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  • Brian Tasch

French Sweet White Vermouth Tasting Guide

Updated: Jun 1, 2022

As with dry vermouth, the French were the pioneers of the sweet white style of vermouth, with Dolin putting out the first blanc vermouth in 1821. Don't let the pale, sometimes crystalline appearance fool you – sweet white vermouth has sugar content and a flavor profile more in line with sweet red vermouth than dry vermouth.


It's worth noting that some classic cocktails which called for “French” vermouth were, in fact, referring to French blanc vermouth rather than dry. The El Presidente is a prime example, and I have to wonder about French-born classics like the Scofflaw.


Every blanc vermouth I've tried has been exceptional with my favorites being the two lighter offerings from Dolin: the bitter, confectionary C. Comoz Blanc and more fruitier, more vanilla-forward Dolin Blanc.


If you're new to the world of vermouth, check out my Introduction to Vermouth post to learn some basics, introduce yourself to some of the terminology used, and get a general overview of how these guides are structured (and why). Then join me back here to get into the details!


C. Comoz Blanc

Origin: France

Producer: Dolin, distributed by Haus Alpenz

ABV:16%

Wine Base: N/A

Known Botanicals: wormwood

Sugar: N/A

Nose: oregano, juniper, nectarine, lemon oil, tarragon

Palate: vanilla, black cherry, cinnamon, wormwood, orange, cinchona

Finish: wormwood, vanilla, sarsaparilla, faint straw, black cherry, cinnamon

Additional Notes: Very light gold color. C. Comoz Blanc is a lighter, less sweet style of white vermouth. Light/med body, nice round mouthfeel. Warm and confectionary. Surprisingly bitter for a blanc vermouth. Credited with being the first crystal clear vermouth, though not the first white/blanc. This was the original vermouth used in the El Presidente. Shuttered in 1981, but has since been revived by Dolin and reintroduced back into the market.


Dolin Blanc

Origin: France

Producer: Dolin, distributed by Haus Alpenz

ABV: 16%

Wine Base: Ugni Blanc/Trebbiano

Known Botanicals: 33 total, wormwood, gentian, hibiscus, basil, cinnamon

Sugar: 130 g/l

Nose: bark, menthol, sea salt, pine, banana, vanilla, thyme

Palate: vanilla, white grape, pear, pineapple, lemon, elderflower, oregano, cinnamon

Finish: elderflower, vanilla, pear, cinnamon, lemon

Additional Notes: Pale yellow/green tinge. Light body. Floral with notes of tropical fruit and plenty of vanilla through and through.


La Quintinye Blanc Vermouth Royal

Origin: France

Producer: La Quintinye

ABV: 16%

Wine Base: Ungi Blanc/Trebbiano

Known Botanicals: 18 total, wormwood, vine flower, angelica root, iris root, cardamom, cinnamon, bitter orange, nutmeg, ginger, cinchona, licorice, quassia amara

Sugar: N/A

Nose: lavender, orange zest, rosemary, grape, vanilla, licorice, eucalyptus, pine

Palate: green cardamom, cinnamon, lemon, ripe apple, clove, gentian, orange

Finish: lemon, licorice, green cardamom, cinnamon, chamomile

Additional Notes: Pale gold color. Light body. Bitter, bright, and citrusy. Fortified and sweetened with Pineau des Charentes.


Maurin Blanc

Origin: France

Producer: Maurin, distributed by Pacific Edge Wine & Spirits

ABV: 17%

Wine Base: N/A

Known Botanicals: N/A, wormwood

Sugar: N/A

Nose: gentian, orange, lemon, clove, cinchona, cinnamon, apple, raisin, juniper, banana

Palate: orange, lemon, cinnamon, clove, hay, apple, cranberry, green cardamom, gentian

Finish: orange, vanilla, clove, mushroom, lemon, cinchona, raisin, straw, fennel

Additional Notes: Rich amber color. Similar to the Maurin Dry, but obviously more robust on account of the higher sugar content. Has the most movement on the palate of any Maurin aromatized wine, making for a particularly interesting expression. Works well in cocktails.


Routin Blanc

Origin: France

Producer: Distillerie des Alpes

ABV: 16.9%

Wine Base: Sauvignon, Jacquere

Known Botanicals: 18 total, wormwood, vanilla, thyme, cinnamon, elderflower

Sugar: 110 g/l

Nose: apple, thyme, elderflower, lemon, honey, orange

Palate: lychee, cinnamon, orange peel, chamomile, honey, cinchona, baked apple

Finish: raisin, clove, cinnamon, tarragon, vanilla, orange

Additional Notes: Pale yellow color. Sweet on the palate with a medium/light body. Needs a bit of dilution to really open up. Chambery style vermouth. Technically a semi-sweet white vermouth rather than a sweet white vermouth on account of sugar content.


Notably missing: Guerin Blanc. Will accept donations of any missing vermouths.


Vermouth Guides


Check the individual regional Vermouth guides for more detailed information on regional styles and recommended bottles:


Dry Vermouth


French Dry Vermouth

Italian Dry Vermouth

Spanish Dry Vermouth

American Dry Vermouth

The Complete Guide to Dry Vermouth


Sweet White Vermouth


French Sweet White Vermouth

Italian Sweet White Vermouth

Spanish Sweet White Vermouth

American Sweet White Vermouth

The Complete Guide to Sweet White Vermouth


Sweet Red Vermouth


Italian Sweet Red Vermouth

French Sweet Red Vermouth

Spanish Sweet Red Vermouth

American Sweet Red Vermouth

The Complete Guide to Sweet Red Vermouth

Quinquina and Americano


The Complete Guide to Quinquina and Americano

Please send updates and corrections to brian@corpserevived.com.

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