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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
A Solid Absinthe for the US Market
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
4.0
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.
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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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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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A reasonable introduction.
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Being a fan of the "Jade" line of Absinthe, I find it unfortunate that Lucid didn't expand upon it, but I suppose it might be understandable that the first US absinthe would try to play things a little on the safe side.



I found the color on the light side, and the flavor not as complex as I would like. But the louche was good, and it did have a fairly nice nose to it.



I don't see anything specifically flawed about Lucid, aside from the fact that it isn't as good as I know it could be. If you are wanting a gentle introduction to absinthe, then you could do far worse than Lucid.
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