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Subcategories

  • Absinthe Substitutes

    These are mostly the products that took over where absinthe left off, after the ban.  Pastis is an absinthe-like anise spirit that was essentially created to fill the gap left by absinthe.  There are also a number of intentional absinthe substitutes which are available in places where absinthe is difficult to obtain.

     

  • Faux Absinthe

    These are products which are labeled as absinthe but, for one or more reasons, do not qualify as such according to the Wormwood Society's criteria.  These criteria are based on the characteristics of properly-distilled absinthes made at the height of absinthe's popularity in the late 19th century. Briefly, the criteria are:

    • Minimum 90 proof.
    • May not contain sugar or other sweeteners.
    • Must contain Artemisia absinthium wormwood as a main ingredient.
    • Must have a main characteristic flavor of anise and wormwood.

    Literally every genuine pre-ban brand of absinthe of which we have knowledge fits these criteria, and any evidence that any differing expression of absinthe ever existed is completely absent. Unfortunately, just as there were impostors and inferior products in the pre-ban era, so there are opportunistic and deceptive brand-creators today.

    Deception: Some of the brands in this section do not contain wormwood of any kind.  Some may contain some species of Artemisia, but not absinthium. Most are made by simply blending neutral spirits, flavorings, and artificial colors. Most also contain very little or no aniseed, and some achieve a louche effect with additives such as resins and gums, just as imitations did in the 19th century. Some may approximate absinthe technically, but their flavor profile is idiosyncratic and uncharacteristic of absinthe

    Sensationalism: We strongly advise consumers to avoid brands making claims about alleged psychedelic, hallucinogenic or aphrodisiac properties of absinthe.  These claims are false, and the hallmark of inferior and spurious brands. There are no known authentic brands which employ these questionable tactics.

    If you would like to add a review, please use the criteria in the Wormwood Society Absinthe Scoring Guide to determine your score.

  • Traditional Absinthe
    These brands represent the quality range of modern absinthes made in the traditional style of the 19th century. Our criteria for what constitutes "traditional style" are based on the qualities and character of properly distilled absinthes made at the height of absinthe's popularity in the late 19th century; these were the definitive item. Briefly, these criteria are:

    • Minimum 90 proof.
    • May not contain sugar or other sweeteners.
    • Must contain Artemisia absinthium wormwood as a main ingredient.
    • Must have a main characteristic flavor of aniseed and wormwood.

    For more on these criteria, read this article on Absinthe in the U.S..

    If you would like to add your review, please read and follow the guidelines the Wormwood Society Absinthe Scoring Guide to determine your score.

  • Vintage Absinthe
    Many do not realize that there are numerous surviving bottles of pre-ban absinthe from a good range of the more exemplary brands.  Extraordinarily well-preserved, these rare specimens are the final authority on the characteristics of absinthe, in quality, flavor, and herbal and chemical content.

    These bottles mostly represent the upper quality range of pre-ban absinthes made in the of the 19th century. Our criteria for what constitutes "traditional style" are based on the qualities and characteristics of these absinthes, made at the height of absinthe's popularity in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Briefly, these characteristics are:

    • Minimum 90 proof.
    • Do not contain sugar or other sweeteners.
    • All contain Artemisia absinthium wormwood as a main ingredient.
    • All have a main characteristic flavor of aniseed and wormwood.

    If you would like to add your review, please read and follow the guidelines the Wormwood Society Absinthe Scoring Guide to determine your score.

  • Retired Brands
    These are modern brands that have either been discontinued or were small, limited productions and are no longer available.
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