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Enigma Verte absinthe FDC

Enigma verte absinthe FDC

Enigma verte absinthe FDC

Producer: Distillerie Paul Devoille


Price (ex VAT at 20%) 59.21 (71.05 Including VAT at 20%)

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70 cl 72% abv

2nd release Limited Edition 120 bottles

The second release of Enigma Verte FDC (élevé en fût de chêne or raised in oak barrels) is an unfiltered premium absinthe made from grape-base alcohol and a combination of aromatic herbs and plants, including grande and petite wormwood, anise, fennel and hyssop. The absinthe has been carefully aged in 300 litre French oak barrels to give it a smooth creamy finish which conjures up the complexities of a pre-ban absinthe. Each limited edition bottle is numbered.

This absinthe will appeal to those looking to experience the complexities of a vintage pre-ban absinthe. Our Enigma Verte was rested in Tronçais oak casks for a carefully judged period of time to pick up just a hint of oak and vanilla. Tronçais oak barrels are used extensively for ageing cognac and the top red wines of Bordeaux. The absinthe is bottled at cask strength which is slightly lower than the normal 72% abv, this is because some evaporation occurs during the storage, the 'Angels' share'. It has an olive green colour with golden yellow highlights, an aroma of toffee and caramel overlaying anise and wormwood. The louche is classic, forming swiftly with green tinges and the flavour is smooth and creamy with wormwood and anise to the fore. The finish is long and smooth. Overall the initial impression on the nose is redolent of a vintage absinthe, the herbal qualities of the Enigma verte have been softened and harmonised.
It is worth considering why certain spirits are matured in wood and others generally aren't. The traditionally aged spirits are pot distilled spirits such as rum, whisk(e)y and brandy. The distilled spirit is generally raw and needs a degree of aging to smooth it out. The spirit will absorb flavours from the wood, whether new or used and increased aging is universally seen as a good thing. However absinthe is made from rectified spirits and the alcohol is as smooth as it gets. Then the distiller goes to a good deal of trouble to select the freshest herbs and blends them just so to give a product that can be consumed immediately, just like gin. Historically absinthe was not aged in barrel, it was stored in wooden casks but these were of such a size that the wood imparted no flavour. So why age absinthe?
We decided that the only way to find out was to experiment with barrel aging and see what the results were. We selected one of our most robust absinthes, Enigma Verte de Fougerolles, known for its intense herbal flavours, and aged it for different periods in 300 litre Troncais oak barrels. The results were interesting, too much aging and the absinthe lost its freshness and the herbal flavours became muddied. What was surprising was that the optimum effects of the barrel became evident after a relatively short time. Get it right and the original flavours are still apparent but given a layer of creamy smoothness that is redolent of a pre-ban absinthe. So we prefer to call it 'Oak finished absinthe'

Color: Barrel aging has taken the vibrant peridot green of the original and toned it down a bit, without creating a full fuille morte effect. Inviting.
Louche: as with the original, a nice build, leading to a well formed, deep louche with hints of yellow and white with touches of brown
Aroma: anise is still prominant with fennel, veronica, and wormwood as supporting players. I still get the tea aromas as well, but this time they are complimented by an underlying sweetness that is reminiscent of mallow flowers.
Flavor/Mouthfeel: Mouth coating and still not too thick. The wormwood has definitely been toned down by the barrel aging, an effect I've also noticed when making barrel aged bitters. It smooths it out, leaving the flavors without as much astringency.
Finish: wormwood and anise, but accompanied by a slight tannic dryness brought on by the barrels.
Overall: A very interesting riff on the original. Barrel aging can certainly play a decisive roll in rounding out flavors. Grab bottles (or samples) of both and experience the differences that wood can bring to the experience. I enjoyed it. Brian Robinson, Wormwood Society, 2013

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