Lucid opinions on Absinthe?

Bitter and Twisted

Absinthe Taste Test: Are New Brands the Real Deal?

“I’d like to take them both outside and light them on fire!

An interesting and amusing piece on Lucid absinthe from New York Magazine comparing Swiss oldtimer Absinthe Kübler & new absinthe baby Lucid – both now legal in the United States:

How does Lucid strike you when you drink it straight? I’m smelling more of the pastis than I am of the wormwood. But as it evaporates I do feel a slight bitterness on my tongue that lets me know it’s in the absinthe family.

Do you think absinthe does produce a different sort of “high” than other liquors? Yes. Drinking anything with the accurate amount of wormwood produces a different experience. A lot of people report not feeling drunk or down but feeling up and exhilarated. :mrgreen:

43 responses to “Lucid opinions on Absinthe?

  1. Ugh, that was a horrible article.

  2. Why do you say that.. why do you find it “horrible”?

  3. It’s too pathetic to be anything but funny.

    Absintheur, you should get some of these shillers to mention your blog when they talk to the press.

  4. Very caustic responses from the dishill / “real absinthe” lobby. Perhaps you can convince me why the article is “pathetic” &/or “horrible”?

  5. Well, for one, the fact that he even mentions that he really wants to take them outside and light them on fire. Which we all know isn’t the way that French or Swiss absinthe should be drunk.

    Second, the fact that the author decides to pull upon the resources of an absinth ‘expert’ who, upon his own admission, makes a product that is so hard to drink that: “you may never go near it again and the very conversation of it may make you gag, but I feel it’s very authentic to re-creating a drink that only a certain amount of refined people gravitated towards.

    That alone tells me that he’s not ‘recreating’ anything near traditional. It’s not like it’s that hard to find someone nowadays who IS an expert on tradtional brands.

  6. Kid Charlemagne

    “Perhaps you can convince me why the article is “pathetic” &/or “horrible”?”

    If you cannot figure it out by reading it for yourself, there is probably no point in trying to explain.

  7. Maybe that person wanted to see if the two can be set on fire to prove their abv?

    It speaks as well against that “authority” as anyone having the basics of spirits’knowledge knows that already at 41% vol anything shall burn nicely, hence, 53% and 62% would be easily ignited to check whether their proof is such and such.

    Obviously, better way to check the proof is to use professional alcoholometer, which will show you that your favourite vodka labelled as 40% vol, is actually 42.1% and so on. Very reliable equipment.

    And the article was in the style of previous ones I haven’t liked for their incompetence, either.

  8. You’d cry “foul” and “conflict of interest” if Ted Breaux were asked to be the absinthe expert in an article where Bairnsfather bitter and King of Spirits were under consideration, no? Except Mr. Breaux is responsible for a product line that sells well and has considerable repeat business. His authority is actually backed-up by market performance. The doofus in this article needs to where steel-toed boots so he doesn’t shoot his own foot off. Pathetic. So much so it’s laughable. Except that people like you grab on to it and feel vindicated without questioning the contradictions of the subject’s own statements.

  9. That’s information control for ya, Pan. Absintheur will believe what he wants to believe, regardless of the truth.

    I think it’s already been explained well enough, but I’ll try to put it in as simple of terms as possible.

    Just as I would expect someone to ask Kyle Bairnsfather or someone similar to do a taste review for Bohemian brands, I would also expect a journalist to obtain the opinion of an expert on French and Swiss brands when tasting said brands.

  10. I imagine that the “Green Fairy” is a HG’er: an expert at handling the noble herb from a “hands on” non mass market perspective, no? I also gathered he had quite a sense of humour – which y’all don’t seem to appreciate.

    I suppose he is from the Longue 🙂 I’ll wait for Ari – and maybe even Victorian Dad – to have their say before commenting further.

  11. Personally I found it funny either as a parody or as an example of how bad journalism has gotten today.

    “I imagine that the “Green Fairy” is a HG’er: an expert at handling the noble herb”

    He sells absinthe kits so um, no.

  12. I would be far from calling the guy either an expert or HGer.

    Even if someone is a witty fellow, he should be showing some experience through his words, I have spotted nothing in that vein in what he was saying, just trying to be funny while talking of serious things in fact.

    If he were one, he would easily describe all the notes and their places in taste of the two aforementioned products.

    Finally, he is rather not one of us, I mean, the Lounge, he lacks TONE, hehe:)

    The previous articles from the same source prove evidently that their authors know next to nothing what they are writing about, so no wonder their experts, etc will come from their level as well.

  13. If his own comments say that his product is undrinkable to many, that wouldn’t necessarily bring the term ‘expert’ to mind. 😉

    And I appreciate all senses of humor, but having a sense of humor doesn’t mean he’s an expert at anything.

  14. He sells absinthe kits so um, no

    Look up the word euphemism…hardly likely to want it spelt out is he!

  15. So you think that an anonymous source that actually knows anything about absinthe would say they sell absinthe kits? As opposed to the many people that sell absinthe kits on e-bay and other places.

    Yep and the flame from that alcohol wont get hot enough to boil water, right? 🙂

  16. an underground authority who for years has sold his own home-brewed absinthe in elaborate kits

    A carefully constructed sentence – worthy of highly paid lawyer, Ari. A thoughtful excercise in ambiguity methinks, no?

  17. Carefully constructed, or artfully embellished? Methinks the latter.

    But as always, it doesn’t seem like you want to address the real points, but instead nitpick to try to make your position seem stronger than it really is.

  18. You think this “Green Fairy” “underground authority” is an HGer? As in bootleg distiller? Proudly creating a product too bitter for repeat customers? You must be joking. That contradicts a main reason for using that process. And if you mean he’s a macerator/filterator then his legal problems are not with the process but with the resale of his product and presumed dodging of tax necessities. Yet that part is openly stated. Most likely, he sells kits, just like it says.

  19. What points, Shabba? Kubler is superior to Lucid is what he says, this follows what I’ve read elsewhere.

    Some quality HG has a violent bitterness behind which lies a symphony – rather like an astringent Asian dipping sauce which at first experience might seem challenging to some. Going beyond the bitterness is a journey of experience & I suggest that this is what he means.

    The line about fire is clearly a one fingered salute at you lot – you are either too humourless to see it, or are being disingenuous; I suspect the latter.

    Didn’t the Grate man thow a hissy fit at NOLA when a certain group got the matches out? What happened next? Said group dissappeared as a “Recommended Retailer” by WS.

    People who take themselves too seriously in relation to their role have for centuries been the subject of mirth.

    The article was original / not the same as those planted by professional PR agents on behalf of their newborn clients:

  20. “Some quality HG has a violent bitterness”

    Seems like a contradiction in terms there to me.

    I suppose you are submitting this from personal experience, not hearsay. And yet, it seems remote that you would care to associate with anyone involved in unlawful activities or foolish enough to try creating a quality absinth by means of distillation. You wouldn’t want to risk being tarred by guilt through association.

  21. The idea that absinthe shouldn’t be bitter in any circumstances was dreamt up by Schaf, Walsh, Breaux et al to fit the new “real absinthe” marketing agenda.

    If the AA is to yield a high thujone content by using certain parts of the plant, harvesting expertise, it might in expert hands deliver a complex bitterness that to the virgin taster would simply be bitter. Taste is subjective, based upon all sorts of factors including what we were used to in our formative years. Breaking that pyschological barrier(i) is sometimes hard. It doesn’t make sense for the new overnight absinthe experts / sellers (same thing) to challenge this, if their objective is profit.

    (i) Eating a boiled egg with a duck foetus in it might seem horrific to some – to others it is a delicacy.

  22. “If the AA is to yield a high thujone content by using certain parts”

    This would be primarily the stems/stalks. This is not primarily where the flavor resides though. Besides, I’m not in it for the thujone. Though you’re free to try and convince me why it’s so important. Maybe you can describe for me how thujone tastes?

    There’s also a big difference between, “bitter in any circumstances”, which is not what anyone is advocating, and “violent bitterness”, which seems to me definitionally unpleasant and unpalatable. A gentle A.a. bitterness can be very pleasing, and I think all the distillers of absinthe would agree with that. The taste of macerated A.a. is not pleasant, that’s my opinion.

    I’d be interested to know what distilled absinthe you’ve ever tasted that you would refer to as having “violent bitterness”. As I said, I wouldn’t expect you to be familiar with such people. Nor with the kind of people who give one-fingered salutes.

  23. “Didn’t the Grate man thow a hissy fit at NOLA when a certain group got the matches out? What happened next? Said group dissappeared as a “Recommended Retailer” by WS.”

    What are you talking about? Please further explain, as I was there during the whole trip, and I don’t know of any recommended retailer that was cut out afterwards.

    “The idea that absinthe shouldn’t be bitter in any circumstances was dreamt up by Schaf, Walsh, Breaux et al to fit the new “real absinthe” marketing agenda.”

    That statement was a comeplte fabrication on your part. Anyone who is knowledgable about absinthe knows that there should be SOME measure of bitterness. But that bitterness should be a pleasant one. You sir, are lying if you say that Ted says absinthe shouldn’t have some form of bitterness, as I’ve heard the complete opposite coming straight out of his mouth.

    Further, how many vintage brands have you tried? I’ve tried dozens, dating from the late 1800’s through the 1950s. None of them were horribly bitter. In each sample, the wormwood asserts itself with a pleasant alpine minty bitterness, not the astringent bitterness that you find in ‘kits’.

  24. “Taste is subjective, based upon all sorts of factors including what we were used to in our formative years. Breaking that pyschological barrier(i) is sometimes hard.”

    But can you deny that there are flavor experts for pretty much any product produced nowadays?

    “It doesn’t make sense for the new overnight absinthe experts / sellers (same thing) to challenge this, if their objective is profit.”

    I am neither an overnight expert (I’ve been drinking absinthe for more than 10 years, and have worked VERy hard to educate my palate on all types of absinthe/absinth), nor am I a ‘seller’ of anything, nor is my objective profit. But I can still recognize shite from shinola.

  25. Um, bitter does not equal high thujone, high thujone does not equal bitter, to someone who knows what they are doing. Although most commercial thujone dealers take the lazy route and throw everything in and strain (as opposed to the smarter lazy route, just dosing pastis with pure thujone).

    Frankly I think the article says more about those who interpret it (master HGer or Kit seller the article gives virtually no real information and isn’t even a good “fuck u” article). That you seem to need to interpret it and defend it as a “fuck u” article is… interesting

  26. “Schaf said that the idea that absinthe should taste bitter is a misconception of the modern absinthe revival”

    The New Yorker

    “If the water’s too warm, it will taste like donkey piss”

    Expert opinion, or another example of the foul mouthed arrogance that is the hallmark of the newly arrived “real absinthe” tribe?

    When Mr Stone was here I asked him not to write profanities…the F word above stays only because it is in context.

  27. “absinthe should taste bitter is a misconception”

    I believe you know as well as I do that he’s talking about the bitterness that people find in the bohemian brands.

    Can you answer my questions? About Ted? About the NOLA event you mentioned? About expert tasters? About the vintage brands you have tried?

  28. The bitter taste of wormwood is caused by the glucosides absinthin and anabsinthin, and several related compounds, not from thujone.

  29. What thujone tastes like? What distilled absinthe tastes violently bitter? Why you don’t like answering our questions? When you will distract us with your newest entry?

  30. About the NOLA event you mentioned?

    You already know the answer, Shabba. You were there with Hiram. You used a similar technique when cornered by Leif regarding the photo you took of the Stromu bottle. You are as transparent and cynical as a Las Vegas neglegee (as I have said before)

    BTW: Why is that photo still on the Wiki page?

    Neither of you Wormwood Society groupies are asking genuine questions born of intellectual honesty, you are merely trying to score points.

    I’l answer Ari shortly – you two could learn something from that young man.

  31. “You already know the answer, Shabba.”

    Um, no I don’t. That’s why I asked you to expand upon your statement.

    There could only be two things you MIGHT be mentioning. 1) La fee, who lit their absinthes on fire in the tasting room. or 2) The night we went to the Pirate’s cove, where the bartender tried to pass of Absente for a Jade product, and then tried to light it on fire.

    So, to respond to either of those options:
    1) I don’t know of La Fee ever being a recommended vendor. And
    2) Absente was never recommended from ANY vendor.

    So which of those two was it, or was it something else that you made up?

    As for the photo, ask Ari, I have no control over it. At the same time, it is authentic. The brownish color must have been due to degredation of the coloring agent from either heat or sun, or a combination of both.

    Speaking of that, why haven’t you answered me regarding another Stromu vendor?

    “Neither of you Wormwood Society groupies are asking genuine questions born of intellectual honesty, you are merely trying to score points.”

    Now you’re just trying to run in circles. All of the questions I asked you were highly relavent to the conversation, and all were born of intellectual honesty, trying to gauge whether you are actually worthy of carrying on this debate.

    I still have yet to see one shred of evidence to say that you are, since you’ve not answered any of my questions regarding your absinthe background. I’m now assuming that you have never tried a vintage absinthe, so your point about whether it should be bitter or not is moot.

    Am I correct? I am more than happy to list the brands I’ve tried. Why aren’t you??? I think the reason why you aren’t answering the questions is because you know that it WILL score us points, because your argument would implode once we found out your answers to said questions.

  32. “As for the photo, ask Ari,”

    I believe the photo is genuine as well (I heard no one complaining on forums when brown duplais was posted as being a misrepresentation of duplais.), I could adjust the color on the image if that would make you (those that complain about it) so happy. The photo was done on request, for free and was what I wanted. As I don’t have the time or bottles to redo it.
    Hey I have an idea, you send me out a selection of “bohemian style” products and I’ll shoot them for the wiki page.

  33. Actually I wouldn’t be surprised if one manufacturer would actually send you some if you asked – your planting links all over that page has been very helpful so I heard :mrgreen:

    You think that anyone in the real world takes that incoherent drivel you wrote seriously? Er…nope. It doesn’t make sense and is so obviously partisan it is cringe making. It’s a shame that you are allowed to publish that crap on a site which masquerades as an authority / Encylopedia – still that’s the way it is.

  34. So you really want to bring up the accuracy of wikipedia again?

    Remember the last time you did that you blatantly lied about content and couldn’t actually support yourself. Perhaps you should just stop now and not dig that pit, again. Otherwise I would be happy if you brought it up with some serious evidence of inaccuracy but I bet sad attempts at name calling are all the wind you can muster.

  35. What’s really a shame is this site. You want to talk about partisan, and crap?

    Based on experience, I’d say comparing you and Ari is like comparing a Middle Schooler to an MBA.

  36. The entry that you contrived shows your bias and immaturity.

    I don’t doubt that you are intelligent, I was merely commenting on your writing on that section. It is rubbish and partisan rubbish at that – that’s why nobody cares much about it.

    Still you put some links in for Hill’s and a few others. Oliva is there too isn’t it- that’s an interesting story – & of course Alan’s there with his usual little sales pitch.

    What a joke!

  37. “The entry that you contrived shows your bias and immaturity…. partisan rubbish” [Citation needed]


    (thanks for being predictable.)

  38. I believe that the term “wormwood bitterness” is so subjective aspect of one’s preference and tasting, that it will bring no definitive answer.

    Take for example:

    Apsinthion: for me, it is too sweet and wormwood bitterness there is very, very hidden, for others-wormwood bitterness there is obtrusive.

    Francois Guy and Anis a’lancienne:
    For me, the only difference is-FG-99%anise and 1% of wormwood, AaL-100% anise, the taste is very, very similar, though. But we will find others who proclaim FG to be very wormwoody.

    Another example-Pere Kermann
    For me: fennel liqueur with strong mugwort aftertaste, I know people who see it as very bitter and I know those who see it as very sweet.

    Unicum-gently bitter, perfect ratio of wormwood used, I know people who find it undrinkable, because “it has a medicinal bitterness”.

    Verte Suisse vs vintage CF Berger: I and many others see a strong difference in the taste, but there are those who think they are exactly the same.

    The list can go on, and now who is right, then?

    I bet everyone is right, because what is perceived as bitter to one, might be perceived “bitter-sweet” to another; the other person might find some taste “neutral” as well.

    It is very simple as in tansy case-I love its scent, but I am sure there are others who think it simply stinks.

  39. “I bet everyone is right, because what is perceived as bitter to one, might be perceived “bitter-sweet” to another; the other person might find some taste “neutral” as well.”

    This is very true. As you’ve probably seen, we’ve posted many scientific studies on the WS that examine the perception of bitterness and how it varies dramatically from person to person.

    However, Boggy, I’m sure you’ll agree that there is a VERY distinct difference in the bitterness of the absinthins when they are macerated versus distilled. And I’m sure you’ll also agree that it’s very easy for an educated palate to tell if Grande Wormwood was used in the coloration step of a verte.

    Some people like the taste, some don’t. That’s not the issue. The issue is that they each have VERY different flavor profiles.

  40. Of course, I will agree, every bitterness achieved thru different mean of production is unique; sometimes it is suggested, sometimes it is overwhelming and hence obtrusive.

    I think that as far as adding wormwood in the colouration is regarded, it is still dependant on two factors: which parts of the plant were used and what was the strength of the distillate used for it.

    Although I have not had these bleues transformed verte, from the two products’ descriptions and reviews and private opinions, Du Vallon’s La Veuve Verte-53%, stems as well, found few aficionados, and Angelique-72%, no stems, divided the communities but has ardent followers.

    And obviously, some will like both, some will like only one of them, and some-none.

  41. Coloration is usually done at still strength, not bottling strength, so the abv of the final shelf product is a red herring in what you convey, absinthist.

  42. In case of Angelique maybe, but according to traditional methods, it would mean: left the still at 74%, coloured, diluted to 72%, bottled, so little difference but not in La Veuve Verte as they have shown on their blog; according to Fritsch, best colouring results are achieved in the range 76-75%.

    “The reason is that high proof absinthe is better able to hold all the colorant the herbs can lend”
    53% is not a high proof in that case.

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