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

4.5 (3)
4.5 (8)

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Powerful Montana Herbs
(Updated: October 31, 2014)
Overall rating
I could bask in these aromas all night - floral, powerful, and smooth. Neat color is pretty close to perfect - not too dark... but dark enough to stand out. Louche is glorious and thick - forms a bit quickly with lengthy, oily tentrils which form into heavy cloudbanks. This tastes very similar to how it smells - outstanding. Mouthfeel and finish both present themselves well and are enjoyable. Lots of great flavour and the preparation is difficult to get wrong. Out-standing!

Slightly "medicinal".... rustic... herbal... this is a great American absinthe and one which I expect will always be in my cabinet.

EDIT: There is a bit of menthol in the flavour and aroma which might be strange to some... so I have balanced my scores a bit based upon that. This is most likely from the elecampane used.
Top 10 Reviewer 47 reviews
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Rocky Mountain High
(Updated: September 02, 2014)
Overall rating
Ridge Verte pours an attractive shade of olive-peridot, with a fresh aroma before water that is both herbal and medicinal. There are noticeable white pepper notes in the scent. When water is added, an attractive louche forms, with all of the expected visual effects.

After water, the aroma is stellar: fresh and tonic-like, which characteristics carry over into the excellent flavor. This absinthe is reminds me somewhat of the Roquette 1797. The two share the medicinal DNA of the earliest absinthes. The finish is perhaps a little too peppery, though with age this may improve. If so, I'll up the overall score from 4 to 5.

Overall, I like it very much. Well done, T73 and company.
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believe the hype, baby.
Overall rating
The Color is a clear olive, undoubtedly an emeraldy color when fresh and aged into feuille mortification. A 4 that is actually a 4.5.

The Louche is quite readily formed early on. It is quite thick and not quite what I'd call opalescent but I wouldn't call it ugly, as it would be if it were overcolored. Amber highlights around the edge. Another 4 that is really a 4.5.

The Aroma neat is surprisingly floral. Louched, it opens to a well blended, dryish, alpine sort of thing. The floral component is very similar to L'italienne but much more reserved and as I said, alpine. Simply delicious, especially when exhaling through the nose after a drink. 5.

The Flavor is complex but well balanced and seamless enough not to be an academic exercise to drink. A reserved sweetness gives way to a powdery dryish floral sort of thing which is quite refreshing. A bit of tongue numbing is present, but not to the point of coating the tongue. Easily a 5.

The Finish is for the most part a long and smooth fadeout, with the layers showing themselves at the end. The mouthfeel is nice, creamy enough but again, not excessively mouth coating. Wonderful floraly aftertaste. A peppery astringence shows itself at the tail end, especially on the sides of the tongue. That component lingers longest, but not unpleasantly so. Another 4 that is really a 4.5.

Overall, this is a most interesting product. Similarities to L'italienne abound, but they are kept on a much shorter leash. Qualities that in higher proportion made Stefano's product a bit controversial have been reined in considerably and instead help create a distinct, individual, and yet still what I'd call a traditional absinthe. From an artistic standpoint that is an achievement. On a more practical note, I have enjoyed this absinthe at much higher dilutions than I usually go with; I generally make my drinks on the stronger end of the acceptable range and go to 5:1 strictly for inquiry purposes, not casual drinking. I have found Ridge to be quite "stretchy" in that respect and it is quite nice to not have to obsess over the sweet spot when louching up.

A full-on win for Team Ridge. I would unhesitatingly recommend this to anyone who has not had it, absintheur or not. Just don't ask me to give you any of mine.

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Top Banana from Montana
(Updated: July 28, 2011)
Overall rating
At last, I got the chance to uncork this very intriguing and flavorful absinthe. What's particularly fascinating to me is that its flavor is very much as I had imagined Butterfly Absinthe would taste, before I had ever tasted it. The Butterfly let me down, once I'd tried it. The Ridge did not.

Let's begin with the appearance...the color is an ideal peridot green, although it is hazier than I feel is appropriate. There is a rustic appeal here, not dissimilar to the delightful cloudiness of a Cooper's Ale from Adelaide, Australia. However, I feel that a distilled beverage should not throw off this much of a sediment.*

* Already, after 24 hours, some of that sediment has settled, and it's had a markedly positive effect on the palate of this absinthe.

The louche is a gradual thing of beauty, slowly cascading, rolling, and forming a lovely fog bank, as it eventually clouds over, and ends up on the thick side of ideal, but with enough of an opalescence, tinged with gradients of subtly iridescent blues and pinks, to be quite nice., to me.

The mouth feel is very creamy and rich without being even the slightest bit throat clogging (like St. George Absinthe, for example).

The aroma, neat, is very tightly bound, and there is evidence of alcohol, anise (particularly real black licorice), and perhaps the slightest hint of wormwood.

Once water has been added, the aroma really blossoms into an alpine (or rather, a Montana) meadow, and the wonderful wormwood opens up to reveal a very floral, but assertive character.

I initially tried a dilution of 4:1, but (as I expected, this did not open up this dense absinthe enough, so I switched to a slightly more than 5:1 ratio, and this seemed ideal.

The flavor is very immediate, and there's an honesty to this absinthe, as FingerPickinBlue has already mentioned. Aside from the holy trinity of herbs, I can definitively pick out the vibrant elecampane that, I believe lends Ridge Verte its particularly candy-like quality. There is also a decided citric grassiness contributed by the melissa, and a distinct honeyed edge (from coriander blending with angelica, I suspect) that segues into a nice, floral Montana Wormwood, which I only wish were a bit more featured. Unfortunately, this competes with a wild grassiness that I find to be similar to the flavor of La Coquette, for example, and it just isn't quite my cup of tea.

However, there is a wonderful spiciness that sometimes overrides the grassy component, depending on how my palate is oriented on a given day, and when it does, it's reminiscent of a dominant flavor in a pet Breger clone of mine.

The finish is very complex, with all of the above elements in very nice balance, but once again, sometimes the grassiness is just a bit too prominent for my taste, and at other times, that spiciness melds beautifully with the wild grass flavor, and the finish is an ethereal symphony.

Overall, I find this to be an extremely creative, herbally intense, rich, delightfully rustic, and extremely flavor-packed absinthe that certainly holds its own against nearly any of the best absinthes available on the market today.

Major kudos to Team Ridge for this truly artisanal creation!
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