Review: Lucid Absinthe

People of the Internet, you have been heard!

I had intended this to be a weekend full of absinthe reviews, based on crushing, popular demand for more absinthe coverage, but the overwhelming heat in San Francisco (both yesterday and today were all-time-high record breakers here) kept me off of spirits and into lighter stuff. Finally, the temperature is breaking, and at long last I’m breaking out the first of three major absinthe reviews you’ll be seeing over the next few days.

First up is the French-made Lucid, which was the first major absinthe to hit U.S. store shelves after the FDA rules on wormwood in liquor began to loosen up last year.

With its striking cats-eye bottle design, you can’t miss Lucid on the shelf. Pour a glass and you can’t miss the smell, either. The intoxicating aroma of anise and spice fills the room, overpowering anything else.

Based on how it smelled, I had high hopes for the taste, too. I poured a traditionally-prepared glass (with sugar and water — at a whopping 124 proof, drinking Lucid straight is absolute insanity) and immediately was in for a surprise. The taste comprises much less anise than the aroma would indicate. Rather, herbs pick up where the anise leaves off. It’s difficult to pick out exactly what other herbs are used in the creation of Lucid, but they add some complexity here in a category that is otherwise often dominated by overpowering licorice flavor. Still, I recommend going easy on the water when drinking Lucid, despite the alcohol content (which is the highest of all mainstream U.S.-available absinthes); otherwise you’ll miss out on some of its more intriguing character.

Lucid surprised me by being a moderately pale yellow in the glass, but fans of the clouding “louche” effect will appreciate how milky it gets when mixed with water and sugar.

Lucid has a reputation, due to its muted anise flavor, for being a “beginner” absinthe, and I can understand that sentiment. It’s enjoyable and even refreshing, and you don’t have to feel like you’re sucking down liquid licorice while you’re drinking it. Still, I don’t advise knocking back three or four of these in a night just so you can feel like Toulouse-Lautrec… You’ll end up under the table.

More recent comments here…

B- / $67 / drinklucid.com

lucid absinthe Review: Lucid Absinthe

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59 Responses to Review: Lucid Absinthe

  1. I just bought a bottle of this spirit before crossing the border to Canada. I’ve heard about absinthe and never tried it. Pouring it over the sugarcube and lighting it up before pouring the ice cold water seems like the way to go (from what I’ve read and heard). Any recommendations before I try the first sip? I’m also aware not to overwater the drink by dripping just enough water to “louche” it completely.. results to follow.

  2. Not sure if anyone else had this problem, but Lucid was the first Absinthe I tried. Had it the first two days after opening the bottle, and it tasted amazing. The taste of it changed as it was in your mouth, so that it flowed from the taste of herbs to a final taste of licorice at the end (might have been the other way, has been a few weeks.)

    Later got another bottle, Grande Absinthe, which did not have as much of a distinct taste, but had a more general taste that was rather good. Drank that the rest of the week or so, not too bad tasting.

    The issue with Lucid came when I went back to it after finishing the other one. The smell of the Lucid absinthe had changed, and then the taste was pretty horrendous. Tried it the next day to see if the flavor just wasn’t mixing with what I had for dinner, but it was still awful. The only things that had changed from the two times trying it, was the week and a half in between and different sugar.

    Not sure which thing caused the issue; time opened, sugar, or maybe refrigeration is required but not mentioned after opening. But this could be the issue people are experiencing where they say it tastes like crap. I might try Lucid one more time, but if the same issue happens with the next bottle I will stick with Grande Absinthe as it had no such issue.

  3. Challenge Accepted.

  4. Hello all, I am writing this review because I had never tried Absinth until about a month ago I bought my first bottle of Lucid, I have to say the flavor is really good not many drinks give you the sensation of just brushing your teeth after drinking it. Although some of my friends thought it was a very strong taste you get use to it. I wasn’t a big fan of black licorice but that’s not all Lucid has to offer for one after the first drink you’ll know why its my new favorite drink its a feeling you get almost like your happy for no reason and its not the drunk feeling I know that feeling and its not that it something else. Don’t over do it this stuff is no joke.

  5. Wondering if we should try lucid?? Never had any kind n with all the mixed reviews wonder if I’m better of buying the stuff from Czech?? If its that bad maybe I should save my money n buy online,they say its way better n hardly no bad reviews, all r saying how wonderful it is to pay for the real deal n screw the states stuff????

  6. Tiffany, please don’t waste your money on the Czech stuff. It’s not real!!! Lucid & other absinthes made by T.A. Breaux were reverse engineered from 100 yr old, unopened bottles of absinthes that were found in France. The formula was almost lost until Mr. Breaux took an interest in preserving the green liquid. The entire history of the recreation of absinthe by Mr. Breaux can be found on many websites, try T.A. Breaux or Jade Liquors.

    Blyss, you should never light the sugar cube. Absinthe can be louched with or without the sugar, but please no fire.

    Ken, don’t know what happened to your bottle of Lucid. I hope your experience won’t turn you off of it because it’s one of the finest absinthes you’ll find in the U.S.

  7. Pingback: Three New Absinthes from Ted Breaux: Jade CF Berger, Jade 1901, and Jade Esprit Edouard | Drinkhacker.com

  8. Maldry is right, listen to her everyone!

  9. Pingback: Absinthe illinoise | Edollartrade

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