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Review Detail

Lucid Absinthe - New Bottle
Traditional Absinthe
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.)

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