Review Detail

 
All Product Reviews » Traditional Absinthe
Color
Unlouched, crystal clear, bright, and absolutely colorless. The colorlessness here is almost unbelievable, and it pays off handsomely in the louched appearance. Louched, one of the most beautiful blanche louches I have seen. Very skim-milky white with pastel orange, blue, and rose highlights.

Louche
A nice mid-weight. Ample translucence really lights things up. Great sheen, very "wet" looking, myriad colorful refractions, a carry-over from the absolute lack of unlouched color. And if you're one to enjoy the show, set the fountain for a reasonably slow drip to stretch out the gorgeous lavender, lilac, indigo, and violet trails you'll see while it is forming.

Aroma
Consistent with the Ridge style, a very savory, earthy, rooty first impression. Very complicated, with a solid core of the trinity dead square in the middle. This is very substantial, with a lot going on. Highly nuanced, with a pretty sense of flowers as it warms. The brighter components become apparent after going to palate. Impeccably clean, intriguing and inviting.

Flavor
Round, velvety mouthfeel with a good sense of weight on entry. Holy crap! And like the nose, all kinds of earthy, rooty, savory, almost "forest floor" type impressions, all wrapped around the trinity, which clearly acts as the canvass on which this absinthe is painted. Bold and assertive, firm grip, with an underlying spiciness, none of which goes overboard. Throw in some focusing camphor, mint, and citric tang, and it's a party in my mouth!

Finish
Initially, dry, herbal, savory, smooth, then almost immediately, a spicy, minty, tingliness blooms and takes over. It's almost like those two sides just swap places. All the while the wormwood and the rest of the trinity fades, and for a long time. In the end, the anise, wormwood, and coriander end up in beautiful tandem, with a gentle grip, and a soft bitter linger.

Overall
Really, really nice. I love the transitions from savory, earthy, sultry on the nose to savory, slightly bitter on the attack, to anisy and complicated on the mid-palate, to minty-anisy, with wormwood and coriander on the finish. A great series of shifts, that just make sense. When combined with the quality, immediacy, complexity, and high level of craftmanship this shows, it'll make some of you take back everything you ever said about blanches.

Folks, this is real "knife and fork" absinthe that pales not, in comparison, to any of the top modern offerings. My favorite dilution is right up around 4:1. It's almost hard to think of such a bold offering as having finesse, but the level of restraint, in all areas, is admirable and impressive. My sense of this is that every facet was fussed with, to find the edge, maybe even by going over the edge, and then dialed back to create the most harmonious whole. I'm glad to see this American offering as another great alternative that should soon be available to those who seek it out. When that happens, you owe it to yourself.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3:1, 3.5:1, and 4:1, and no sugar.

Ridge Extrait d'Absinthe Blanche, 11/20/10, 11/27/10, 12/18/10, 01/12/11, 01/15/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Michael Meyers January 16, 2011
Last updated: June 18, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (53)

A Whiter Shade... Not Pale

Color
Unlouched, crystal clear, bright, and absolutely colorless. The colorlessness here is almost unbelievable, and it pays off handsomely in the louched appearance. Louched, one of the most beautiful blanche louches I have seen. Very skim-milky white with pastel orange, blue, and rose highlights.

Louche
A nice mid-weight. Ample translucence really lights things up. Great sheen, very "wet" looking, myriad colorful refractions, a carry-over from the absolute lack of unlouched color. And if you're one to enjoy the show, set the fountain for a reasonably slow drip to stretch out the gorgeous lavender, lilac, indigo, and violet trails you'll see while it is forming.

Aroma
Consistent with the Ridge style, a very savory, earthy, rooty first impression. Very complicated, with a solid core of the trinity dead square in the middle. This is very substantial, with a lot going on. Highly nuanced, with a pretty sense of flowers as it warms. The brighter components become apparent after going to palate. Impeccably clean, intriguing and inviting.

Flavor
Round, velvety mouthfeel with a good sense of weight on entry. Holy crap! And like the nose, all kinds of earthy, rooty, savory, almost "forest floor" type impressions, all wrapped around the trinity, which clearly acts as the canvass on which this absinthe is painted. Bold and assertive, firm grip, with an underlying spiciness, none of which goes overboard. Throw in some focusing camphor, mint, and citric tang, and it's a party in my mouth!

Finish
Initially, dry, herbal, savory, smooth, then almost immediately, a spicy, minty, tingliness blooms and takes over. It's almost like those two sides just swap places. All the while the wormwood and the rest of the trinity fades, and for a long time. In the end, the anise, wormwood, and coriander end up in beautiful tandem, with a gentle grip, and a soft bitter linger.

Overall
Really, really nice. I love the transitions from savory, earthy, sultry on the nose to savory, slightly bitter on the attack, to anisy and complicated on the mid-palate, to minty-anisy, with wormwood and coriander on the finish. A great series of shifts, that just make sense. When combined with the quality, immediacy, complexity, and high level of craftmanship this shows, it'll make some of you take back everything you ever said about blanches.

Folks, this is real "knife and fork" absinthe that pales not, in comparison, to any of the top modern offerings. My favorite dilution is right up around 4:1. It's almost hard to think of such a bold offering as having finesse, but the level of restraint, in all areas, is admirable and impressive. My sense of this is that every facet was fussed with, to find the edge, maybe even by going over the edge, and then dialed back to create the most harmonious whole. I'm glad to see this American offering as another great alternative that should soon be available to those who seek it out. When that happens, you owe it to yourself.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3:1, 3.5:1, and 4:1, and no sugar.

Ridge Extrait d'Absinthe Blanche, 11/20/10, 11/27/10, 12/18/10, 01/12/11, 01/15/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

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