Vermouth
 

Best Vermouth

The Fifty Best Vermouth Tasting

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a "blind" tasting of 22 vermouths with twelve members of our spirits judging panel. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Strict tasting rules were applied. Each of the vermouths were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water, neutral unsalted crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no Bronze medals awarded for this tasting. Medals are provided based entirely on merit and only to products judged worthy of such award.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. Clicking on the brands' names will link to their websites.



DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Vya Vermouth Aperitif Whisper Dry
(Quady Winery, CA)

Nose: Nectarine, white peach, soft citrus, melted butter, banana bread, vanilla, root beer, juniper, honeysuckle, flower blossoms, floral, dried herbs, eucalyptus, nutty, clove, coriander, oregano, wormwood.

Palate: Dried cherries, sour apple, lemon, lemon peel, ginger, root beer, chamomile, nice florals, botanical, mint, bitter herbs, dried herbs, hints of basil, rosemary, coriander, clove, oregano, wormwood, buttered popcorn, nuts, well balanced, clean, soft, smooth, very nice, can stand alone.

Finish: Tart apple skin, sour apple, lemon, raspberry, root beer, golden raisin, orange blossom, herbal, clove, oaky, short tannin, bitter note, crisp, great, nice finish.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

 






Routin Vermouth Blanc
(France)

Nose: Fresh lemon, citrus, citrus peel, lemon blossom, flower blossom, vanilla extract, vanilla, whipped cream, cherry, tea, toasted walnuts, cinnamon bark, clove, fresh oregano, pizza spices, black pepper, minerals, woody.

Palate: Plum, sweet cherry, red ripe apple, lemon, vanilla, vanilla cream, buttery, honey, chocolate, root beer, anise, alpine flowers, floral, slightly herbal, botanical, mugwort, basil, thyme, cinnamon, coriander, clove, cardamom, cilantro root, pepper notes, mineral, very nice.

Finish: Beautiful floral notes, lemon pith, bitter herbs, herbal, wormwood, nutmeg, balanced, nice complexity, silky, great for cocktails, great on the rocks, lovely.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

 



Routin Vermouth Blanc




Casa Martelletti Vermouth di Torino Classico
(Italy)

Nose: Dark cherry, berries, rhubarb, strawberry jam, red licorice, sour apricot, dried figs, burnt orange, vanilla, molasses, root beer, cola, coffee, licorice, mint, eucalyptus, gentian, mugwort, nutmeg, clove, white pepper, tree bark, smoky, charred oak, old barrels, oak.

Palate: Cherry, sweet cherry, elderberry, strawberries & cream, caramel, dark chocolate, honey, root beer, cola, herbal, lemon peel, ginger, mint, eucalyptus, licorice, star anise, clove, spices, nice bitterness, good balance.

Finish: Dark cherry, berry forward, elderberry, elegant swirl of lemon peel & berries, dark chocolate, honey, burnt sugar, sassafras, licorice, coffee, clove, woody, super bitter, complex, great for a Manhattan cocktail, smooth.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

 



Casa Martelletti Vermouth di Torino Classico




Contratto Vermouth Bianco
(Italy)

Nose: Orange, orange peel, prunes, grapefruit, apple skin, honey, chamomile, white flowers, floral, mint, herbes de Provence, herbal, herbaceous, tea leaves, garlic flower, toasted rye bread, walnuts, clove, thyme, celery thyme, sage, allspice, oregano, slightly musty, cinchona bark, root, woody.

Palate: Bitter orange, orange zest, grapefruit rind, citrus peel, bitter fruit, cherry cola, honey, honey nuts, golden raisins, orange blossom, very herbal, rosemary, cinnamon, menthol, quinine, cinchona bark, root, limestone, balanced, nice bitterness that pleases the palate, layers of flavor.

Finish: Golden raisins, apple, grapefruit, citrus peel, fruit forward, eucalyptus, great bitter notes, quinine, high acid, balanced, complex, well made, pleasant.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

 



Contratto Vermouth Bianco




Lustau Vermut Rosé
(Spain)

Nose: Peach, watermelon, orange peel, pronounced vanilla, cream soda, cotton candy, roses, floral, mint, dried herbs, coriander, thyme, oregano, cedar, pine, oak, pretty.

Palate: Cherry, sweet cherry, elderberry, strawberries & cream, caramel, dark chocolate, honey, root beer, cola, herbal, lemon peel, ginger, mint, eucalyptus, licorice, star anise, clove, spices, nice bitterness, good balance.

Finish: Peach, sweet peach, cherry, plum, raspberry, strawberry, strawberry mousse, watermelon, apple, pineapple, bitter orange, root beer, honey notes, Honey Nut Cheerios, rose, flower blossom, herbal, oregano, cilantro root, toasted oak, pine, beautiful sweetness, creamy, smooth enough to stand alone, unique.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

 



Lustau Vermut Rosé




GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Vya Vermouth Aperitif Sweet
(Quady Winery, CA)

Nose: Cherry, black cherry, pomegranate, blueberry, dark berries, raisins, vanilla, Coca Cola, floral, tea, mixed herbs, Christmas candle, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, spicy, wormwood, musty, fall leaves, root, sherry.

Palate: Cherry, black cherry, ripe pomegranate, blueberry, black grapes, plums, apple, pear, prunes, burnt sugar, cream soda, Coca Cola, sarsaparilla, herbs, lavender, licorice, rye, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, spicy, hints of birch, oak, sherry, complex, beautiful.

Finish: Red cherry, dried cherry, blackberry, juicy, cola, star anise, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, light spice, wormwood, tree bark, good for a Manhattan cocktail, nice, soft, elegant, exquisite.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal

 



Vya Vermouth Aperitif Sweet




Cinzano Vermouth Bianco
(Italy)

Nose: Peach, pear, lychee, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, white grape, red apple, dried fig, golden raisins, orange peel, herbed oranges, fruit forward, honey, rosewater, elderflower, floral, grassy, herbs, coriander, thyme, wet wood, rich.

Palate: Ripe apricot, peach, lychee, tart pear, star fruit, orange, grapefruit, lemon, white grape, golden raisin, creamy, vanilla, honey, violets, floral notes, lightly herbal, wormwood, clove, balanced, bittersweet, fleshy, rich.

Finish: Creamy, sweet cream, stays fruity, herbal, almond, nutty, nicely balanced, some complexity, nice, soft, rich, dessert, great for a White Manhattan cocktail, a delicate sipper, great, pleasant, delicious.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Cinzano Vermouth Bianco




Gancia Vermouth Rosso
(Italy)

Nose: Deep orange, citrus, cherry, cola, cola nut, sarsaparilla, hints of juniper, rose garden, herbal, mint, spearmint, za’atar, allspice, thyme, nutmeg, clove, cilantro, oregano, birch bark, musty, amaro, sherry, soft, lovely.

Palate: Sweet cherry, orange, orange peel, grapefruit, gingersnap cookies, burnt sugar, molasses, maple syrup, vanilla, cocoa, licorice, tobacco, herbs, Thai basil, sage, cumin, cinnamon, thyme, nutmeg, deep earthy notes, resin, birch, woody, a rich stand-alone.

Finish: Sweet orange, orange peel, candied orange peel, dried cherry, tobacco, cinnamon, oregano, touch of pepper, cinchona, resin, bittersweet, good balance, well balanced, smooth, perfect for a Negroni, lovely.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal

 



Gancia Vermouth Rosso




Routin Vermouth Original Rouge
(France)

Nose: Prune, sweet prunes, prune juice, raisins, cherry, grape, cooked carrots in brown sugar, burnt sugar, ginger, cherry cola, cola, root beer, sweet herbs, herbs, nutty, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, clove, char, woody, oak, bourbon barrel.

Palate: Sweet prunes, prune juice, dried apricot, elderberry, currants, cherry pie, cherry Coke, cola, caramel, hops, almond, vegetal, herbs, herbal, pumpkin pie, cinnamon, sage, nutmeg, clove, spices, resin, earth, woody, slightly bitter, rich, very nice.

Finish: Prune, vanilla bean, marzipan, maple, juniper, hint of rind, cinnamon, nutmeg, hyssop, angelica, wormwood, lingering spice, well balanced, slightly bitter, smooth, interesting.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal

 



Routin Vermouth Original Rouge




Lustau Vermut Rojo
(Spain)

Nose: Cooked plums, sour cherry, dark raisin, banana peel, marzipan, caramel, brown butter, vanilla, dark sugar, vanilla, chocolate, milk chocolate, orange blossoms, toasted almonds, dried herbs, sweet basil, Italian spices, thyme, cinnamon, hay, oak, bourbon barrel, port wine.

Palate: Ripe plum, cherry, grape, brown sugar, molasses, cherry Coke, cola, root beer, honey, vanilla, sweet herbs, gentian tea, mugwort, sage, nutmeg, touch of pepper, spicy, mossy, resin, bittersweet, good balance, rich.

Finish: Fresh prune, dried plum, raisin, chocolate covered cherries, cola, citrus, mint, almond, cloves, black pepper, balanced, soft, very nice, pleasant, elegant.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Lustau Vermut Rojo




Cinzano Vermouth Extra Dry
(Italy)

Nose: Strawberry jam, stewed prunes, plum, red licorice, bubble gum, white peach, grapefruit, lemon, citrus, orange sake, pronounced floral, sweet floral, orange blossom, vanilla, white potato, marjoram, thyme, sage, hints of tarragon, sherry.

Palate: Lemon, lemon peel, orange, grapefruit, crab apple, unripe pear, cola, vanilla, herbal, tea leaf, thyme, anise, quinine, bitter herbs, bitter root, sour bread, lightly sweet, balanced, dry sherry.

Finish: Prune, honey, orange blossom, toast, herbs, grassy, coriander, wormwood, hints of quinine, bitter, fresh, creamy.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Cinzano Vermouth Extra Dry




Cinzano Vermouth Rosso
(Italy)

Nose: Cherry, dried cherry, Amarena cherry, subtle plum, dried dark raisin, burnt caramel, Dr. Pepper, Coca Cola, vanilla, licorice, mint, eucalyptus, herbal bitters, light clove, oregano, cherry wood, sherry-like.

Palate: Sweet cherry, raisin, chocolate covered cranberries, cocoa, cherry Cola, Coca Cola, sarsaparilla, molasses, honey, vanilla, figs, sweet apple skin, herbal, sage, nutmeg, clove, quinine, oak, strong port wine notes, soft, can stand alone.

Finish: Lingering dark chocolate, creamy, burnt sugar, lightly floral, sweet spice, oregano, wormwood, quinine, bitters, slightly bitter, balanced, fun, great.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Cinzano Vermouth Rosso




Lustau Vermut Blanco
(Spain)

Nose: Orange, lemon, juniper, raisin, vanilla, sweet dough, salted pretzels, sweet tea leaves, basil, thyme, tarragon, oregano, pizza seasoning, peppercorn, vegetal, tomato leaf, forest floor, tree bark, sumac, birch, smoky.

Palate: Nectarine, sweet apple, lemon peel, citrus, golden raisin, dried fruit, honey, sweet vanilla, Creamsicle, herbal, bitter herbs, mint, sage, tarragon, clove, oregano, Greek oregano, sumac, za’atar, quinine, balanced, smooth.

Finish: Apple, Mediterranean herbs, bitter herbs, coriander, oregano, pepper, wormwood, leather, resin, smooth, nice mixer, screams for soda, satisfying.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Lustau Vermut Blanco




Contratto Vermouth Rosso
(Italy)

Nose: Dark cherry, blackberry, prune, raisin, lime peel, orange bitters, Coca-Cola, cola nut, vanilla, rose petals, herbs, anise, cinnamon, clove, allspice, wormwood, spicy, slightly bitter, briny, dried cedar, oak.

Palate: Plum, sweet plum, chocolate covered cherries, orange, citrus, orange peel, dried fruit, vanilla, cola, sarsaparilla, sassafras, floral, herbs, dried herbs, sweet cloves, clove forward, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, wormwood, quinine, briny.

Finish: Cherry, plum, orange, molasses, cola syrup, lingering root, oregano, birch, slightly bitter, nice sweetness, great balance, rich, smooth.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Contratto Vermouth Rosso




Mine Hill Amaro “Sweet Red Vermouth”
(Mine Hill Distillery, CT)

Nose: Melon, cooked Asian pear, cherry, banana, grapefruit, lemon, lemon-lime, bitter orange, fresh orange zest, Sprite, cola, sarsaparilla, orange blossom, floral, dried tea leaves, herbal, spearmint, dill, white pepper, mineral, alpine, complex.

Palate: Blood orange, orange marmalade, orange peel, grapefruit, lemon, lemon peel, ripe apple, bright cherry, dried cherry, prune, raisins, dried fruit, peach sangria, vanilla, orange potpourri, potpourri, rose, tea leaves, quinine, bitters.

Finish: Toffee, stewed fruit, prune, grapefruit, orange peel, dried fruit, apple seeds, hazelnut, dried mint, mulling spices, bitters, orange bitters, good for a Manhattan cocktail, exquisite.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Mine Hill Amaro Sweet Red Vermouth




SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

1757 Vermouth di Torino Extra Dry
(Italy)

Nose: Caramel, lychee, light banana, lemon, lemongrass, ginger, floral, faint lilac, perfumed, mint, eucalyptus, herbal, rosemary, thyme, coriander, cloves, oregano, sarsaparilla root, tree bark, musty, quinine.

Palate: Lemon, lemon peel, citrus, Fruit Burst candy, ginger, mushroom, floral, mugwort, gentian, herbal, herbaceous, thyme, cloves, spices, angelica root, orris root, cedar chips, woody, mossy, acidic, crisp.

Finish: Dried mango, lemon, herbs, hints of basil, quinine, slightly citric more bitterness, well balanced, clean, creamy, soft.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



1757 Vermouth di Torino Extra Dry




Vya Vermouth Aperitif Extra Dry
(Quady Winery, CA)

Nose: Dried pineapple, apricots, tangerine, orange, lemon peel, berries, Jujubes candy, apple pie, black cherry cola, cola, orange blossom, rose petals, lavender, floral, mint, peppermint, anise, English breakfast tea, dry tea herbs, cloves, oregano, thyme, cardamom, green pepper, pine, fernet.

Palate: Lemon, lemon peel, sour lemon, lime, ginger, juniper, almond, chamomile, beautiful floral notes, flowers, herbal, dried herbs, bitter herbs, rosemary, cinnamon, coriander, sage, Greek oregano, wormwood, woody, bitter, autumn, balanced, flavorful throughout, definitely a stand-alone spirit.

Finish: Lemon, citrus, citrus peel, orange blossom, floral, herbal, mint, mushroom, coriander, touch of cloves, spicy, bitter, complex, smooth.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Vya Vermouth Aperitif Extra Dry




Ransom Dry Vermouth
(Ransom Wine Co., CA)

Nose: Apple pie, strudel, apple sauce, dried apple, dried apricot, bergamot, orange, orange zest, lemon concentrate, sour lemon, grape Kool-Aid, honey, pumpkin spice, Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, cinnamon toast, cinnamon, cinnamon bark, coconut suntan oil, alpine flowers, lilac, herbal, mint, woody, beautiful.

Palate: Baked apple, cider, ginger snap cookies, ginger, sour cherry, grape Kool-Aid, lemon, rose water, herbs, sarsaparilla, chestnuts, cinnamon forward, cloves, allspice, spices, autumn.

Finish: Peach, grape Jolly Rancher, lingering lemon peel, juniper, spearmint, oregano, spicy, roots, pine, Christmas, well balanced, smooth, rich, good for a Manhattan cocktail, a perfect sipper, absolutely delicious.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Ransom Dry Vermouth




Routin Vermouth Dry
(France)

Nose: Rhubarb, grape, papaya, kiwi paste, raisins, dried figs, ginger, candied ginger, maple, honey, vanilla, cherry cola, sweet herbs, clover, golden sage, peppered honey, peppery, salty pine, light oak, port wine.

Palate: Prune, raisins, dried rhubarb, fig, dried fig, grape skin, orange peel, burnt orange peel, crystalized ginger, vanilla, botanical, herbal, green matcha tea, toasted walnuts, nutmeg, sage, coriander, winter spices, light pepper, cigar box, green wood, balanced.

Finish: Dried apricot, black raisin, orange peel, orange zest, honey, licorice, herb, lilac, wormwood, toast, touch of minerals, leather, resin, birch.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Routin Vermouth Dry




1757 Vermouth di Torino Rosso
(Italy)

Nose: Cherry, black cherry, fig, muscat, stewed prunes, dried fruit, candied ginger, burnt sugar, molasses, root beer, Coca Cola, cola nut, very herbal, cloves, oregano, spices, briny, tree root, fernet, rich.

Palate: Dried cherry, sweet mashed cherries, orange, root beer, cola, licorice, strong herbs, herbal, cinnamon bark, bark, oak, root, earth, quinine, fernet, Amaro Nonino, great balance, briny, bitter, chewy, rich.

Finish: Cherry jam, raisin, vanilla, cream soda, clove, wormwood, cinchona, birch, red wine, well balanced, trailing bitter, nice, velvety, smooth.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



1757 Vermouth di Torino Rosso




Ransom Sweet Vermouth
(Ransom Wine Co., CA)

Nose: Dark cherry, silky banana, vibrant fruit, caramel, Red Hots, red peppers, spicy peppers, herbal, mint, pronounced juniper, anise, fennel, menthol, rosemary, nuts, wormwood, angelica root, birch, cedar, pine, bright, exciting.

Palate: Cherry, root beer, creamy, butterscotch, honey, cinnamon toast, juniper, dried herbs, mint, herbaceous, tarragon, sage, basil, nutmeg, clove, cardamom, nutty, coffee grounds, earth, tannins, cedar, pine.

Finish: Cherry, baked apple pie, vanilla, crazy herb dance, sweet herbal, lingering herbs, eucalyptus, sweet spice, coffee, tobacco leaves, toasted gentian tea, tannins, nice complex balance.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Ransom Sweet Vermouth




Gancia Vermouth Extra Dry
(Italy)

Nose: Caramel, vanilla, marmalade, prune, dark raisin, dates, fig, ginger, agave, orange, grape skin, herbal, chamomile, coriander, wormwood, hyssop, baked bread, new leather, mineral, wet wood, rich.

Palate: Vanilla cream, dried apricot, apple, ginger, anise, lavender, floral, herbal, forest herbs, dry herbs, gentian, sage, oregano, wormwood, botanical, root, green wood, alpine, quinine, earth, bitter, smooth.

Finish: Raisin, citrus peel, rose, mint, herbal, arugula, cloves, oregano, labdanum, root, quinine, bitterness, extra-dry, elegant.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Gancia Vermouth Extra Dry

 

 

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