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Lucid Absinthe Superieure


Average Score: 75
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Country of Origin: France
Type: Distilled
Alcohol Level: 62 %

Description: According to the manufacturer's website:
Introducing lucid, Absinthe Supérieure. lucid represents a breakthrough product for the U.S. market, as it is the first true, Grande Wormwood-based Absinthe of its type since before prohibition. Unlike imitators in the U.S. and many of the so-called "Absinthe" products that litter the international markets, lucid is crafted directly from select whole herbs, including Grande Wormwood, and never from cheaper assemblages, macerations, extracts or oils.

Review:

Reviewed by Donnie Darko 6/11/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Greenish-yellow. Not eye-popping like Jade Edouard, but has that feuille morte yellow tinge you'd expect from a properly coloured absinthe. Slightly murky so I deducted a couple of points.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Lucid has a great louche. Turbulent clouds that happen neither too fast nor too slow, and a division between the unlouched layer at the top and the cloud beneath is very attractive.

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
Grayish-greenish. Somewhere inbetween a la bleue and a verte. Not densely opaque like the best absinthes, but certainly obscuring.

AROMA 24/30
Neat, the first thing that hits you is a mix of pepper and alcohol heat followed by an herbal tinge and anise. Kind of reminds me of Kubler. When you add water a pleasant anisey herbal smell rises out of the glass. When you stick your nose in the glass, there's still pepper but most of the heat is gone and it smells herbal.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Heat and pepper mixed with a velvety coating in the front. Not as thick or rich as the best, but the mouthfeel increases into the aftertaste, and as the heat/pepper combo subsides it becomes fairly silky.

TASTE 16/20
I like it. I don't love it, but I like it. Up front it has a lot in common with Kubler, with a peppery minty kick being prominent. As the aftertaste evolves, however, it really blossoms into a lovely absinthe. There is a very good fennel aftertaste that, while not as luscious as the fennel in Edouard and L'Artisinale, is quite a welcome presence. There are also wormwood flower suggestions and a subtle bitterness indicating the presence of decent Artemisia Absinthium.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
I've gotta give this absinthe an 8. I'd rank as just a notch below Duplais Balance in terms of complexity and recipe finesse. The peppery thing is quizzical, and I suspect it's more likely due to something like a combination of Coriander and the absinthe being relatively young than something like empyreuma, as empyreuma is more strident when it is present in an absinthe. The main reason two points were deducted were for it not being as rich, intense or as floral as the best absinthes. Overall though, I'm impressed, not only because I expected the first absinthe legally sold in America to be mediocre, but because it's a good absinthe when one compares it to a lot of what is on the European market. Lucid is a good representation of what a decent absinthe should be, and while not perfect, it's a good absinthe to have around. For 750ml it's slightly less expensive than Duplais by volume, minus the shipping stab in the wallet one faces when ordering online. Can't complain about that.

PERSONAL NOTES
Purchased at Park Ave Liquors in NYC, which incidentally has one of the best single-malt Whisky selections I've seen. It was $64, tax included. The bottle doesn't look all that silly in person, though you would need a magnifying glass to read the verbose information on the back, which is accurate and doesn't hype anything about supposed absinthe effects.

Donnie Darko scores Lucid 80 out of 100


Reviewed by Shabba53 6/13/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
It's not as bright as some absinthes (including some Jades). Le feuille morte is evident, it seems. A very Natural looking absinthe. Donnie Darko noted a bit of murkiness, which I can see as well. I'd give it an 8.5, but people seem to dislike half-points.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Great louche. Nice oil trails. It builds nice and slow from the bottom to the top.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
Very nice color, but not as thick as I'd like to see.

AROMA 25/30
I also noted the pepper, which I enjoy. Quite herbal with a great overtone of anise and fennel. It's quite powerful.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Again, not as thick as some of the Jades or other top brands, but thick enough to notice. Like a finely aged whiskey, it leaves trails going down the side of the glass when swirled.

TASTE 16/20
The anise and fennel pronounce themselves well in the taste, as well as the peppery flavor I'd mentioned before. I got the same peppery kick with the PF 1914, so it's a welcome surprise.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
I'm definitely pleased, and very impressed with the first U.S. offering. It will make a great first impression to absinthe newcomers. I took this absinthe without sugar, like I normally do, but I think next time I'll try it with. Duplais is one of the only absinthes I enjoy sugared, but I think it would also compliment this one. I would say that this absinthe is a top contender when you consider price. It's nice to see we will be able to enjoy a wonderful tasting absinthe legally in gathering places now. All in all, it's a great offering. Not quite as good as say, the Duplais, Jades, or the limited production absinthes that came out not so long ago, but a contender. I'd drink this one anytime I got the chance to. Again, I'd score it an 8.5, but I don't want to offend anyone.

PERSONAL NOTES
Park Ave Liquors in NYC shipped the entire case for approx $385, shipping included. They called me with the news on Monday, I got it Wednesday. Can't beat that. The bottle actually looks pretty decent in person. It's not as kitchy as I thought it would be. I'll definitely offer this to anyone curious about absinthe.

Shabba53 scores Lucid 82 out of 100


Reviewed by TrainerAZ 6/14/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
I'm not seeing the murkiness reported by others; mine's clear as a bell. It's a pale olive, light enough in coloration that it fades near the bottom of my glass (because I'm looking through a smaller volume). Could be a tad more robust in color, but attractive and natural-looking. Can see oil swirling about in the liquid.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
My see-saw dripper, loaded with chilled water, produces a storm of oil-trail clouds and fine bubbles until about 1:1.5. After this, a fog rises slowly from the bottom of the glass. A slower drip would probably have left a more defined layering, but even with the splashy see-saw, I could roughly tell when it was ready.

This would be an excellent choice for introducing an absinthe newbie to the drama of a slow louche.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
Whatever this absinthe lacks in out-of-bottle color is found, in my eyes, in the louched color. Nearly white at the narrow base of my swirl glass, it deepens in the depths to a delightful pale green. Not I only deduct points because the color lacks iridescence. I expected more glisten, after the show during the louche.

AROMA 25/30
Before water:
A rather light nose, but not so much weak as fresh and herbal, though neat it does smell fairly simple. It's not overwhelming, and does not have the heavy anise-bomb scent of a Spanish absenta. Alcohol is not strongly present, as I would expect from a quality product.

After water:
Increased complexity, it blooms as one would expect. Wormwood definitely not front and center, but I believe that to be the intended recipe, not a flaw. This is definitely a product for the fennel whores! Glad I did not add sugar (I usually don't); it smells more than sweet enough.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
A tad on the thin side here. Sugar would likely improve the mouth-feel and add more body. However, it might negatively (to my taste) impact the flavor.

The mouth-feel is consistent with the appearance in the glass; this absinthe does not have strong legs.

However, there is no harshness or any unpleasantness.

TASTE 17/20
Every bit as refreshing and herbal as it smells. Not an anise bomb at all, but with a building and lingering fennel aftertaste.

Without sugar, I could indeed see it marketed as a summer beverage.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
I admit that price and convenience has added a point or even two to my overall impression; had I paid $80 for the bottle and nearly as much for shipping, I'd have given a 7 or 8. It's good, though I've had more complex products, and some which suited my tastes in herbal balance more completely. None of those aspects constitute flaws, however.

Lucid is an excellent everyday absinthe, and the price of $60 with free overnight shipping really can't be beat. I'd happily recommend it to anyone wishing to try absinthe, or anyone curious about the difference between, say, the Spanish absentas and Absinthes Suisse. It is a solid representation of quality distilled absinthe, and I'm glad to see it as the first US-legal absinthe. Cheers!

TrainerAZ scores Lucid 83 out of 100


Reviewed by Lord Stanley 6/16/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Green/yellow. Not the most striking colour but pretty and natural looking.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Very nice louche, the "un-louched" meniscus was present on top until it hit a 3 or 4 to 1 dilution level.

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
Fairly opaque but too yellow unlike the surprisingly green Jade Edouard or the golden feuille morte of the Pernod 1914.

AROMA 24/30
Nice herbal aroma with the oft-mentioned peppery note that I suspect may age out with a little time. Balanced fennel and anise.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Minimal alcohol bite. No harshness that might be expected judging from previous absinthes employing a beet alcohol base. Lingering oily (in a good sense), anise aftertaste.

TASTE 15/20
Simple, straight forward Pontarlier style. Lacks the rich herbal flavour of some top shelf absinthes and could use a little more wormwood presence. Very good overall. For me, it's most reminiscent of the Eichelberger verte.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
Lucid's inherent traits warrant a 7 or 8. The reasonable price and FREE, OVERNIGHT delivery without Customs-anxiety certainly bump it up a notch in my opinion. What a relief that the first absinthe to hit the US market wasn't some industrial alcohol, nuclear coloured, bullshit Czech absinth. Lucid is good enough to be the default absinthe for every potential American buyer trying to decide whether or not to bite the bullet and order more expensive products from overseas. With any luck, those absinthes will be as readily available in the not too distant future now that Viridian and Lucid have opened the door.


Lord Stanley scores Lucid 79 out of 100´


Reviewed by peridot 6/29/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Looks natural. Clear olive. Slightly pale.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Slow. Begins to build from bottom and then suddenly appears everywhere except a thin line at the top. Good definition.

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
Pale yellow-green. Thick. It's nice enough but dull.

AROMA 12/30
Before water it smells of caramel and chocolate. In other words, very cooked. There's some fennel, a tiny bit of anise, and a lot of heat. After water the anise blooms some and some wormwood begins to peek through, along with some fruitiness. It still smells cooked, though.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Good mouth-feel. Not quite mouth-coating but pretty thick. Not very numbing.

TASTE 11/20
The wormwood is stronger than I expected based on reviews I've read. It's not very fragrant wormwood, but it's okay. The anise is light. Hints of caramel and plastic. There's some weird, salty sweatiness. All in all, it's dull; too much heat and not enough herbs. Slightly bitter, wormwoody finish that ends in pure fennel. I can't taste any colouring herb character at all.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 6/10
Reminds me of Partisane but slightly more complex and with far better (but still not great) wormwood. Tastes more like a Guy product than a Breaux one. I could give it extra points for being the first US-legal absinthe but I think it's kinda insulting that this is the most our society is expected to be able to handle starting off. Even if it's true. Which I don't think it is.

peridot scores Lucid 60 out of 100


Reviewed July/August/September 2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 7/10
Pleasant natural-looking yellow-green, but thin.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Excellent - the layering is clean, the oil-tracings are appealing, and the color change is lovely, with a band of cooler green between the louched and unlouched layers.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
A creamy pale green.

AROMA 23/30
Deep and smooth — cello-like — but not intense. More herbal than floral, with fennel and anise in front. Compared with a handy bottle of Absente (no, not mine), Lucid’s alcohol scent is much less intrusive, despite its considerably higher proof, and its licorice scent is more refined and less murky.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Nothing to complain about, but nothing to go nuts over, either. It’s easier to describe in terms of what it doesn’t have: Not much creaminess, not much astringency, not much tongue-numbing.

TASTE 15/20
Light, simple, and balanced; rather light on the wormwood. Had I tasted it blind, I’d probably have guessed it was a blanche rather than a verte.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
A good, reasonably priced verte. That, plus the fact that you can buy a single bottle with minimal (or no) shipping charges, makes Lucid, at least as of September 2007, the obvious choice for Americans interested in trying absinthe for the first time. It won’t be as popular with more experienced absintheurs, but there will probably be many who, like me, plan to keep a bottle around for less-special occasions and as an offering to absinthe-newbie guests.

PERSONAL NOTE
American absintheurs owe Viridian Spirits a debt of gratitude. Imagine what the first legal absinthe [i]could[/i] have been!

Absinthesizer score Lucid 76 out of 100


Reviewed by Neptunati 9/29/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 6/10
Yellow green

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
The slower you drip the water, the slower the louche. It is a bit too fast. Nothing special with this one.

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
Green yellow, opalescent. Slight blue runs on the glass. No glow to this one. A little gray in the glass.

AROMA 21/30
When bottle was first opened it had a very high alcohol smell. When the bottle was near empty it had a caramel floral smell. I think it smells better after a couple of weeks. After water smell is minty, very light anise. After that I cant tell. Deduction for alcohol bite when product is fresh.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Not thick at all, slightly velvety. I also get a peppery feel on tongue. No tongue numbing.

TASTE 15/20
Minty, pepper, lite anise and I can taste the alcohol. A little bitter to me. Oh yes some big fennel.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 6/10
Lucid is good for the price. This one can serve as a stepping stone to introduce Americans to Absinthes. If you like this one then you can move on to the Jades and Duplais. I might but this one again.

Neptunati scores Lucid 69 out of 100


Reviewed by Wilson 3/21/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 9/10
Pale yellowish green. Looked like natural coloring. Very clear and clean with no murkiness. I see nothing wrong with it at all.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
It's a louching machine. From the first drop of water, the fairy starts her dance. Lots of oil contrails falling to the bottom of the glass. Hypnotic as the contrails start to cloud with the clouds falling to the bottom and the new clouds forming above as the drops fall through the green layer on top. Newbies to the ritual will be hooked.

COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
Just an opaque yellowish with just the slightest tint of green. As it was louching, there was plenty of blues, pinks, greens and yellows.

AROMA 17/30
First sniff of the bottle. Nice with pepper, anise and fennel. I just don't smell the wormwood.
Second sniff. Alcohol heat, fruity.
Third sniff. More alcohol heat. Licorice candy.
In the glass, before water. Candy store. I think of red licorice sticks.
After water. Anise, pepper, fennel, just the slightest hint of wormwood. No matter how much I sniff, the wormwood never comes forward.

MOUTH-FEEL 6/10
Thick and creamy. Tongue numbing starts with the first mouthful. Finishes off nice and clean but leaves too much tongue numbing. Too much star anise. On my second glass, I used a little sugar. I took the cube away when half of it was left. This was with a 2oz dose and the tongue numbing was much better. A little sugar takes the edge off this absinthe. I don't recommend sugar normally.

TASTE 16/20
Far more complex than I had expected from the aroma. The anise is there with the wormwood, coriander and fennel. I did not expect the wormwood to come forward, but it does. Not as complex as a Duplais, but pretty darned good. I wish it had more wormwood, but I understand what they had to do to get this approved for U.S. consumers.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
I won't hesitate to keep a bottle of this on hand for the lean times when I can't quite afford to get the good stuff shipped in. It is also great for popping a newbies cherry. Just the show during the louche is enough to get them ready for the taste treat when they lift the glass to their lips. For one of the first legal absinthes to hit the U.S. shores, it makes a great impression and slips a BIG foot in the door. My hat is off to Ted Breaux for getting it done. Is it perfect? Hell no, but it serves a purpose.

Things are looking up in America!

Wilson scores Lucid Absinthe Superieure 74 out of 100


Reviewed by OCvertDe 3/14/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Green, clear and bright. Pale, natural. Not as rich looking as Ted's Jade products, but not as rich in the wallet either.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
Nice thick oil trails with no fragmenting, the louche gradually clouded into near opaque around 1:1. Not much to see after this point, but nice prominent layering throughout the process.

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
Pale yellowish green, opaque, with a very thin oil slick across the top. Pleasing enough, but nothing spectacular.

AROMA 25/30
Very nice, well balanced. Anice, with some flowery herbal character. No appreciable odor from the base, nor any of the swamp/funk odor others have complained about.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Smooth, almost mellow. There’s a light creaminess, although I wouldn’t begin to call it thick. Easy to drink.

TASTE 15/20
Surprisingly good. Reminds me very much of a Jade, although it’s definitely not in the same class at all. Nevertheless, I love it and wouldn’t hesitate to buy another bottle. It improved noticeably a couple weeks after I opened it as well, although there was nothing wrong with it initially either.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
Thoroughly enjoyable in it’s own right. Far from the best I’ve had, but part of the overall experience for me is knowing how replaceable something is- and I can’t help but weigh how much I’m enjoying something against what sacrifices I’ve made to obtain it. From that perspective, I enjoy it about the same as Kubler 53, as the other option readily available in the US. I like the Lucid more, but it also costs a bit more for a smaller bottle, so in the end it balances out for me. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Lucid to anyone in the US who’s interested in trying absinthe without jumping through the hoops for something superior from the UK; at the very least I feel it’s a respectable stepping stone to more top shelf absinthes. It has been for me.

OCvertDe scores Lucid Absinthe Superieure 76 out of 100

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