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New Noilly Prat


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#61 bostonapothecary

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 04:47 PM

Quoting here from a proximate thread (because it concerns old NP):

I've taken to stocking up on old formula Noilly Prat in 375s. I know it won't keep forever ... I've developed quite an affinity for a splash of it on the rocks with a twist, as well as vermouth heavy cocktails like the Bamboo.

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NP 375s keep very well in my experience (that's how I've normally bought it to have on hand). And again, dry French vermouth is handy as an herbed wine in old-fashioned cooking (like, chicken with a wine-cream sauce, pearl onions, mushrooms, serve over rice; or cold chaud-froid sauces). It was often specified in recipes, through about the 1960s.

Being old enough to remember the 1960s somewhat, I remember Vermouth was commonly ordered in US restaurants as an apéritif, then and somewhet later, compared to today. General US public also drank cocktails much more than wine then, which gradually shifted. Like cocktails, Vermouth seems to've been reborn.

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I'm sure it'll be fine in the medium term, but I don't think I'll really want to explore what happens to Noilly Prat with ten years of bottle age.

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i bought a couple bottles of cinzano reserva dry last year and though there is no references to them on the web, i think i've dated them to the mid nineties from a strange PR claiming an attempt to re-energize the category with the product in the canadian market.

i'd drank all but one. mainly unmixed. at ten plus years the wine is frail but not dead. there isn't much sugar to give it longevity which is probably more important than alcohol but who knows...

but similarly i've been drinking Pineau Brillet, pineau des charentes and it has a reputation for aging a bit, but floc de gascogne with a really similar alcohol, acid, sugar structure needs to be drank within a year. the floc even has a tiny born on date. i just bought one with out looking at the date and at three years old it tastes really frail if not dead. there is absolutely no fruit in the aroma as opposed to the killer apple-y Brillet. makes me wonder how my bottles of 2004 jean de lillet is doing...
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#62 Chris Amirault

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 05:03 PM

Just so I'm clear, the older, American-only version is labeled "Original French Dry." The new (at least to the US market) formula and the one currently sold in France is labeled "Original Dry"?

Got to love that French logic.

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Both say "Original French Dry". The new bottle looks quite different, with the bottle itself having a twisting part, while the original is a plain bottle.

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Here's the new design. Here's the old:

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#63 TAPrice

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 07:21 PM

Just so I'm clear, the older, American-only version is labeled "Original French Dry." The new (at least to the US market) formula and the one currently sold in France is labeled "Original Dry"?

Got to love that French logic.

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Both say "Original French Dry". The new bottle looks quite different, with the bottle itself having a twisting part, while the original is a plain bottle.

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Yeah, that appears to be the case now. On the website and in PR photos, however, the new bottle says "Original Dry." The bottle I just bought of the new stuff, though, does say "Original French Dry," just like the old bottle.
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#64 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 08:56 AM

The importer of Dolin is Haus Alpenz.  I'm not sure who the distributor is.

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thx, the distributor in Georgia is (or will be) Quality. I will have to try the Dolin when I can find it.
Of course I, hopefully, have enough NP to hold us over for a little while. We go through it relatively quickly and as long as it stays sealed and at a reasonable temp I do not see a problem storing it.
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#65 Neil H.

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 09:42 PM

Though I'm new to Martinis and cocktails in general, I can tell the difference between the old and the new and prefer the old. Thank goodness I found a liquor store here in town that still has quite a few bottles of the old!

#66 Mike S.

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 07:30 PM

I just picked up bottles of all three Dolin vermouths (Dry, Sweet and Blanc). Can't wait to try them.

Neil H., welcome aboard and don't give up on the new Noilly too quickly! The old U.S. formula is, I think, definitely better in the classic American Dry Martini, but I'm finding that in nearly everything else I actually prefer the new formula.
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#67 Gary Regan

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 07:56 AM

For the record, I'm in love with the new N.P. It might be technically sweeter than the old, but the words that leap to my mind when I taste both side by side are "more floral" in the case of the new bottling.

It's true that we'll have to tinker with ricipes a little, but I've been saying for years that recipes ore no more than guidelines . . . :smile:
“The practice is to commence with a brandy or gin ‘cocktail’ before breakfast, by way of an appetizer. Subsequently, a ‘digester’ will be needed. Then, in due course and at certain intervals, a ‘refresher,’ a ‘reposer,’ a ‘settler,’ a ‘cooler,’ an ‘invigorator,’ a ‘sparkler,’ and a ‘rouser,’ pending the final ‘nightcap,’ or midnight dram.” Life and Society in America by Samuel Phillips Day. Published by Newman and Co., 1880.

#68 CincyCraig

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 08:32 PM

It's true that we'll have to tinker with ricipes a little, but I've been saying for years that recipes ore no more than guidelines . . .  :smile:

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Good point Gary. I find that instead of my traditional 3:1 ratio Martini that I have been mixing for years with the old NP & Dolin, I now have to mix 4:1 with the new NP. I like the increased floral notes in the new NP as well.
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#69 Scott Koue

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 09:42 PM

For those in San Francisco, Tower Market still has a few bottles of the old "american" version. I had to get one just so I could do a comparison. All the folks who tasted the two liked the "new" version better. It's more complex and more sherry like. The old some thought was sweeter, I sort of thought the opposite but I can see their point. There is a tartness to the old that I think balances the the sweet but I also liked the new better. The old seemed a bit thin in comparison and like the sweet and tart were on opposite sides of the room, where the new seems more "integrated".

#70 Dangermonkey

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 03:40 PM

Did a review on both the old and the new on my webpage (spiritsreview.com ) and I have to say while I much prefer the American version (the clearer one we are all used to here in the states) for certain applications (like my Martini) the other version is very nice for some of the classic drinks when this type was the one in wide use (Noilly said they only started making the American version in the 70's). So it is kind of a mixed bag to me. I do find it unfortunate that NP has decided to end one version rather than add another.
As to shelf life, Noilly said 3 years ( on a shelf- not a dark cooler basement where you might presumably get more time out of it - I'll continue to sample mine regularly as needed :biggrin: ).
We still have plenty of the old version up here in upstate New York if anyone needs some cases- I already grabbed a couple for myself to stockpile in case NP doesn't come to it's senses and restart production anytime soon.
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#71 Friend of the Farmer

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:09 PM

I'm not finding the changes helping me so much, however much I want to like having something different. And it does seem odd I find myself adjusting old book recipes calling for French Vermouth to now use less of the new/old Noilly Prat.

As Gary and others have mentioned, you need to use less, and for many that means going from 3:1 or 4:1 to upwards of 5:1 or 6:1. This ups the overall pour cost, and with more alcohol poured, gets the Somm irked for threatening wine sales at mealtime and raises alc liabilities. That said, doing a standard ratio should bring out the wood notes which should appeal to the oakey-chardonnay crowd.

The new featured cocktail on the back label suggests a broader target audience, and so maybe to support this we should try serving the recommended 2:1 Grey Goose to Noilly Dry. Sounds cynical from me but at least it highlights the distinctive profile. I would like to do more to highlight the unique character here, especially that Sherry/Madeira finish.

So no one has spoken to how this works differently in the kitchen from the old - is it better with deglazing and with sauces?

#72 eje

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:58 AM

I'm not finding the changes helping me so much, however much I want to like having something different.  And it does seem odd I find myself adjusting old book recipes calling for French Vermouth to now use less of the new/old Noilly Prat.
[...]

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Why less?

If you're making super extra dry martinis, you're already probably using a quarter ounce or less vermouth in the drink. I don't see that the new or the old makes much difference in those dash-ish quantities.

As Splificator noted a while ago, in a Fifty-Fifty, with any gin with some cojones, the "Original Formula Dry" is quite tasty. I find it works equally well in most of the vermouth heavy Savoy Cocktails I have tried it in so far.

In fact, I preferred it to either the Dolin or the American Noilly in a Nineteen Cocktail recently.

Nineteen Cocktail

1 Dash Absinthe. (Verte de Fougerolles)
1/6 Dry Gin. (1/2 oz North Shore Distiller's No. 11)
1/6 Kirsch. (1/2 oz Clear Creek Kirsch)
2/3 French Vermouth. (2 oz Noilly Original Dry)
4 Dashes Syrup. (1 tsp. Rich Simple Syrup)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.  (Lemon Peel.)


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#73 brinza

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 10:22 AM

<snip>
(Noilly said they only started making the American version in the 70's)<snip>

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I would have thought that a possible reason for this might have been to make it more like Martini & Rossi in order to gain or maintain market share, but (if Wikipedia is anything to go by), Noilly Prat was acquired by Martini & Rossi in 1971 so that hypothesis probably doesn't fit.

It's interesting that the demand for rye went up once cocktail writers began pointing out how most of the classic whiskey cocktails were formulated with rye in mind, yet when the original vermouth used to create the Martini returns, it draws such strong reactions, many negative. (I haven't gotten my hands on the new(old) stuff yet, so I can't offer an opinion.) I realize that a lot of the reaction is over the deletion of the American formula, however, moreso than the mere return of the European version. I imagine their marketers feel that offering both side-by-side would create confusion. Also, they probably would like to see more consumers just drink the stuff instead of using only tiny amounts at a time. Surely there must a quality dry vermouth out there that can fill the role of the American Noilly Prat?
Mike

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#74 bostonapothecary

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 10:43 AM

since the european formula came out i drink more dry noilly straight out of the bottle. it has a nice stand alone balance. i can't drink the american version straight so enjoyably. to evaluate it solo, the american doesn't have enough extract for its loud proportions. it just doesn't taste unified. but in the context of a cocktail that doesn't really matter. many other brands can't be drank straight so enjoyably either because they have an obnoxious concord grape like fruitiness.

how do people feel about the different noillys in drinks like the bamboo or half sinner half saint?
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#75 eje

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:02 AM

[...]
(Noilly said they only started making the American version in the 70's).
[...]

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Maybe a bit before that.

Mr. Splificator turned up a reference to what appears to be the new formula in 1964 and posted it here.

VERY VERY PALE
So pale that new Noilly Prat French Vermouth is virtually invisible in your gin or vodka. Extra pale and extra dry for today's correct Martini. DON'T STIR WITHOUT NOILLY PRAT."


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#76 Mike S.

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 07:12 PM

So no one has spoken to how this works differently in the kitchen from the old - is it better with deglazing and with sauces?

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The new-to US formula makes a heck of a New Haven-style white clam sauce for pasta, but I'll admit that I never tried that with the old US formula. Can't speak to the deglazing issue, but I would not hesitate to give it a go.
Cheers,

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#77 suzilightning

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 03:19 PM

oh, good... glad to know that i'm NOT going crazy. made a martini the first time in ages and was freaked out over the yellow pee look. then actually tasted the new version on it's own and can see some possibilities but am not crazy about it for a martini the way i like it. my usual liquor store still has the smaller bottles of the older formula so i may pick some up. being up here in the hinterlands unfortunately means you don't have access to many other vermouths... or bitters... or....
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#78 jmfangio

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 07:48 PM

The new formula has finally started showing up in Los Angeles. Thus far only at my local BevMo; other places seem to be out entirely while awaiting new stock, or still have a decent supply of the old formula.

I had a fresh bottle of the old when I saw the new, so of course experimentation was in order. I had a friend over for drinks, and we tried it first in a martini, 4:1 with a dash of orange bitters (I made both drinks at the same time, so we could sample them side by side, and my friend was tasting them blind). We both had similar thoughts - the new stuff is definitely sweeter, with a more pronounced herbal note - don't know what, exactly. Can't say just yet which we preferred, just that the old formula is what we're used to. Certainly enjoyed it, though, and want to experiment more with different gins/ratios.

Next, I wanted to try a vermouth heavy cocktail, The Imperial. 1 1/2 oz each Beefeater and Noilly, dash of Angostura, 1/3 teaspoon Maraschino. Here, it really shined. The old formula is good in this drink, but the sweetness and herbal notes of the new stuff really came through in this one.

The next night I made myself two Atty's (Beefeater, Noilly, Verte de Fougerolles, Hermes Violet), and I had much the same experience as I did with the Imperial. The drink with the old formula was wonderful, but the new stuff takes it to another level.

A few nights later I made myself a 3:1 martini with the new formula and a healthy dash of my just strained Bergamot Bitters, and magic happened. The bergamot flavor, which really comes out in the aftertaste, complemented the botanicals in the new formula beautifully.
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#79 bostonapothecary

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 07:56 PM

The new formula has finally started showing up in Los Angeles.  Thus far only at my local BevMo; other places seem to be out entirely while awaiting new stock, or still have a decent supply of the old formula. 

I had a fresh bottle of the old when I saw the new, so of course experimentation was in order.  I had a friend over for drinks, and we tried it first in a martini, 4:1 with a dash of orange bitters (I made both drinks at the same time, so we could sample them side by side, and my friend was tasting them blind).  We both had similar thoughts - the new stuff is definitely sweeter, with a more pronounced herbal note - don't know what, exactly.  Can't say just yet which we preferred, just that the old formula is what we're used to.  Certainly enjoyed it, though, and want to experiment more with different gins/ratios.

Next, I wanted to try a vermouth heavy cocktail, The Imperial.  1 1/2 oz each Beefeater and Noilly, dash of Angostura, 1/3 teaspoon Maraschino.  Here, it really shined.  The old formula is good in this drink, but the sweetness and herbal notes of the new stuff really came through in this one.

The next night I made myself two Atty's (Beefeater, Noilly, Verte de Fougerolles, Hermes Violet), and I had much the same experience as I did with the Imperial.  The drink with the old formula was wonderful, but the new stuff takes it to another level.

A few nights later I made myself a 3:1 martini with the new formula and a healthy dash of my just strained Bergamot Bitters, and magic happened.  The bergamot flavor, which really comes out in the aftertaste, complemented the botanicals in the new formula beautifully.

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i want to put the new version on the list with the wines by the glass and see what happens.
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#80 CincyCraig

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 09:22 PM

I think that the "new" NP is excellent, world class even, in classic pre-prohibition cocktails. in more 'modern' cocktails, such as the modern martini, it has to be used rather judiciously, i.e., at a 4:1 or even 5:1 ration.

Cheers,

Craig
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#81 Mike S.

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:15 PM

i want to put the new version on the list with the wines by the glass and see what happens.

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Boston, I'm not sure if you were being serious or sarcastic, but I'll tell you honestly -- I'd order it off a wine list by the glass as an aperitif, especially if you'd be willing to serve it to me in a nice goblet wineglass over ice with a slice of lemon. I absolutely love it that way.
Cheers,

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#82 brinza

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 07:26 PM

I just managed to get a bottle of the new stuff yesterday. I have to say I prefer it to the old. I still have some of the old on hand and was able to compare them side by side. A considerable difference, to be sure. The new version is not quite as dry, and certainly has a rounder, fuller mouthfeel. Also, I agree with statements about its being more floral. Hmm...wonder how it would be with St. Germain? Anyway, I'm pleased with it, and I just hope I can continue to get it on a regular basis. Hey, if this is actually what has been the real Noilly Prat all along, who am I to argue?
Mike

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#83 eje

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 10:01 AM

No question it's sweeter. I ran the brix on most all dry vermouth a few months ago (and can post results once I pull the file), and while the old US Noilly and other dry vermouths hold an almost uniform 3% sugar, the traditional Marseilles (aka new) is 4%, a 1/3 more, but still not as sweet as the Blanc and Rosso styles.

Something lost in the discussion, and unfortunately in the promotion to date of this NP, is it's heritage as the Marseilles style of vermouth. This style was noted by it's presence of color (paille or doré - straw or gold), the wood from aging, and it's Madeira finish. Popular at the turn of the century, typically served in drinks with fruit syrups or used in cooking, many other French producers made this as well.

With growing popularity of cocktails in the 1920s, the preponderance of leading French vermouth producers (Richard, Mermet, Dolin, Reynaud, Boissieres, Comoz) saw tremendous growth in sales in the dry offering of their hallmark clear vermouth. Blanc then meant clear, and you'd see sweet and dry versions on offer. Most of these producers ceased production of a Marseilles style vermouth by the 1930's.

While today the NP sells very well in France for kitchen use, it's unique flavor characteristics deserve exploration both at the bar and kitchen.


Interestingly, I was recently reading a cocktail book from 1925 called, "Drinks Long & Short" by Nina Toye and A.H. Adair. Whether it is a quirk of the authors, representative of the time, or an advertiser/promotion deal, I cannot say, but in many cases where dry vermouth is called for, they specify "Noilly Prat Vermouth".

Edited by eje, 07 October 2010 - 10:03 AM.

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#84 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:29 PM

They're allegedly bringing back the old formula as Noilly Prat Extra Dry.


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#85 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:12 PM

It's been on the shelves for a few months already. The dry formula is still being offered which is good. As a bonus, the 375 mL size seems much easier to find these days.

Here they are :

9242751739_0b937210c1_z.jpg

Edited by FrogPrincesse, 24 September 2013 - 09:43 PM.