Vilya Blanche (formerly Ridge Blanche) - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

4.2 (3)
4.5 (9)
Vilya Blanche (formerly Ridge Blanche) - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

Product Details

Available in USA?
Degrees ABV (% alcohol)
Country of Origin
Wormwood Society Editor Comments
Formerly Ridge Blanche

Editor reviews

6 reviews
Overall rating
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I'm impressed.
Overall rating
Before adding water the colour is perfectly clear with no debris or tint. The aroma is dominated by floral wormwood. There is a mild heat with a slight shade of anise and a presence that reminds me of chamomile.

The louche is pearlescent, and of middle-thickness. It's pure white and only takes on the colour of light that passes through it.

After water the aroma is powdery, with the anise coming forward and the wormwood receding somewhat. There are grapefruit notes and a wrapping of earthiness.

Upfront the flavour is a powerful smack of minty wormwood, followed by a flash of peppercorn. The anise is subdued and does not contribute much sweetness. The absinthe is earthy and warm, with a twinge of bitterness. It has a crisp, light mouthfeel.

The finish is watery and mid-length, with anise giving way to a strange chalkiness until it recedes. This is the only weak point of the absinthe; it's not bad but it does not live up to its other aspects.

In some ways this absinthe has a VDT character, particularly in the aroma, but it contains more dimensions and is thus much more compelling. Unlike most blanches this does not fall into the realm of a session drink for me. It's a bit demanding as blanches go, which is refreshing in its own right.
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An amazing blanche
Overall rating
Appearance: Clear and bright. Very inviting.

Louche: Attractive, but much thinner than the verte. Still very inviting.

Aroma: Very clean with nice earthy and rooty characteristics, presumably from the genepi. I love that aroma.

Flavor: Very nicely balanced between sweet, earthy, and spicy. Quite enjoyable. Sweet on the tip of the tongue, then as it warms in the mouth the earthiness comes out. Upon swalling, the spiciness is felt in the throat and sides of the tongue. Really nice.

Finish: Sweet anise and spicy coriander. I wish it would last a bit longer, but that's because it's so tasty.

Overall: As someone who's not really a blanche guy, i'm very impressed by this. An easy drinking absinthe that works as well on its own as it does in a cocktail.
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A Whiter Shade... Not Pale
(Updated: June 18, 2012)
Overall rating
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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.
Top 10 Reviewer 53 reviews
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User reviews

9 reviews
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
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a bit spicy
Overall rating
Appearance is crystal clear. I see no sediment or discoloration up close.
Louche- takes a while to start up but then it quickly becomes louched, without much of a show. Still, the end result is a very nice kind of pale, light-gray/white, with a touch of opalescence.
Aroma- Almost a perfume-like or even cologne fragrance. Very nice, but not very strong. In fact, I can barely smell it after louche with my nose right over the glass.
Flavor- I've always preferred a good verte to a good blanche, and this drink doesn't change that, but it tastes good enough that I begin to appreciate the blanche profile as it's own thing, rather than seeing it as an absinthe with something missing. Not an anise bomb. Fairly complex while also subtle. The anise/wormwood/fennel are there but I mainly notice a delicate spiciness, and something like ginger. Nice smooth mouthfeel.
Finish- nice and fresh/clean, like drinking spring water. That's how it makes me feel anyway... if that makes any sense. Doesn't stick around for very long though.

I feel like pointing out that my bottle is of the older stuff, labelled 'Ridge', even though I just bought it at the end of last year (2017). I only mention this because I think I've seen mention by the maker that they changed their recipe a bit for the later re-branded 'Vilya' product.It seems that some people think it's an improvement. I think if the newer stuff is much better than what I have, it must be an exceptional blanche. This is a very nice drink.
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Solid and very tasty offering
Overall rating
Appearance: Flawlessly clear

Louche: Pure white cloud, with a bluish hue in the light.

Aroma: Sweet and floral, with the wormwood drawing you in. Airy and fresh, with a nice pull of anise. Slightly complex; enough to hold your attention. I find it very refreshing.

Flavor: Upfront wormwood, with a nice, sweet sensation from anise, followed by fennel. Flowery perfume goodness, which closes in a nice pleasant bitterness that does not overwhelm. Overall juicy, and quite enjoyable.

Finish: There is wormwood here also in the finish. As it holds on to the taste buds, the other savory herbs cause a tingle on the tongue, that grabs you, and slowly recedes into a sweet and slightly bitter linger.

It is poetic how these flavors come together on the palate. A distinguished experience for all the senses. This absinthe is highly rated for a reason.

Top 500 Reviewer 1 reviews
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A very fine blanche
Overall rating
This is a very nice blanche, and though it does not compare to Ridge's verte, it is still quite respectable. The color is fine...perfectly clear with no trace of impurities. The aroma before and after water is very nice, both pleasing and bracing. The louche is rapid and the final color is an attractive if unremarkable white jade. Flavor and finish are good but unsubtle, and could use more complexity, even allowing for the typical character of a blanche as opposed to a verte. There is a strong impression of licorice in the flavor. Overall, I like this absinthe quite well. It is significantly better than Kubler, for example, though it does not have the interest or complexity of some of the best blanches.
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A very well-made blanche
(Updated: January 05, 2013)
Overall rating
Enjoyed at 4:1. no sugar

Appearance: This blanche is so perfectly clear and colorless, that when my glass was filled to the dose line, it looked empty. It was clear of any sediment, and was absolutely the pinnacle of how a blanche should look neat.

Louche: A well-formed louche that develops in an even slow build, unlike so many blanches which seem to be in a hurry. The final result was just thick enough to not be opaque, and still had refractive elements, and flashes of copper at the edges.

Aroma: A dry, clean and crisp wormwood-forward aroma. Flirting around its edges is a sweet floral fennel, with a delicate anise behind. Quite nice.

Flavor: The is a tasty and refreshing absinthe; it is crisp and dry, but has a bit more going on than a trad la Bleue; a bit more pepper, spice and depth. The wormwood is exceptional. I enjoy its delicious, light bitterness, and would not be tempted to ruin its character with sugar.

Finish: The finish follows the flavor very well, with a slow build. Pepper, and an almost gin-like dryness. Just as I though it was not going anywhere else, the citrus opened for the final linger.

This is an absinthe worth buying and enjoying. I am quite impressed that these folks grow, harvest, and prep their own wormwood.
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My first blanche, and I loved it!
(Updated: October 09, 2011)
Overall rating
Jewel Like Louche, not quite like it's verte brethren, but very correct.

Amazing neat aroma(I could wear this), somewhat subdued after louching.

Surprisingly complex flavor, very refreshing. I do need sugar.

finish is a 4.4

This absinthe has opened my eyes about blanches. It has nothing to apologize to the vertes. I plan to make it a staple.

Edit, after having enjoyed this product for a while, I've learned to enjoy it sans sucre, and to be extra mindful to not over water. When louched just right the flavor and finish become solid 5s in my palate.
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