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

 
4.5 (3)
 
4.5 (8)
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4.5
 
4.3(3)
 
5.0(3)
 
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Fantastic stuff
Overall rating
 
4.4
Color: Wonderfully deep and jewel-like. Quite attractive.

Louche: Deep and rich. Almost silky. Nice opalescence.

Aroma: Rich and herbacious. Spicy with hints of citrus. Room filling and enticing.

Flavor: Well balanced and complex. Earthy, sweet, spicy, and overall refreshing. The quality of the herbs shows through nicely. Very enjoyable.

Finish: Lots of great layers. Sweet, saline, peppery, minty. Lingers a long time. Simply excellent.

Overall: It's really nice to see so many U.S. producers take such care in producing high quality absinthes like this one. This absinthe should age quite nicely.
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An excellent absinthe.
Overall rating
 
4.7
The colour is ideal peridot with a very slight haze. It's natural and extremely attractive.

Before water the aroma is dominated by alcoholic heat and anise. There's some slight grassiness and a hint of caramel. The wormwood is faint but noticeable. Water opens it up to an unbelievable degree. It becomes fresh and citrusy with some pine notes. Powder and camphor swirl around, appearing and then disappearing.

The louche is slow but develops very thick, with an inviting limeade appearance when taken in as a whole. Nice, sunset-orange light refraction at the edges.

Upon tasting the first thing I notice is deep floral wormwood, sweet and crisp. Woodsy. The anise is very present but doesn't take the spotlight. Not too much bitterness, but there is a twinge of saltiness. Well balanced across the entire tongue. Bell peppers, flowers, and citrus. Summery.

The finish is long and dramatic. Wormwood bitterness becomes a little more prevalent like a bass solo as the other herbs form more of an ambient tone with a sprinkle of peppercorn. Some candy-like flavours and soft powder as it fades.

This is a truly outstanding absinthe, where almost every aspect is exemplary. It has a strong, modern American character overall but the details find a way to be idiosyncratic while harmonious at the same time.
A
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Extrait, Extrait, Read All About It!
(Updated: January 16, 2011)
Overall rating
 
4.5
Color
Unlouched, a very clear and bright medium peridot with an amber overtone. A strong level of color, unquestionably natural looking. Louched, nice green retention with amber highlights and some whitish blue at the edges and meniscus.

Louche
The weight of this louche shows good restraint, and the resulting ample translucence to really get some maximum refractions of all the classic louche tones. Very opalescent, very colorful, just about as good as it gets.

Aroma
Spicy, herbal, savory, rooty up front. There is an assertive honesty to this that really sets it apart from most. Very fresh and immediate. The trinity, featuring that great Ridge wormwood, is perfectly evident. Pontica definitely talking, as well. As this has aged, some dustier herbs and flowers have emerged, especially when it warms. A little camphor and some lemon curd bring it all into focus. Very complex and balanced.

Flavor
A round, fruity attack followed immediately by the well measured insistence of the Artemisias and coriander. Very clean, smooth mouthfeel and a nice sense of weight. A very spicy, dry, savory overall impression, however not austere. The trinity, again, is right in the mix and very balanced with all the other components. Just enough minty and lemony notes to bring an offsetting brightness.

Finish
A round anisy, fennely linger that quickly segues to a spiciness and some tingle. It all eventually lands on anise and wormwood and just goes on and on. Very long.

Overall
Of the high-quality modern vertes I've tried, this is one of the few with a truly unique and distinctive personality. It's earthy, spicy, honest and grounded. Very workman-like in it's execution. Very clean, very high quality, very immediate, very no-nonsense, right in keeping with the Ridge house style. Every time I louche one of these up (which by the way, my favorite ratio is a little lean of 5:1), I am excited with anticipation, and the glass never lasts quite long enough. Like all the top scoring absinthes I have reviewed, the difference between a score of 4 or 5 in any given category was a razor's edge, and in those where I awarded a 4, I probably could have given a 5 and supported it. I swear, I need to start reviewing some more mediocre absinthes. They're way easier! Right now, I'm tasting this for probably the 10th time for this review (oh, the pain!), and I can tell you this is a pleasure to have in the collection for those times when I want a quintessential absinthe experience.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4:1, 4.5:1, 4.8:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Ridge Extrait d'Absinthe Verte, 11/20/10, 11/27/10, 12/21/10, 1/04/11, 1/08/11, 1/15/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.
M
Top 10 Reviewer 53 reviews
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