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Joe Legate

Vilya Spirits (formerly known as Ridge Distillery)

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Hopefully posting twice in a row in a thread isn't bad form around here...

 

...but I just wanted to note that I have tried the Ridge (Verte) and it is indeed quite lovely stuff! Kudos to Mr. Legate & co.

 

I went with a 5:1 dilution as that seemed appropriate per the reviews and the 68% ABV, and was pleased with the resultant flavor intensity, though I'm definitely going to need to practice my louching technique. My home-made dripper bottle prototype (a small glass lemonade bottle with holes for dripping and venting punched in the lid) turned out to be more of an "uneven pourer" than a "slow dripper", unfortunately, so I'm back to the proverbial drawing board on that front.

 

I also attempted to use sugar, but due to the aforementioned inadvertent power-louching issue most of it ended up in an un-dissolved pile at the bottom of the glass.

 

All that said -- wow. It was definitely quite different from Lucid (the only absinthe I'd tried prior to this). My SO agreed and in his case he liked it a fair bit better, though overall he's still not as much into this particular flavor-realm as I am. The smell pre-louche was subtler and the flavor profile post-louche had a lot more simultaneous influences going on. It was altogether extremely fresh and clean and outdoorsy-tasting. There was a delightful peppery-mintiness that was utterly brand new and yet mingled well with the anise/wormwoody elements I was expecting.

 

I was also quite surprised at how relatively dry/non-sweet it was (again, compared to the Lucid). Next time I'm going to try to attain a proper sugar dissolve because despite my general preference for less sweet consumables, I felt like the Ridge had a few interesting "background" influences that sugar might have turned the volume up on a bit.

 

Oh and I should note that I did observe a bit of the "haze" some folks mentioned in the reviews. The color was also less green than I'd been expecting but I'm guessing that probably just means the bottle has been around for a while -- not a big deal. I'm looking forward to trying again once it's had time to settle a bit, but all in all -- certainly a good purchase. :thumbup:

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... though I'm definitely going to need to practice my louching technique. My home-made dripper bottle prototype (a small glass lemonade bottle with holes for dripping and venting punched in the lid) turned out to be more of an "uneven pourer" than a "slow dripper", unfortunately, so I'm back to the proverbial drawing board on that front.

 

I also attempted to use sugar, but due to the aforementioned inadvertent power-louching issue most of it ended up in an un-dissolved pile at the bottom of the glass.

 

Sports bottle. Fill half way with ice, cover with water, give it a few good shakes, open the top part-way and you can get a drip or a thin stream if you squeeze. It's great for everyday use when the show doesn't necessarily count.

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Ridge is one of those bottles that can have subtle differences bottle to bottle. Always good, but each bottle can be a bit different.

 

That said, maybe my nose is terrible, which it probably is, but 5:1 for a Ridge is too much in my opinion. I haven't measured the exact dilution amount (I eyeball it based on how close the layers are at), but generally, it's probably in the range of 3-4:1. After that, a lot of the beautiful, amazing, orgasmic aroma disappears. That happens with pretty much every bottle, but I've noticed with some it's a dramatic difference. Pacifique is another. The aroma of Ridge is half the experience.

 

Do it up stronger next time. Let me know if you smell a difference.

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Do it up stronger next time. Let me know if you smell a difference.

 

OK...very definite difference at 4:1. In a good way. I mean 5:1 was pretty darn good, but I think I agree with you about 4:1 being better. At least per my tastes. Though I also did a much better louching job this time -- I work in a lab, see, and we've got these lovely little disposable pipette tips. Wrapped one of those with silicone tape and stuck it in my glass bottle, and ended up with a much better MacGyver-style dripper than my previous attempt.

 

So, in other words, yay!

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I used to work in an organic chem lab. It inspired me to buy a 500 mL wide-neck separatory funnel and ring stand. Best god damn fountain ever. Never leaks.

 

Pipette tubes are too small! Step it up to the bigs!

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I bought a plastic funnel like you have with a ring and made my own stand from some ground rod and old wood I had in the yard. It was terrific. Never leaked. If you wanted to measure....it was right there. It was adjustable for the different glasses I used. You could make it drip s o F'n s l o w t h a t i t w a s p a i n f u l t o w a t c h.

Now I power louche most of the time.

I gave it away to a friend.

You're correct though......it was good. :wave2:

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Ridge is one of those bottles that can have subtle differences bottle to bottle. Always good, but each bottle can be a bit different.
I can't tell you how true that is and for many different reasons. Almost every batch we make is only ten gallons so with such tiny batches, the smallest difference can be noticeable. As of this week, we are using our own coloring herbs that were grown on the Ridge and again, I think the difference will be apparent in both look and flavor. It has been an extraordinarily good year for pontica, melissa and genepi (to say nothing of a beautiful grandworm wood harvest). Then there is the occasional issue of our chief apprentice (more news on that very soon) that thought my 5s looked like 9s in the Ridge recipe. That will change the flavor a bit. :laugh:

 

 

... but 5:1 for a Ridge is too much in my opinion. I haven't measured the exact dilution amount (I eyeball it based on how close the layers are at), but generally, it's probably in the range of 3-4:1.
I agree but I know I'm pretty solidly at 4-to-1 and Jules uses only a little more water. Certainly, Ridge will hold it's louche at 5-to-1 and beyond but that's just the way I like it. Personal preference is what really matters, right? :cheers:

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So, you have a minion? Does the minion work for absinthe? Does the minion drag one foot, and call you master? Or is the minion more in line with the ones from Dispicable Me? :)

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Much of the weekend was spent in the savage wilderness searching out new angelica.

Vanessa, Ron and I were very much in bear country. Jules held the camera and bear spary.

Angelicahunt12.jpg

 

But there was time for a little fun, too.

Grimboating-1.jpg

 

Tomorrow (with trusty flyrod in hand) we continue our search.

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Looks like a savagely wonderful time in the bear country.

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Vanessa, Ron and I were very much in bear country. Jules held the camera and bear spary.

 

Now there's a savvy backwoodsman. You'll never out-run, out-swim or out-climb a hungry bear, but that's not necessary, so long as you can run faster, swim farther and climb higher than at least one of your companions ...

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We were working in the far backcountry over Labor Day. I expected to see bears around every bend. It was after we returned home last night and heard the noise did we encounter the first bear. "Bears in our garbage. It must be Autumn." --Jules

 

Photo by Vanessa, "Camping on Sullivan Creek"

 

RidgeonaBridge1sm.jpg

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How was the camping trip? I nearly missed my flight, but ended up sitting with a really Sharp and attractive resident-doctor from Sacramento - very interested in old bitters.

 

The Ridge was fantastic, but as AttackAccountant said, the rafting was epic.

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