Review: Maurin Dry, White, and Red Vermouth
Vermouth is a beverage on the return, and Anchor Distilling has joined forces with old Maurin (you’ve seen the iconic green devil posters at better French cafes in your neighborhood) to recreate the vermouths once made by Auguste Maurin, back in 1884.
The two companies adapted Maurin’s traditional recipe for these new vermouths, which are available in three styles. Per the company’s press release, “The Maurin Dry, White and Red Vermouths are fortified wines blended from various regions across France, then infused with coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, Maurin’s absinthe and other traditional herbs and spices.” We tasted the trio, and thoughts follow.
Each is bottled at 17% abv.
Maurin Dry Vermouth – Fragrant with notes of incense, coriander, and cloves. Ample spice on the palate, with a light astrignency and a drying finish. Over time the wine develops a holiday character, as the cinnamon and nutmeg warm up, giving it a mulled wine sensibility. But the bittersweet finish leaves no doubt that you’re drinking vermouth, not glogg. Pairs better with gin over vodka. A- [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Maurin White Vermouth – Bianco style. It starts off like the Dry, but with a richer body and sweeter from start to finish. The bitter conclusion is absent here, as the vermouth takes on a more peachy/mango character as it fades from view. (This has the side effect of dulling some of the spice character, but that’s really just a different approach.) Overall, as a mixer I find I have a preference for the dry — and I’m not alone, which is why sweet white vermouths are relatively rare in comparison to the other two varieties — but if I was drinking vermouth straight (people do this), I’d easily pick the White. Better with vodka; gin demolishes what spice it has left. B+ [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Maurin Red Vermouth – Aka “sweet vermouth.” Indeed it’s quite red in color, and the spice is thick on the nose, very much offering a mulled wine character, with cloves easily the strongest component. On the palate, there’s gingerbread, anise, and brandied raisins bobbing in and out. Classic gluhwein flavors, but with refinement (and lower alcohol levels), it’s sweet but not overly so, offering a bit of fruit punch without quite making you think about that cartoon guy in the Hawaiian outfit. Acquits itself well in a Manhattan. A- [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
each $19 / anchordistilling.com
I gotta say, the Red Vermouth is different, and not in a bad way, both in color and in taste, than the usual suspects. It is much more Herbal than what I’m used to in my frequently made Manhattan’s — but I’m coming around. Variety, the spice of life, Baby! (even in vermouth’s).
I had been searching for a vermouth to add to my Manhattan and stumbled across Maurin. It was more expensive than my usual red vermouth and I hesitated just a bit before purchasing it. After mixing my Manhattan and taking the first sip I was blown away. First the fragrance is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. The deep ruby color it adds to the Manhattan was a surprise. The taste of the Manhattan was delightful. I’ve never tasted red vermouth solo, but am tempted to give Maurin a try.