Ridge Distillery makes gin and absinthe in the mountains of Montana. This is the flagship, a classic (green) absinthe imbued with grand wormwood, green anise, fennel, coriander, angelica, elecampane, melissa, and roman wormwood — some of which I didn’t have the first idea what they were until I looked them up.
Poured neat into a glass, there’s a distinct lemon note on the nose (that’s the melissa, I think), doing a fair job at battling that anise/licorice character. A sip of unadulterated bottle strength spirit bears this out further.
Add water and sugar and the character evolves. The louche is a modest chartreuse color and quite opaque. On the palate, lemon remains strong, with a decent interplay between sweet and bitter on the tongue. Anise/fennel notes remain prevalent, but not at all overpowering. There’s a bit of white pepper — very mild — in the finish, alongside some cinnamon, orange peel, and creamy almond/marzipan notes. Altogether it shows off some unusual characteristics for absinthe, but not at all difficult to enjoy — while being admittedly a milder example of the spirit.