Second Round

Nearly six months after Lucid’s debut, the mainstream media is still slowly cluing in to the fact that absinthe is legally available in the U.S.; now, if they’d stop trotting out the tired Belle Epoque exaggerated stories and quit relying on interns to put together the bullet points that invariably read “ABSINTHE WILL MAKE YOU CRAZY!,” we’d be making real progress.

But while Lucid continues to attract attention, last week another absinthe debuted in the U.S., to much less fanfare. That’s too bad — because the absinthe’s pretty good.

Kubler is a Swiss absinthe, commercially produced in Val-de-Travers ever since Switzerland lifted the ban on absinthe in 2001. Unlike Lucid, Kubler is a blanche — meaning it is clear in color, and has a somewhat more subdued, mellow flavor — though also unlike Lucid, Kubler has a bit more of a forward anise note. It’s also lighter in alcohol content — though when you’re talking about something that’s 106 proof, “lighter” is a relative concept. Finally, like Lucid, Kubler is available for online purchase; DrinkUpNY currently has a deal for $51.99 for a liter of Kubler, with free shipping (compare that to $62.99 for a 750ml of Lucid).

I just louched my first glass of the Kubler, and I’m enjoying what I’m tasting. Sure, it’s not as complex or robust as some absinthes, but it’s a very pleasant drink — light in flavor without being shy, and with a nice, creamy mouthfeel. Not bad for a second round — I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Kubler absinthe

3 Responses to Second Round

  1. Mine just shipped at the end of last week, and should be here in the next day or two. We’re planning an absinthe tasting on Saturday, featuring this, Lucid and three Jade varieties (Nouvelle-Orléans, Suisse Verte and PF 1901). Should be fun, to say the least!

  2. Ah, thanks for the heads-up on that. I’m enjoying the Lucid (amazing how much better it is in a Sazerac than pastis) and I’ll have to try the Kübler as well.

  3. Have you read “The Devil’s Picnic” by Taras Grescoe? He has a chapter in that book devoted to absinthe which includes a brief interview with the head of Kubler as well as backroads ramblings in search of home distilled Swiss absinthe that makes for an entertaining and edifying(for me, anyway) read.

    No one that I’ve read seems to have blogged on what exactly the current legal status of absinthe is in the US. Of course, there is every possibility I haven’t looked closely enough to find it. With Lucid, and now, Kubler, representing the thin edge of the wedge, I only hope they keep coming in greater and greater profusion until eventually absinthe becomes just another item you can pick up at your local liquor store. Having once made a Monkey Gland or a Sazerac with absinthe it is hard to imagine ever using pastis again.

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