Pre-louche, this is a beautiful delicate shade of lime-green peridot. It takes on a soapstone-like color as water is added.
This is a unique absinthe, with darker-toned aromas and flavors of holiday spices -- the sort of aftertaste you'd get from pumpkin pie. (Though a friend who tried the Nouvelle Orleans insisted that it tasted like key lime pie.)
Whether this absinthe is your style or not, it's unmistakably high quality and is a must-try, even if you've had the other more popular Jades.
Color was a faint light emerald green, with the slightest suggestion of a blue in the mix. Gem-like sparkles in the facets of my pontarlier glass. After adding the water to the level I enjoy this at, it was a tad thinner than I prefer however.
Louche was slow forming, dramatic thick trails turning to puffs of smoke. Thick, distinct layering with the tiniest of smoky tendrils rolling around under the clear layer. Lovely shade of light green with nice light-play refraction and copper highlights. This louche was formed with a very very thin steady stream of ice cold water.
The aroma was inviting and interesting. It has the definite "Jade" character... just a bit of earthiness in the mix. Flavor... smooth and balanced, well thought out and complex. It is a milder profile than the other Jades, and a bit on the thin side for my tastes. Still, it works as a concept, and is enjoyable. There's a cooking spice vibe that I really warmed up to; I can see myself drinking this on a cold winter night by the fire...if only I had a fireplace!
Finish was layered and interesting. A nice light pinch and mild bitter with a lingering light citrus and white pepper. The finish is one of this absinthe's strengths.
For me, it's a little on the light side, As I prefer a more robust personality. It is refreshing and interesting however, and I suspect some will find this to be their favorite Jade.
A clear green that also has a bluish tinge. Not as vivid as the Edouard, it is a nice, rich color. Louche is slow and steady, a good louche, but not excellent. After water the louche has a light, green with a blue tint. Pre loache it has a interesting and different nose, almost medicinal, but with shades of spice. Louched-very similar to the pre loache except that it opens up nicely with some herbal tones and becomes more herbal. The mouth feel is pronounced but not as rich as the other Jades. Still, a nice body, more silky than velvety. The taste has a fore of fennel, and a decent helping of anise, but the wormwood is much more in the background than in the other Jades. A very unique flavor. This absinthe is well crafted, and deserves recognition for originality. Still not my favorite of the Jades. I would venture to say that it is a taste that some will enjoy and others not.
This generously provided sample was prepared without sugar, and with a slow, icy drip.
Aroma pre-louche: Very sweet, candy-like smell. No real hint of anything else but anise here. Very mouthwatering. In the glass the almost sickly-sweet aroma broadens and becomes very delicate and more floral.
Color: In the glass, the Nouvelle Orleans is very light. There is no rich, peridot coloration or even olive color present. It is crystal clear, but lacking in impressiveness.
Louche: Very pretty louche. The watery trails move quickly as the billowy opalescence takes a long time to settle in. I imagined the louche would be thin for some reason, but this is not the case. It is thick and inviting. A clear demarcation between alcohol and the louched portion of the drink hangs around for some time, and the smell coming out of the glass is as sweet as it was when sniffed from the bottle. I can't help but think this absinthe will be very sweet. It finishes a very pale green.
Flavor: Right off the bat, not the flavor I was expecting due to its intensely sweet aroma. At first I was put off because to me this absinthe is not anise first and other flavors second, but a more woody flavored offering. There is a nice interaction between the wormwood and other herbs that round out the flavor and really casing me to wrack my brain trying to figure it out.
Overall: I think this absinthe is a challenge. Not in a bad way, just that it might not be a great absinthe for beginners. As with most of the higher quality absinthe I try, I don't know if sugar would be appropriate, at least for my palate. What on the first sip pushed me back I now find invites me further into this drink's mystery. Definitely good, but definitely not mundane. I like this absinthe quite a lot. Very different from the PF 1901.
This is a really quirky absinthe, from the color, which is a very appealing deep green (neat), but tinged with blue, to the flavor, which reminds me of a spiced Christmas ale blended with a dash of Old Bay seasoning.
The louche is very good, but not great, with a nice opaque effect, but not much building action.
The finish is lengthy, but not particularly wormwoody, especially for absinthe which tested fairly high in residual thujone. (I believe it was in the 30s).
When I'm in the mood, it's a great oner, but more often than not, I'm not.