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Absinthe Review Criteria

Use this guide to better understand the absinthe review process. This is common criteria used by absinthe enthusiasts to evaluate Absinthe. Absinthe-Review does consider this criteria but does not judge an absinthe better or worse if it rates low in one or more specific categories. It should be noted that learning How To Drink Absinthe properly is the most important factor if you want to mix a perfect drink.

When considering a Verte, or green absinthe, the color should look natural and not "glowing" or artificial. When considering a Blanche, or clear absinthe, the color should be clear, bright and free of color. Note: Some absinthe (verte or blanche) may have visible sediment. This is not always bad but may contribute to a grainy taste.

The louche is the cloudy, white, opalescent color absinthe takes as water is added as the herbal oils are released form the absinthe. The Louche should be prominent but still translucent. A quality absinthe will usually provide the best louche at a 1:3 to 1:5 ratio.

Refers to the aromas released while louching. As water is added and the herbal oils are released, the aromas of the various herbs are also released giving off a pleasant, flowery nose.

This is a personal preference. Absinthe will vary greatly in taste from one to the next and between verte and blanche. Overall, an absinthe should have a well balanced herbal flavor with no one taste over-powering another (this includes the taste of alcohol).

This is basically the mouth-feel or aftertaste. You can find a rather expensive absinthe that has an incredible start but finishes with an unpleasant after taste.

Glossary Of Absinthe Terms

Absinth: Central European spelling of absinthe. Commonly used to describe on Czech Absinthe.

Absinthism: A fictitious syndrome created by the anti-absinthe movement to demonize absinthe in the 19th century. Alcoholism associated with absinthe.

Absintheur: Absinthe enthusiast. Collector of absinthe or absinthe accessories.

Alembic/Alambic: French for distillation apparatus or still.

Aroma: >See review criteria at top of page.

Artemisia Absinthium: See Wormwood.

Bain-Marie: A type of distillation apparatus using the "double boiler" method to heat the still.

Belle Époque: An era of artistic and cultural refinement in a society, especially in France at the beginning of the 20th century.

Blanche: French for "white".  Describes clear, uncolored absinthe. See also La Bleue.

Clandestine: Absinthes made by amateur distillers where distillation is prohibited.

Color: See review criteria at top of page.

Cuillere: French for "Spoon".

Feuille Morte: French for "Dead or Fallen Leaf". Refers to the brownish color a verte absinthe turns as it ages.

Finish: >See review criteria at top of page.

Flavor: >See review criteria at top of page.

La Bleue: Describes clandestine Swiss blanche absinthes. French for "the blue". Refers to bluish tint after the addition of water.

La Fée Verte: French for "Green Fairy"

L'Heure Verte: >French for "The Green Hour"

Louche: >See criteria at top of page.

Petite Wormwood: AKA Artemisia pontica, Roman Wormwood. Also See Wormwood.

Sans Sucre: French for "Sugar Free"

Suisse: French for "Swiss." Also a style of absinthe considered produced using superior distillation processes.

Thujone: Active component Artemesia absinthium (wormwood).

Verre: French for “drinking glass”.

Verte: French for “green”. Describes green absinthe.

Wormwood: >Broad range of plants belonging to the genus Artemisia. Only one Artemisia absinthium is an ingredient in authentic absinthe. Note: Artemisia pontica (AKA roman wormwood or petite wormwood) is used in the coloration of some absinthe.