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New Noilly Prat

85 posts in this topic

Stupid question: the change in formula and labels coincided precisely? I haven't seen the new bottles anywhere up north here.

yes. at the same time.


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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We're about on the cusp, as far as I can tell, in the SF Area.

I've seen the new packaging for the sweet, but most retail outlets seem to still be selling through their stock of the old dry bottles.

Same with bars. Most are still on the old bottles of dry, but I've seen the new bottles a couple places.

Personally, I'm looking forward to giving it a try in some Savoy cocktails.


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I think the new NP is pretty good. Perhaps even better than the old. My disappointment isn't necessarily that NO is shipping an inferior product (and for this we should be thankful, since it is the usual course of events) but rather in the loss of the old American formula.

The only inherent downside I can see to the new stuff is that a Fitty-Fitty tends to look a bit like a urine sample with a lemon twist.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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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.


Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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What?! Changing Noilly?

Why mess with success?

(There's too much fiddling around. Urbani goes from selling classic truffles to overhyped cheap products. Baskin-Robbins isn't content to maintain an understated lime-rum ice for generations, they have to reformulate it and color it bright green. Now this. Sometimes these things are traceable to new blood or investors with a mind for the bottom line, and no comprehension of craftsmanship.)

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Just look for the shapely new bottle and you'll have the new (to us) product. As for the change in title, it may reflect the change from what we would associate with a French Dry Vermouth to what is unique to Noilly Prat.


Edited by eas (log)

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Just look for the shapely new bottle and you'll have the new (to us) product.  As for the change in title, it may reflect the change from what we would associate with a French Dry Vermouth to what is unique to Noilly Prat.

so i emailed Ludovic Miazga who is the noilly prat brand ambassador quite a while ago about the differences between the american noilly and the european version...

The main differences in the original and American blends are the aging and the taste.

The aging of the original blend is for over two years; one of those years is outdoors, whereas the American blend is aged indoors only for a little over one year.

Therfore due to the aging process the original blend develops a richer and more complex taste.

he also notes that the "L'Enclos" outdoor aging method is meant to replicate the products early sea journey (like in madeira) that noilly rarely gets any credit for...


Edited by bostonapothecary (log)

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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Just look for the shapely new bottle and you'll have the new (to us) product.  As for the change in title, it may reflect the change from what we would associate with a French Dry Vermouth to what is unique to Noilly Prat.

so i emailed Ludovic Miazga who is the noilly prat brand ambassador quite a while ago about the differences between the american noilly and the european version...

The main differences in the original and American blends are the aging and the taste.

The aging of the original blend is for over two years; one of those years is outdoors, whereas the American blend is aged indoors only for a little over one year.

Therfore due to the aging process the original blend develops a richer and more complex taste.

he also notes that the "L'Enclos" outdoor aging method is meant to replicate the products early sea journey (like in madeira) that noilly rarely gets any credit for...

Well, if that only changed the taste... :laugh:


Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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It's not clear to me that the rep is being entirely forthright. My recollection is that the new NP is definitely more up front with the herbs.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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It's not clear to me that the rep is being entirely forthright.  My recollection is that the new NP is definitely more up front with the herbs.

it wouldn't surprise me. i asked lots of specific questions and only got a few cut and paste answers. there are only a couple worth while ambassadors out there for big brands. alcohol sales really rely on pretention, mystery, and supersticion. if consumers are too well educated too much sales can be lost to wellers, overholt, cruzan, and gordons...


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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Not sure how easy it is to see the color of this drink, but this is a fitty-fitty made with the new (to us in the US) Noilly.

gallery_27569_3448_48065.jpg

No ango or anything, the color is all from the vermouth.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I thought I'd add this clarification, from a martini article in the Washington Post.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...20302812&s_pos=

And there have been big recent developments in the world of vermouth. For one, the gold-standard dry vermouth Noilly Prat has a new recipe. Actually, the company has gone back to selling its original European recipe here; the Noilly Prat we enjoyed for years was a special recipe for Americans. I like the European-style Noilly Prat, which is more viscous and has more-pronounced floral and citrus notes. But of course this change has been a lightning rod for criticism. The conservative Wall Street Journal actually called the new-recipe Noilly Prat "evil" and a "fussy impostor" and termed a martini made with it "a mess." I completely disagree; it's just more of that Very Dry Martini bullying.


Edited by Reignking (log)

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that's interesting that they say dolin is one of the premier vermouths in the usa, here in london it's abt 2/3 the price of noilly prat at my local supermarket

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did i hear correct that Noilly is doing away with this "U.S" version and bringing back the original as of this week??

anyone verify?

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did i hear correct that Noilly is doing away with this "U.S" version and bringing back the original as of this week??

anyone verify?

As the above info hints at and a visit to liquor stores confirms, it has actually already begun.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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did i hear correct that Noilly is doing away with this "U.S" version and bringing back the original as of this week??

anyone verify?

As the above info hints at and a visit to liquor stores confirms, it has actually already begun.

i have to apologize, i completely missed Reinking's post...

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I just tried the new-to-us NP Dry for the first time tonight.

First taste neat, in a small tasting glass. Much sweeter than the "old" U.S. formula, and as noted above much more floral and herbal, but not necessarily bad to my palate, in fact pretty damn good actually, just...different.

Second taste in a 5:1 Martini made with (my new favorite) Whitley Neill Small Batch London Dry Gin and a goodly dash of Regans' No. 6, stirred up with a lemon twist. Not bad, maybe even good, but again...(very) different. Truth be told, although I like them Martinis have never been my drink of choice so I'm probably not the best person to say whether the old or new is the better vermouth for this drink. I rather liked it, but I can definitely see why the stalwarts are up in arms.

Third taste poured over ice in a wine glass with a lemon slice as an alternative to plain white wine with my linguini and white clam sauce (itself made with a healthy splash of the stuff). Umm...brilliant! I really love it this way, better by far than my previous favorite white aperitif Lillet Blanc. Less sweet, more complex, spicier, just great. In fact, it's so good as a Lillet "stand-in" that I wonder if it wouldn't work as a replacement for Lillet in classic cocktails that call for the old Kina Lillet (although admittedly there's no quinine bite to the new NP), perhaps with a dash of orange bitters?

So my bottom line is this: It's a very good, maybe even great, product that is nonetheless profoundly different from the "old" NP Dry we've all come to know and love (or not). It's definitely earned a place in my bar and I suspect I'll be drinking it quite a lot -- no joke, it is REALLY good over ice with a slice of lemon. For those rare times I drink a dry Martini...well...maybe I'll use something else, or break into my back stock of the old stuff.


Edited by Mike S. (log)

Cheers,

Mike

"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind."

- Bogart

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Thanks Mike for the detailed taste comparison. This kind of first-person report is valuable.

Couple detail followups from earlier in the thread, in case anyone's interested:

... After the wines are blended, NP's site says that they add raspberry and lemon fruit liqueurs (!) ...
Probably most people reading this know the following but in case anyone doesn't: The word "liqueur" has two parallel meanings in English (and French) writing. (I have many examples.) Often it means a sweet or sugared flavored spirit. In more general writing it's also used in the wider sense of a flavored spirit, not necessarily sweetened. (Some of the related content on Wikipedia, for example, still appears not to know about this.)
[in discussion of perceived sweetness in old vs new NP] if enough people are curious enough and want to know exactly what the sugar contents are of the new and the old i could be motivated to perform a little experiment and find out...
A generous offer! Again in case any reader was unaware of it: actual sugar content in wines and perceived sweetness correlate only loosely. Common non-sugar components also taste sweet (polyols or sugar alcohols) on top of which, acid in wine skews perceived sweetness so much that blind tests can't distinguish relative sugar levels at all. (The orange vs lemon syndrome.)

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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.

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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...

That's useful research -- thanks!

Not to belabor the point, but be careful about casually equating perceived sweetness to sugar content, which ignores other dissolved components that increase or decrease perceived sweetness. (Thus orange juice can taste "sweeter" than lemon juice even when the lemon has a higher sugar concentration.) The ultimate objective measure of "sweetness" uses taster data (slk, Spificator, bostonapothecary, and especially Mike S posted informal data above).

Also if you literally mean Brix weight (the pragmatic measure estimating sugars via density), it's fairly accurate for sugars when used by winemakers for grape juice near harvest (whose dissolved components consist mainly of sugars, which therefore correlate well with density). I'm skeptical about using Brix measure with wine that's fermented, aged, blended, and fortified. Its dissolved components and density are much more complex.

This parallels the problem of fidelity measures in audio and video equipment. Ultimate objective tests require human evaluators running indifference tests under controlled conditions, which can be difficult and expensive. Simple electrical tests (Signal-to-Noise Ratio, Total Harmonic Distortion) correlate partly with perceived quality and are much easier, but can mislead. Consumers have been seduced by the scientific-looking authority of those numbers. Thankfully, nothing like that ever could happen with drinks! :-)

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Finally got my hands on a bottle of the new stuff. Tasted straight, it's certainly sweeter. To be fair, my old bottle was cold (straight from the frig) and my new bottle was room temperature (straight from the grocery store). I'm curious to try them both cold.

Next step was a 3:1 martini with a dash orange bitters. I don't like it at that ratio, which I thought tasted good with the old formula. Guess I should try it with a higher ratio of gin or find a new vermouth.


Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I brought the new home several weeks ago--before I realized they were changing the formula--and mixed our usual martinis--Regular Bombay & NP dry about 5:1 w/ a generous splash of Regan's ernj bitters and a lemon twist. Fuss took one taste and said, "what happened to my martini?" I tasted and thought the same. Then I remembered reading some where (probably here) that NP was changing its formula so found a bottle of the old and we compared them side-by-side in several forms: neat, chilled, and in our basic martini. We much prefer the old version as we find the new formula is much sweeter and has a more floral characteristics (to the point that I am purchasing as much as I can find and now have two un-opened cases sitting in the garage--luckily our local distributor stocked up on the old formula before the new was introduced so I can find it here in NE GA if I look.) There was an article in the last issue of Imbibe magazine about the change. Interestingly enough there are a bunch of people who do not know there is a change and I was standing in a major liquor store in Atlanta when a woman came in and said she had driven over fr/ Birmingham b/c she heard they had the old formula and the folks at the store had no idea they were changing.


in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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I've been stocking up, too. This is one of the benefits to living in a town where few people drink vermouth: if they stocked NP, it probably didn't move.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I don't see why not. I imagine that over many years there would be some loss of quality, but there would also be a large number of excellent martinis, fitty fittys, and so on -- something I can't make to my tastes without this liquid.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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