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Review Detail

3.8 2 0.5
A nice twist to a great go-to absinthe
(Updated: July 19, 2013)
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
I've always enjoyed Enigma, and this barrel-aged version is smoother, and more refined than its sister, which I often enjoy as a casual "go-to." The color neat, is a toned down light olive, that translates into a pretty color when louched. The aroma still has the unmistakable Devoille wine base, and a promise of a classic French absinthe. Neat, the aroma is rich and warm, with a simply delicious anise calling to you. As water is added, as with regular Enigma, the louche develops fairly quickly. It is a thick, luxurious louche, which I love. Don't be shy about water, this stuff not only can handle it, but if softens, and improves greatly at higher dilutions. The wine base that many find overpowering in Enigma starts to soften at 4:1, and for me shines at 5:1, where all the favors, nuances, and aromas suddenly begin to evoke a vintage absinthe. At this dilution, the thick louche thins enough to have a nice glow. The mouthfeel is just thick enough to have substance without being heavy...very nice. This is simply not an absinthe to drink at 3:1, and most who drink it this way will likely not enjoy it as much! It's flavor is complex and powerful, with a good balance of the elements. It is sweet to begin with; I would not even consider using sugar with this absinthe. The finish is interesting and satisfying, with a nice pull and build of layers. I enjoy the finish more at lower dilutions, where it has more tingle and sparkle, but then I feel the experience of drinking it suffers. I liked it quite a bit, and ordered two bottles. It's a wonderful opportunity to order both a standard, and barrel-aged version, as a side by side tasting experience. This same distiller makes la Coquette in standard and barrel-aged versions, and I found, as with the Enigma, the same rounding, softening, and depth was added to the barrel-aged version.
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