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Dolin Vermouths


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Haus Alpenz has begun importing Dolin Vermouth into the US.

According to what I've read, there are three varieties, Dry, Sweet, and Blanc.

I'm familiar with the Dry and enjoy it in most classic cocktail applications calling for French Vermouth. To me it has an especially appealing way of disappearing into a drink and at the same time accenting the flavors. One of the few dry vermouths where I feel like I can actually taste the Artemesia.

A Fifty-Fifty with Junipero, Dolin Dry, and a couple dashes of orange bitters is one of my favorite Martini-like cocktails.

I haven't had much chance to experiment with the Sweet in cocktails, but enjoyed it when I tasted it a while back. From what I remember it had much less caramelized sugar character than the Carpano Antica I tried it against and a bit more herbal complexity.

I wasn't aware that Dolin made a Blanc variety, but look forward to trying that as well.

I am curious though what reactions anyone has gotten when substituting the Dolin Dry for other Dry Vermouths. Or if you have hints for cocktails where the Dolin Vermouth doesn't seem to work well.

---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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We had the Dry and Rouge (aka Sweet) Dolin Vermouths in CA previous to the arrangement Haus Alpenz has reached with the manufacturer. The Rouge is less carried in liquor stores, so you have to try a bit to hunt it down.

I'd tasted the Dolin Rouge on its own out at a bar.

Intrigued by that taste, I'd picked up a bottle of the Dolin Rouge a couple months ago, but hadn't had a chance to use it in Savoy cocktails.

Recently finished a bottle of Carpano Antica, so I took the opportunity last night to make myself a Fourth Degree with the Dolin Rouge. I tried both my usual 4-1-1 and the traditional 1-1-1 version using Dolin Vermouths and Junipero.

My initial reaction is, "In a cocktail this doesn't work at all like any other sweet vermouth I've tried". It is lighter in sweetness and stronger in herb/spice/bitterness. The bitterness is almost at Punt e Mes levels.

I'm still kind of puzzling out whether I think it will work as an "Italian Vermouth" in Savoy Cocktails, but my initial reaction is, "probably not". At least not without recipe adjustment.

I'm curious what others think about using the Rouge in classic cocktails. Does it work better with certain spirits?

---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I used to love their chamberyzette, flavoured with wild strawberries, but found a bottle recently after a gap of many years and found it artificial tasting and oversweet. Tastes change, I suppose.

I've used the Chaberyzette to make a martini before, really nice in the summer as it adds a touch of fruit to the drink... and of course a hint of pink.

Tristan Stephenson - The Wild Drink Blog

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We had the Dry and Rouge (aka Sweet) Dolin Vermouths in CA previous to the arrangement Haus Alpenz has reached with the manufacturer.  The Rouge is less carried in liquor stores, so you have to try a bit to hunt it down.

I'd tasted the Dolin Rouge on its own out at a bar.

Intrigued by that taste, I'd picked up a bottle of the Dolin Rouge a couple months ago, but hadn't had a chance to use it in Savoy cocktails.

Recently finished a bottle of Carpano Antica, so I took the opportunity last night to make myself a Fourth Degree with the Dolin Rouge.  I tried both my usual 4-1-1 and the traditional 1-1-1 version using Dolin Vermouths and Junipero.

My initial reaction is, "In a cocktail this doesn't work at all like any other sweet vermouth I've tried".  It is lighter in sweetness and stronger in herb/spice/bitterness.  The bitterness is almost at Punt e Mes levels.

I'm still kind of puzzling out whether I think it will work as an "Italian Vermouth" in Savoy Cocktails, but my initial reaction is, "probably not".  At least not without recipe adjustment.

I'm curious what others think about using the Rouge in classic cocktails.  Does it work better with certain spirits?

The Dolin Rouge was my house IV back during this past summer. I don't recall having picked up on any unusual bitterness at the time, though I rarely construct Perfect cocktails as it seems you're describing, and of course that was some measure of months ago.

I wish I could now go back and really put the tasting scruples to it, but my local supplier has switched out the Dolin, in favour of carrying Boissiere -- which, funny enough, I've had the same reaction to as you've had the Dolin. I'm not sure it's markedly more bitter than a 'standard' sweet vermouth (though I'd say it is to some degree), but it seems to offer a much deeper taste profile - the basso profundo of the sans-Carpano IV world, if you will.

It does seem, however, that my Boissiere sports an older bottling label, so perhaps that has something to do with it.

A special order may .. ahem, be in order.

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I'll go down as another who doesn't think Dolin Rouge is particularly bitter. I tried some last night in a Martinez (1.5 each Hayman's Old Tom and Dolin Rouge, 1 tsp Luxardo Perla Dry, 1 dash Abbott's bitters). I found it very nice. Lighter flavored and less rich than Carpano Antica Formula, which allowed the Old Tom's character to come out nicely. I'll have to experiment more. My feeling, based on limited tasting, is that it won't necessarily stand in for Italian sweet vermouth in some of the more emphatically flavored cocktails, but will make an interesting substitution for dry vermouth in certain cocktails and will work interestingly in new concoctions.

--

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It's been interesting and fun when testing the Dolin Rouge through traditional cocktails side by side with other vermouth, and most often it's being done with the Manhattan. Where the Dolin Rouge has a dry finish where the spirit comes through, the M&R leaves its characteristic cherry finish, Vya a heavy cherry, and the Antica is all yummy rich Antica. Many have commented on how the spice shows more on the Rouge. The experimenting continues...

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