Now, if I understand the things I've read correctly, absinthe wasn't illegal to have in the US, it was merely illegal to import, due to the thujone it contained. You can read all about recent studies and advances by T. A. Breaux and others, which tend to show that the purported affects of absinthe were not actually due to the presence of this toxic chemical. For the past few years, Mr. Breaux has been distilling absinthes in France to wide critical acclaim, and Lucid is his latest creation. Since it meets US standards for thujone, it's legal to import, and can be found all over NY state, which is where I ordered it from. Online reviews tend to give it about an 8/10 overall (despite the "gothiest bottle ever" as cow described it), and say it's good for beginners to the drink; given the difficulties and prices attached to acquiring something better, I'll stick with this for now.
I had the chance to try a glass when geeksdoitbetter was here (and I promise my next post is about that visit). With her assistance, I tried a small amount in the traditional manner -- cold water dripped through a sugar cube into a tall narrow glass (I used a champagne flute) -- and tried it. It was better then I thought: more anise cookie (which I love) than black liquorice (which I hate). As for the effects, well, there were no hallucinations or anything, just a pleasant, very relaxed feeling. It could be placebo effect, but it did seem to affect me more than an equivalent amount of alcohol would have. Further experimentation is definitely needed. I'll keep you posted.