Kara Newman

Spirits Editor

Reviews spirits.

Kara Newman is the Spirits Editor for Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and author of Cocktails for a Crowd (coming in Spring 2013) and Spice & Ice: 60 tongue-tingling cocktails, both from Chronicle Books. An active member of the New York cocktail and mixology scene, she loves dive bars and speakeasies alike.

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95
points

Nouvelle-Orléans Absinthe Supérieure

  1. $100

Grab your corkscrew to open a bottle of this absinthe, a tribute to distiller T.A. Breaux’s hometown, New Orleans. The light jade liquid louches to cloudy pale green, releasing gentle fennel, rosemary and fresh basil accented with lime zest and white pepper, plus a long, gentle anise finish. Although it’s easy-sipping when louched, the undiluted spirit is ideal for…

 — K.N.  (3/1/2015)
94
points

Brevans HR Giger

  1. $80

This pretty jade absinthe louches to shimmering opalescent, with a hint of sea-foam green. Relatively bold, the pungent anise scent is echoed on the palate, perked up by lively hints of fresh basil and lime peel. Finishes long and rounded, with an earthy Dutch licorice twang.

 — K.N.  (3/1/2015)
93
points

Jade 1901 Absinthe Supérieure

  1. $100

To make this bottling, T.A. Breaux analyzed vintage absinthe, dated circa 1901. It’s burnished gold in the glass, louching to opalescent light gold, and scented with bold notes of anise and licorice. The flavor is mild at first, but shows more anise on the long, rounded finish.

 — K.N.  (3/1/2015)
91
points

Butterfly Classic Absinthe

  1. $85

The backstory is a little complicated: first made in Boston circa 1902, it’s now been resurrected in Switzerland, thanks to a Boston-based historian. The absinthe itself is more straightforward. It louches to cloudy pale yellow, releasing a mild, citrusy aroma. On the palate, the star anise flavor is assertive and bright, even when diluted with water, and backed by…

 — K.N.  (3/1/2015)
90
points

Lucid Absinthe Supérieure

  1. $60

This cocktail-friendly absinthe is mild and herbaceous, hinting at fennel, lime peel, and a fresh hint of celery. Made with beet neutral spirits, it has a faint sweetness that plays around the edges. Light straw in the glass, louching to bright opalescent.

 — K.N.  (3/1/2015)
90
points

Pernod Absinthe Supérieure

  1. $70

Starting as green-tinged gold, this louches to opal touched with pale green. The mild fragrance shows fennel and a hint of juniper. Although the alcohol level is comparable to other absinthes, it seems to require more dilution to tone down the alcohol heat and tease out a faint sweetness. Even so, it retains a relatively spicy profile, showing fennel, black pepper…

 — K.N.  (3/1/2015)
89
points

La Clandestine Absinthe Supérieure

  1. $80

La Clandestine Absinthe Supérieure (Switzerland; DC Craft Spirits, Monarch Beach, CA). Based on a 1935 recipe, this clear spirit louches to milky white. Silky and light-bodied, this mild absinthe mixes floral notes with licorice candy, though the anise grows bolder with repeated sips. Consider pairing with oysters or other briny seafood.

 — K.N.  (3/1/2015)
89
points

Redux Absinthe Superieure

  1. $86

This mellow, herbaceous absinthe starts out a mossy olive hue, louching to murky yellow-green. The bracing aroma mixes fennel and spearmint, which is echoed on the palate alongside lingering anise.

 — K.N.  (3/1/2015)
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