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Just received an email (which I'm sure many of you have also received) from LdF about barrel-aged Enigma, ready for the Christmas season. I've tried to find any reviews or comments about the brand on the WS site with no luck. Does anyone have any opinion of the brand? If you've tried it, can you compare it to a brand I might know? Is this barrel-aging thing a gimmick?

 

 

Editor's note:

 

Review Page Added.

Edited by Brian Robinson
added link to review page for convenience

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What Derrick wrote. I haven't bought a bottle since the name change. Supposedly the recipe is exactly the same.

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Thanks, sounds promising. I read something about it being unfiltered; maybe the new stuff is filtered? I wonder if I can pick up a bottle in London.

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Funny you should post this today, Fedex delivered my second bottle this morning, and it's been two years since last time.

I don't know if they've changed it since then, but unless my memory is failing me this is much better.

 

I remember ordering it as a Verte de Fougerolles, and being dissapointed at the namechange when it arrived at my door.
That annoyed me a bit, I think the name is just a few steps away from calling it "Mysterius Absinthe" or something like that.
Anyways I remember thinking it was good value for the money and tasting it now I'm glad I bought it again:)

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There are TWO Enigmas now; one is from France, Devoille (the one who is known for it) and Matter's version (Swtizerland), with the same name.

If you're ordering from LDF, it's good to be certain you know which you are hoping for! I still have some VDF, and have compared it with two

bottles of the Enigma from the same distiller. I find the Enigma slightly stronger in star anise than the VDF. If it is the same recipe, perhaps it's

either the aging of the VDF, or subtle differences in herbs and batches. I like the stuff though. For me, if I don't water it just right, the base is overpowering.

The right amount of water makes it very good however. It holds up well at higher dilutions, where it opens nicely. I wouldn't even think of using sugar with Enigma...it's plenty sweet to begin with. Also, the two bottles of VDF I've had were certainly never bitter at all... Perhaps Greytail's experience was from a bottle that had some issues.

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The VDF I had was a bottle I bought in 2005. The bitterness came more in the lingering after taste. It was not my bottle either. At that time, I seem to recall a few other opinions on the bitterness. It would take some digging through old threads over on FV.

Edited by greytail

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Yea, I got a bit confused when googling around just now. Both of the ones I've had is the regular one though, the Devoille called Enigma - verte de Fougerolles.

 

To me there seems to be a noticeable improvement, more of the grape-alcohol is prominent. Reminds me a bit of the same "off" taste that some people find annoying with the PF 1901, but I love it. (Not to compare the two, to me the 1901 is in a whole other division).

 

But then again, it's been two years and I only had one bottle, so who knows if I'm remembering it correctly.

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Yeah, and don't forget. What once was does not mean it is the same today. I can not comment on Enigma as it is today. In fact, I would love to try it again.

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That is true.

Also: Do it:)

 

(If you lived in Norway I could send you a sample, but that's probably not likely?. Unless you mean Valhalla literally?)

Edited by Mork

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Apparently they changed the name because non-french speaking folk couldnt pronounce Verte de Fougerolles.

 

..

I mean how many people can pronounce Devoille correctly :euro:

 

I reckon its just marketing- doesnt take long to find the marketing names - Lucid, Enigma, Mystique.. I am for one of preference of Belle Epoque inspired traditional labels

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Here's a question for those of you who've had the previous incarnation of Enigma, VDF. I bought a bottle October 2011 in Pontarlier, and thought it was quite good. It's clearly at least several years old, and is 3/4 gone now. Something has gone horribly wrong; a prevailing taste of mildew or mold, which cannot be erased with sugar, dilution, prayer, or voodoo, has occurred in this bottle. It is frankly, undrinkable. As a fan of Devoille, I am surprised. Has this happened to anyone else here? I'm thinking of letting it sit for half a year or so to see if it self-corrects, as an experiment.

Edited by Scott M.

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A similar thing happened to one of my bottles of "Fudgie Rolls" :), six or seven years ago, although, that was a singular occurrence.

 

At the time, I chalked it up to being a quirk related to that bottle coming from the first run of the "new" unfiltered version, but that was only a hunch, and it was probably incorrect.

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I finally opened the last bottle I bought (in late 2008) about a year ago. It didn't have any mildew or mold flavor. Actually, the flavor seemed to have matured rather nicely. I've slowly nipped at that bottle since and no such mold or mildew flavor is there. I'm sure our climate is drier though. Have you swapped out the cork? Maybe try running it through a brita water filter. If it's currently undrinkable, you wouldn't have anything more to lose. Oak chips from a homebrew shop might be able to modify the flavor in a way that's beneficial.

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Mold or mildew is not going to develop in 68% booze. The booze could eat your cork but nothing moldish is going to start growing in that environment. It has got to be something else.

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Thanks guys... yes I know it can't be mold, but man, it sure tastes like it! Outside of the brief flight in my luggage, I doubt it was exposed to the cork. It was in Philippe Chapon's shop in Pontarlier, stored correctly, as it has been here, since I brought it home. I suspect it is something with this batch. After paying close attention, I believe it is something with the base... those of you who've had this know that this absinthe has a particularly powerful grape base, that to some, can be overwhelming. The mildewy notes seem to be circling around the edges of this base. It's odd, as I've had other bottles that this never happened to, and the Enigma has never behaved this way. I'm swapping the cork, though it seems fine, but It could be the culprit. Perhaps some time....

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Although I've never seen it, I understand that TCA can affect booze just like it does wine. It's not mold or mildew, but it displays very similar aromas and flavors.

 

The worst bottle of Jade 1901 I ever had was due to that, and my own clumsiness. The very last glass of the bottle had a decent sized chunk of cork in it. I'd be surprised if this was the case for Scott's bottle though, since every bottle I ever had from them used a t-cork.

Edited by baubel

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Got the Enigma Blanche in June 2016, I was well impressed, procured it while I was in London from Soho Wines for a decent £63 pounds and I made the bottle last to the start of September for the last festival of the summer in Ireland, Electric Picnic.  On opening, very strong alcohol smell but at the same time subtle, an abundance of herbs to the smell and a natural candy odour.  Adding water brought an incredible louche to a lovely glowing opaque white and mouth feel was a wonderful creamy skrunch.  Finish was immensely satisfying and long lasting  For its 74 ABV it is a very subtle punch to the head.  A very satisfying blanche absinthe 9/10. 

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