It’s genuinely amazing how far things have come in the absinthe world since it became legal again.
But in even such a short time, one name has become something of legendary status to all absintheurs: the Jade absinthes from Combier Distillery.
Masterminded by the absinthe legend himself, T.A. Breaux, these absinthes get a ton of hype.
I’ve been excited to start releasing my reviews for the Jade absinthes for quite a while now. But the time has finally come as we start with this review of the Jade Nouvelle-Orléans Absinthe Supérieure.
I can tell you right now, we’re in for quite a treat.
It’s time to “laissez les bon temps rouler!”
What Is Jade Nouvelle-Orléans Absinthe?
Jade Nouvelle-Orléans is an all-out celebration of the uniquely American absinthe legacy in New Orleans. With that, it brings playful vibrancy, a certain moodiness, and a deep sense of passion to the table.
Furthermore, it does this in a way that stays distinguished without being stuffy. At the end of the day, Nouvelle-Orléans wants to be enjoyed and not just admired from afar.
Every single ounce of this absinthe shows the knowledge, passion, and care that goes into crafting it.
The absinthe itself is macerated and distilled in antique copper pots specifically created for making absinthe.
Breaux personally oversees the entire process to ensure that each batch is absolutely perfect before being set to rest for three years.
Once those three years have passed and the absinthe has been able to fully age with the botanicals, flowers, and spices, it is bottled and ready to ship.
It’s an intense process with many very fine details, but mon dieu is it worth it!
Jade Nouvelle-Orléans Absinthe Supérieure is a 136-proof (68% ABV) absinthe verte made using a grape base spirit by the Combier Distillery in France.
Okay, I can’t take it anymore…
Let’s get to the good stuff!
The aroma of Jade Nouvelle-Orléans Absinthe Supérieure is possibly the most intense of any absinthe I’ve had. Fortunately, it’s also one of the best I’ve ever experienced.
Fresh citrus and lively mint with clear and present undertones of anise burst out of the bottle the moment you uncork it.
(Because this is a corked absinthe, I recommend grabbing these bottle stoppers to properly protect your absinthe. You can also check out my article about proper absinthe storage to make sure you don’t waste it!)
Despite this intensity, it’s a wonderful and rich bouquet of herbal and floral notes that perfectly set the expectation for what is to come.
What most impresses me is that all three of the “Holy Trinity” of herbs (anise, fennel, wormwood) are clearly noticeable in the aroma. Anise usually stands out, but most other absinthes’ aromas tend to bury the wormwood or fennel.
In this case, all three herbs stand right alongside all of the other ingredients to set the stage.
As a disclaimer, you’re probably going to spend a strange amount of time taking in the aromas pouring out of the bottle before you even pour some of the absinthe into your glass.
It’s happened to me every single time (and I’m on bottle number 4), so I’m just letting you know…
If you have an audience, they’ll probably think you’ve gone a little crazy. In that case, offer them a smell so they can understand why it’s so special!
Color & Louche
The color is brilliantly lime green with a mesmerizing tint of blue.
As you gently swirl the absinthe, you’ll see the clear presence of the oils lightly clinging to the sides of your glass before making their way back down.
It should go without saying, but there are no artificial colorings used in Jade Nouvelle-Orléans Absinthe Supérieure. The color is 100% natural and is the surest sign of just how fresh the herbs used to make it are.
You’ll get more glimpses of the soft blue hue as the louche begins to form. Which, speaking of the louche, is undeniably remarkable to watch!
It starts off very slowly but absolutely erupts as the water reacts with the absinthe’s natural oils. The brilliant lime green paves the way to an enchantingly pale opalescent color.
Even before we’ve finished preparing Jade Nouvelle-Orléans Absinthe Supérieure, it has every single sign of an undeniably masterfully crafted absinthe!
Where do we even start?!
From the second this absinthe touches the tongue, it’s like hearing a New Orleans jazz parade playing the Hallelujah Chorus.
There is an unmistakable “vintage” taste to Nouvelle Orleans.
This is an absinthe that has a story to tell and brings together the best of the “old days” of absinthe with the “new school” of the craft.
The citrus in Jade Nouvelle Orleans mixed with the rich and almost creamy texture immediately brings key lime pie to mind.
But this isn’t an overly sour flavor. Nor is there any kind of burning astringency from the alcohol.
The anise is most certainly present as the flavors are very intensely herbal on the front.
Expect very prominent anise, citrus, and mint for a flavor that feels fresh and lively with a mouthfeel that is delicate but lingering. The signature wormwood bitterness is unmistakable and ever-present without ever feeling unbalanced.
Despite the intense herbal flavors, the main throughline for each sip is actually the unique and mild floral bitterness. This combines to give a stimulating and almost pleasantly salty taste to bring out but still temper the citrus notes.
The middle and back of each sip see the coriander, fennel, and rosemary stepping into the spotlight alongside the lingering presence of the mint, verbena, and anise.
This lingering effect almost creates a kind of “call and response” across the palate where the different flavors all get their moment to shine and mingle before shifting elsewhere.
The finish is remarkably bittersweet, and the floral notes linger very well without losing any of the “freshness” factor that makes Jade Nouvelle-Orleans stand out.
Jade Nouvelle-Orléans Absinthe Supérieure certainly has a complex flavor, but in a way that stays accessible and humble.
Related: How To Taste Absinthe Like a Pro
Conclusion – Jade Nouvelle-Orléans Absinthe Review
The entire line of Jade Absinthes is viewed very favorably by absintheurs of all experience levels. And for good reason!
In most conversations, Jade Nouvelle-Orleans seems to fall into one of two camps.
Some absolutely swear by it as the best of the entire line of Jades.
Others enjoy it but (if forced to choose) tend to side more with the Jade PF 1901 or the Esprit Edouard (both of which I’ll be reviewing soon!)
Truthfully, I tend to go back and forth. I might have to do a ranking article where I compare all of the Jades in the future.
But, whatever the case, Jade Nouvelle-Orleans is an absolute treat. It represents the best of what absinthe can be (and clearly is) in a way that is nothing short of hypnotizing.
Even if you prefer the nuances of the other Jades, there’s no disputing how truly wonderful Nouvelle-Orleans is.
Not to mention, it also makes for one helluva Sazerac!
It’s a no-brainer here, folks. This absinthe gets a full 5 stars, and a glass raised high!