Reviews written by tomecide

3 results - showing 1 - 3
 
 
Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by tomecide     January 08, 2009
Overall rating 
 
3.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Certainly Unique

Prepared 3:1 (water:absinthe) with one sugar cube on a slow drip.

The pre-louche color is a deep, rich jade. Well accomplished, to be certain. In examining the bottle there is a bit of visible sediment, which, for me personally, lends to the overall impression of this absinthe as a very ‘earthy’ creation.

The pre-louche aroma is fairly intense, with a fair bit of heat on the nose, but with some pleasant, readily detectable wormwood and an array of other herbs and spices. I wouldn’t describe these as ‘meadow herbs,’ per se, but the overall aroma is something more dark and earthy than woodsy. My guess is that the tarragon is a key component of this.

The louche was speedy, with some decent swirling, but a very quick dissipation – a little too quick for my taste. Nothing remarkable in this department, I’m afraid. The ending color is a decent milky green.

The aroma opens up a bit and softens, post-louche. Some of the more unusual herbs in this earthy concoction are then fairly readily distinguishable.

This absinthe has a truly unique flavor. While it is not at all traditional, it is definitely intriguing. The basil and tarragon are both definitely detectable (perhaps a little too much so), and unfortunately much of the wonderful wormwood I expected based upon the initial aroma gets lost amidst these other herbs in the tasting. Throughout the glass I kept wondering at a particularly mysterious herb flavor, which I could not place. It was almost musty, but not in a bad way. I don’t know how else to describe it other than truly unique, as I had not tasted this in any absinthe before (or in anything else, for that matter). After I finished the glass I went to the bottle to read the list of herbal ingredients – which, by the way, are conveniently printed in nice, bold font on the side of the bottle – in order to determine what this mysterious flavor was. The last herb listed there was ‘stinging nettle,’ and, since I am familiar with the flavor of all the other herbs listed save this one, I can only assume that the unique flavor of this verte comes from the inclusion of the nettle, in addition to the basil and tarragon. The overall flavor, after letting it sit on the tongue a bit, is somewhat rounded out with hyssop, lemon balm and star anise, but, again, the wormwood is buried, which to me is one of the primary faults of this absinthe.

The finish is, unfortunately, rather poor. The tongue-numbing is substantial – a little too substantial to warrant an acceptable rating in this department. The only thing I found at all pleasant about the finish was the aftertaste of that mysterious herb – presumably the stinging nettle. Personally, I found this intriguing enough for it to be enjoyable, despite the otherwise slightly over-heated and excessively numbing components of the finish.

In conclusion, though it certainly has its drawbacks, this is a truly unique absinthe, and worth trying at least once. For me the experience was enjoyable, and while I would not likely spring for a bottle, this seems like a verte that could be well enjoyed from time to time, simply for its unique – if not occasionally puzzling – attributes alone.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by tomecide     December 13, 2008
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
4.0

A Solid Absinthe for the US Market

This is a solid absinthe with a nice aroma, a reasonably well-rounded flavor and a decent louche.

Prepared 3:1 (water: absinthe), one sugar cube on a slow drip.

The pre-louche color is a bit yellow; fairly unremarkable, but not off-putting by any means. One thing I will say is that, to their credit, Lucid does not use artificial colorings as some new absinthe makers seem to be doing.

The pre-louche aroma indicates a healthy dose of fennel with a well-balanced anise scent, a powerful, sweet, nutty overtone, - almost caramel - and a nice, detectable waft of wormwood; some subtle spice and a pleasing bouquet of meadow herbs. Overall a very pleasing aroma. Post-louche the scent mellowed out a bit, and was more balanced, but also more subtle. Personally, I enjoyed the strength of the pre-louche aroma.

The louche begins with a delicate, oily “dance” and is not too quick. End result is a traditional looking opalescent with some nice subtleties in the light. Nice, even, heavy legs.

The flavor is well-rounded with plenty of detectable wormwood, some lingering anise and a bit of spice in conclusion at the back of the tongue. All told, a balanced, ‘fresh’ taste, light and crisp.

The finish is smooth, with no abuse to the tongue. I did, however, detect a somewhat strange, unidentifiable aftertaste accompanying the anise after about ¾ of the glass had been finished. This didn’t ruin the drink by any means, but caused the raising of an eyebrow. I can’t place what the taste is, but it’s ever so slightly “rubbery.”

I would say that this is definitely a strong absinthe for the US market at this point – probably the best verte widely available in the States. The other labels most commonly available now in the US – as of 12/2008 – are the Kubler (a good blanche, though I am personally not a huge fan), the pathetic Pernod remake, and the highly offensive Le Tourment Verte. If you’re buying locally somewhere in the States, are partial to vertes, and this is the lot you have to choose from, Lucid is certainly your best bet. As others have noted, this is a good introduction for the US market, and will hopefully become a baseline standard for American absinthe drinkers. We may all pray that US liquor stores start stocking Jade PF or Eichelberger at some point, but until then Lucid is a better-than-acceptable placeholder.

Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by tomecide     December 05, 2008
Overall rating 
 
1.8
Appearance 
 
1.0
Louche 
 
2.0
Aroma 
 
1.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
2.0

A Poor Quality Absinthe in a Gorgeous Bottle

When I first saw the bottle, I admit I had that "child on Christmas morning" feeling. What a great presentation. Unfortunately, my excitement receeded quickly when I opened the lovely cylindrical case in which it was housed and actually examined the bottle closely. The first tip-off that this was going to be bad was the list of artificial color dyes used: "Yellow 45, Blue 40," and the like.

The aroma from the bottle was shockingly minty, with a hint of spice, some undercut anise tones, and no readily detectable wormwood.

I prepared the glass 3:1 (water:absinthe), with one sugar cube and a drip. The louche came abruptly and engulfed the glass all at once, with no real subtlety of any kind. The color turned a bizarre aquamarine. Holding the glass up to the light I did briefly note some interesting tones near the bottom, but nothing too spectacular.

The legs on the glass were thin and quick to dissipate, leaving an odd array of oily spots. Overall it just looked messy. After a bit of breathing time, the smell from the glass was still not very complex; far too simplistic, in my opinion.

And, as expected, the taste was not dissimilar in nature: dull, no traditional wormwood bitterness, just some half-buried anise flavor under a menage of sugary, candy-like mint and clouded spice. After pouring the drink I realized I should not have used sugar, as there is more than enough noxious, artificial sweetener taste in the bottle itself.

I will say, however, that this failed attempt does have a fairly good finish. It's smooth with the right amount of dryness and a nice fade. But that is hardly enough to redeem the tragic shortcomings of the flavor, which prevented me from even being able to finish a single full glass.

My advice is if you're looking to pick up one of the few labels now available in regular US liquor stores, skip this one and go with the Kubler (a blanche) or the Lucid. The latter is not great by any means, but a far better choice than Le Tourment, which will, in fact, torment the drinker, though not in the way they might be hoping.

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