock’ funk that brings it down a notch

Flavor- Heavy on the fennel with the anise in equal measure. Decent wormwood bite mid palate. A nice creamy mouth feel is interrupted by some peppery aftertastes that are kind of annoying. I can detect the ‘saltiness’ as others have noted.

Finish- Lingers for a while but is nothing but pure anise. Doesn’t leave a sense of complexity in the mouth.

Overall- This is a decent verte and is a good place to start absinthe tasting. Decent value depending on where you buy it.
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