If there’s one city in the United States that knows all about absinthe, it’s New Orleans.
Whether you know it as NOLA, Nawlins, The Big Easy, or any other of its many nicknames, it’s impossible to deny the rich history and cultural influence of the city.
As time went on away from the cafes frequented by famous artists, writers, and bohemians in Paris, absinthe took on a new life and legend in Louisiana.
So today we’re reviewing the Toulouse Green Absinthe Verte from New Orleans’ own Atelier Vie distillery.
Expectations are high for this one, so let’s get right to it!
What is Atelier Vie Toulouse Green Absinthe Verte?
Toulouse Green Absinthe Verte is distilled by Atelier Vie Distillery in New Orleans.
The absinthe is pot distilled with no artificial ingredients, flavors, or colors. It has an ABV of 68% (136 proof) and is made with cane neutral spirits which contribute to its natural sweetness.
In fact, Toulouse Verte won Double Gold Medals from the American Distilling Institute in 2014!
In a dark, green-wax-sealed bottle, Toulouse Verte stands out on the store shelf for its subtlety.
While many absinthes come in all manner of interesting bottle designs, Atelier Vie bottles their absinthe in a rounded, smooth bottle that more closely resembles a bowling pin.
But it’s that exact elegant aura and mystique that this absinthe aims to capture!
Toulouse Verte is a celebration of the absinthe that was enjoyed in New Orleans in the 1800s. It’s the same Green Fairy that greeted countless people from writers and artists to traders, settlers, and pirates coming to explore what the New World had to offer.
Made with wormwood harvested directly from the Louisiana distillery’s garden, Toulouse Green Absinthe Verte is an absinthe that knows and proudly wears its history with honor.
There’s an initial anticipation to Toulouse Verte’s aroma.
You get a fresh aroma of mint and citrus mixed with a subtle alcohol burn. However, it’s complex enough that it gives you the feeling that there’s more it wants to share with you, but it’s not ready just yet.
But then it happens…
Once you begin adding water and the louche begins to form, Toulouse Verte reveals all of its secrets. The bouquet of aromas seems to burst from the glass and will very quickly fill a small to medium space.
Thankfully, it’s a mixture of aromas that is nothing short of enchanting.
The purest essence of the herbs used to craft Toulouse Verte announces itself like a jazz parade down Bourbon Street.
Just like one of those parades, you just can’t help but get swept up in the excitement.
But, as exciting as this is, the best part is yet to come!
Color & Louche
I am madly in love with the brilliant, natural hue of Toulouse Verte. Perhaps because I was able to get it so close to the source, there was absolutely no discoloration.
While it’s natural for a verte to lose their color due to time and sunlight exposure (especially when being shipped across the country), it is particularly nice to get such a rich green color in the glass.
Even before resting my spoon on the glass to begin preparing it, I couldn’t help but stare into the glass for a moment. Swirls of the natural oils seemed to eagerly await the first drops of water into the glass.
Once the water began to fall into the glass, it was time for the grand reveal!
The louche to Atelier Vie’s Toulouse Verte is among the best I’ve ever seen. Even compared to absinthes that cost almost twice as much as this, this louche is intensely and uniquely captivating.
Toulouse Verte’s louche is rich, full-bodied, and perfectly evokes everything that I love about the absinthe ritual.
From the intense color change to the dreamscape-like dance of the swirling oils being released in the glass, it’s endlessly mesmerizing!
Between the rich aromas and exciting louche display, it took every ounce of patience within me to control myself and properly savor Toulouse Verte.
Not that that’s a bad problem to have, mind you!
If you ever wondered what the great poets found so inspiring about absinthe, Toulouse Verte is happy to show you.
The flavor profile of this absinthe is thick and delightfully creamy without being heavy. There is a freshness to every sip that just keeps me coming back for more.
Punctuating each sip, a very mild burn from the alcohol lingered for just a moment before quickly fading away.
Forgive me for waxing eccentric here, but the flavor here is like a warm and gentle hug from the Green Fairy herself.
Okay, maybe that sounds kind of cheesy, but I don’t know how else to describe it!
Anise is certainly the star of the show with Toulouse Verte, but the playful minty notes perfectly accentuated the flavor without becoming overpowering.
Every flavor gets its time to shine throughout each sip. It’s a perfectly balanced flavor profile that registers like the most well-rehearsed play where not a single step or line is out of time.
Now, I will say that Toulouse Verte does hang towards the sweeter side of the spectrum. When I first tried it, I used one sugar cube in the preparation. While delicious, it was still very sweet for my taste.
I prepared my second glass without sugar and that was simply perfect. All of the flavors of Toulouse Verte were able to make themselves known.
But even beyond the flavor itself, I couldn’t get enough of the mouthfeel.
The oils that create the marvelous louche and magnificent flavor profile of Toulouse Verte made for a wonderful tasting experience. They coated the palate without being too overwhelming or “filmy.”
I was entirely blown away.
Related: How To Taste Absinthe Like a Pro
Conclusion – Reviewing Atelier Vie Toulouse Green Absinthe Verte
Atelier Vie’s Toulouse Green Absinthe Verte isn’t attempting to usher in some radical new idea of what absinthe can be.
Personally, I think that’s a very good thing.
Instead, it brings the highest level of passion, presentation, and commitment to the table and showcases why New Orleans is still such a vital contributor to absinthe’s history.
While I can’t speak to how easy it is to acquire a bottle of this absinthe outside of Louisiana, I can tell you that it’s worth every ounce of effort it takes for you to get it!
(I took a 4-hour road trip to get my hands on this and my only regret is not getting more!)
As of writing this review, the only absinthe I’ve given a 5-star rating to has been LaRusée Bleu.
I am proud to give the second-ever 5-star Absinthe Fiend review to Atelier Vie’s Toulouse Green Absinthe Verte!
To the distillers at Atelier Vie behind this magnificent absinthe, I raise my glass to you!