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3.3 30 0.5
Nice louche, but. ...
(Updated: May 23, 2010)
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
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.
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