top of page
  • Writer's pictureBrian Tasch

Spanish Sweet Red Vermouth Tasting Guide

Updated: Jun 26, 2022

Spanish vermouth is often overlooked in the bar and cocktail world, despite its undisputed popularity in Spain.

Spanish vermouths tend to be on the drier side –  and salinic to boot – as a result of their typically sherry wine base. Spanish sweet vermouths usually taste more confectionary than herbaceous, contain less sugar than Italian vermouths, and are almost always 15% ABV.

The most widely consumed Spanish vermouths are produced in the Reus region, though Vermouth de Reus is not currently a designation recognized by the EU.

Some of my favorite Spanish sweet red vermouths are the perfectly balanced Atxa Rojo and the confectionery, almost Cocci di Torino like Lacuesta Rojo. Ultimately, every bottle on this list is well worth the purchase, though some lend themselves better for mixing than others.

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!

Atxa Rojo

Origin: Spain

Producer: Destilerias Acha, Distributed by De Maison Selections

ABV: 15%

Wine Grapes: Airen

Known Botanicals: at least 6, including wormwood, gentian, licorice, and cherry

Sugar: N/A

Nose: vanilla, coriander, sea salt, oregano, cherry, orange, clove, bubblegum, cinnamon

Palate: vanilla, cinnamon, wormwood, cherry, orange, licorice, fig, marjoram

Finish: vanilla, wormwood, cinnamon, cherry, clove, orange, nutmeg

Additional Notes: Amber color. Dilution brings out bitter, herbaceous notes.

Barbadillo Ataman Vermut

Origin: Spain

ABV: 17%

Wine Base: Palomino Fino

Known Botanicals: at least 5, wormwood, cinnamon, bitter orange, elderberry, rosemary

Sugar: 140 g/l

Nose: vanilla, cinnamon, apple cider, cacao, cinchona, roasted peanut, cherry, nutmeg, musty

Palate: wormwood, cinchona, vanilla, orange, lemon, cinnamon, black cherry, cacao, tobacco, acidic

Finish: wormwood, cinchona, vanilla, cacao, coffee, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, black cherry

Additional Notes: Red tinted mahogany color. Medium-light body with an oily salinity. Bitter and acidic. A prominent quinine bite makes for a vermouth which almost straddles the line into quinquina. An amazing vermouth.

Becquer Vermouth de Granacha Gran Reserva

Origin: Spain

Producer: Bodegas Escudero

ABV: 17%

Wine Base: Garnacha

Known Botanicals: at least 40, including wormwood, thyme, and rosemary

Sugar: N/A

Nose: tamarind, pomegranate, clove, bell pepper, clove, chili, grape, brine, Worcestershire, calamansi

Palate: tomato, cinchona, orange, tamarind, cinnamon, balsamic vinegar, lemon, cacao, fig

Finish: tomato, clove, cinnamon, sandalwood, rhubarb, plum, raisin, calamansi

Additional Notes: Deep red-brown color with a medium-light body. The wine is aged for 24 months in American and French barrels, followed by an additional 5 years in a tank. A juicy, umami bomb.

Casa Mariol Vermut Negre

Origin: Spain

Producer: Casa Mariol

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: Macabeu

Known Botanicals: at least 2 – wormwood and green walnuts

Sugar: N/A

Nose: banana, strawberry, cola, sarsaparilla, date, oregano, apple, clove, cinnamon, caramel, black cherry

Palate: cinnamon, vanilla, cherry, nutmeg, wormwood, birch, cola, peach, lemon, cocoa, pear

Finish: vanilla, cinchona, cinnamon, nutmeg, pear, dark chocolate, nectarine, peach

Additional Notes: Mahogany tinted brown. Solera aged. Light bodied. Dilution brings out a lot of stone fruit. Tastes like pie.

El Bandarra Rojo

Origin: Spain

Producer: El Bandarra

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: 50% Macabeo, 50% Xarello

Known Botanicals: at least 50, including wormwood, clove, cinnamon, and bitter orange

Sugar: N/A

Nose: lavender, cherry, lemon, cinchona, raspberry, plum, mint, fig

Palate: wormwood, plum, cherry, lemon, cinchona, rose, cedar, chamomile, blueberry, Chinese rhubarb

Finish: wormwood, plum, cherry, cinchona, mint, lavender, rose, anise, blueberry, cacao

Additional Notes: Deep reddish-brown color. Dry and drying with a medium-light body. Exceptionally floral. Plum and lavender through and through. Works very well in cocktails but seems to have a particular affinity for rum.

Gonzalez Byass Rojo

Origin: Spain

Producer: González Byass, distributed by Gonzalez Byass UK

ABV: 15.5%

Wine Base: Palomino, Pedro Ximenez

Known Botanicals: at least 9, including wormwood, savory, clove, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon, angelica, and cinchona

Sugar: 141 g/l

Nose: bubblegum, vanilla, rose, cedar, clove, oregano, orange, strawberry, banana

Palate: cinnamon, clove, black pepper, gentian, banana, strawberry, fig, raisin, licorice, cranberry

Finish: cinnamon, clove, fig, nutmeg, vanilla, cranberry, fennel, orange

Additional Notes: Reddish-brown color. Pleasant body. Confectionary. Reminded me of egg nog on the palate.

La Baronia de Turis 13:30

Origin: Spain

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: Malvasia

Known Botanicals: wormwood

Sugar: N/A

Nose: cinnamon, sage, sea salt, gentian, orange, dried apricot, straw, clove, black tea, poppy

Palate: vanilla, gentian, honey, lemon, chamomile, black tea, tannic, cinnamon, cinchona

Finish: vanilla, chamomile, orange, gentian, cinnamon, lemon

Additional Notes: Mahogany/orange color. Reminded me a bit of an Arnold Palmer: heavy on black tea and lemon notes.

Lacuesta Rojo

Origin: Spain

ABV: 14.9%

Wine Base: N/A

Known Botanicals: at least 5, including wormwood, vanilla, chamomile, and gentian

Sugar: 128 g/l

Nose: raisin, walnut fig, orange vanilla, almond, sherry, dates

Palate: black cherry, gentian, raisin, cacao, walnut, orange, vanilla, lemon, apple

Finish: raisin, cacao, vanilla, apple, toffee, lemon, strawberry, cherry, gentian

Additional Notes: Deep amber color. Light bodied, confectionary, fruity, pleasantly bitter, and acidic. Fantastic however you choose to enjoy it.

Lustau Rojo

Origin: Spain

Producer: Lustau

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: Palomino (80%), Pedro Ximenez (20%)

Known Botanicals: at least 10, including wormwood, coriander, gentian, angelica, orange peel, sage, cinnamon, and cinchona bark

Sugar: 155 g/l

Nose: sea salt, raisin, currant, coriander, prune, orange, bark, mushroom

Palate: cinchona, gentian, cinnamon, concord grape, plum sweet red grape, citrus peel, plum

Finish: cinchona, gentian, walnut, cream sherry, cinnamon, vanilla

Additional Notes: Mahogany color. Velvety mouthfeel.

Mata Tinto

Origin: Spain

Producer: Mata, imported by Ole & Obrigado

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: 90% Mencía, 10% Godello

Known Botanicals: at least 21 including wormwood, wall germander, blessed thistle, centaury, hyssop, sage, hops, clove, elderflower, saffron, star anise, bitter orange peel, cardamom, coriander seed, vanilla, elecampane, gentian, ceylon cinnamon, croton bark, cinchona, pomegranate bark

Sugar: N/A

Nose: thyme, red wine, raspberry, earthy and mild

Palate: cinchona, blackberry, orange, cinnamon, red wine, tannic

Finish: lemon, blackberry, vanilla, cacao, sour cherry

Additional Notes: Very dark red-tinted brown. Medium body. Sweetened with grape must. Fortified with neutral grape distillate. Botanicals are macerated in base wine for 18 months before filtration and fortification. One of those rare sweet red vermouths actually made from primarily red wine. Perfectly balanced between bitter, herbs, and spice with pleasant acidity and prominent bittereness.

Miro Rojo

Origin: Spain

Producer: Miro

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: 75% Airen, 25% Maccabeo

Known Botanicals: wormwood

Sugar: N/A

Nose: cinnamon, raisin, plum, brown sugar, gentian, lemon, mint, sandalwood, vanilla, black pepper

Palate: cacao, cinnamon, vanilla, gentian, wormwood, mint, clove, orange, black cherry, raisin

Finish: vanilla, black cherry, lemon, white pepper, oregano, mint, cacao, clove

Additional Notes: Cola brown color. Vermouth de Reus designation. Medium-light body and relatively dry – doesn't stick to the palate and isn't particularly bitter. Lots of baking spice. Fruity and surprisingly juicy with some faint smokey wood notes.

Otto's Athen's Vermouth

Origin: Greece

ABV: 17%

Wine Base: Roditis (60%), Savatiano (40%)

Known Botanicals: at least 7, wormwood, rose petals, olive leaves, lemon, oregano, kumquat, angelica

Sugar: 120-130 g/

Nose: cinnamon, lemon, wormwood, rose, cherry, vanilla, clove, sandalwood, mint, prune

Palate: cinnamon, rhubarb, mint, prune, orange, vanilla, wormwood, juniper, cedar, gentian

Finish: rhubarb, vanilla, orange, cinnamon, mint, cinchona, honey, clove, poppy, rose

Additional Notes: Dull red color which reminded me of oxidized strawberry. Medium, oily body. A big cherry/vanilla cola bomb with a floral rose note on the nose and finish. Distilled and bottled in Greece by Optimal Supply Chain under the authority of DS Concepts LTD as a collaboration with award winning Athens bar The Clumsies.

Perucchi Rojo Gran Reserva

Origin: Spain

Producer: Perucchi

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: N/A

Known Botanicals: wormwood

Sugar: 126 g/l

Nose: clove, vanilla, cinnamon, banana, walnut, orange, pear, rose, marjoram

Palate: lemon, wormwood, raisin, cinnamon, clove, cinchona, star anise, orange

Finish: cinchona, wormwood, raisin, cinnamon, clove, charcoal

Additional Notes: Mahogany color. Very light body. Drying, bitter finish. Claims to be the oldest vermouth producer in Spain.

Primitivo Quiles Rojo

Origin: Spain

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: Mourvedre/Monastrell

Known Botanicals: at least 4 – wormwood, fennel, sage, and clove

Sugar: N/A

Nose: lemon, banana, yeasty, green apple, clove, vanilla, menthol, tobacco, oregano

Palate: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, orange, wormwood, lemon, cinchona, raisin, balsamic, banana, cherry, apple

Finish: cinnamon, ginger, sea salt, vanilla, nutmeg, wormwood, raisin, green apple

Additional Notes: Amber color. Smells like a Belgian beer. Dilution brings out lots of apple. A fairly dry expression.

Priorat Natur Vermut

Origin: Spain

Producer: Priorat Natur

ABV: 16%

Wine Base: Macabeo, Pedro Ximenez, Grenache Blanc

Known Botanicals: at least 6 – wormwood, fennel, rosemary, cumin, vanilla, and cinnamon

Sugar: N/A

Nose: thyme, lemon, sea salt, cumin, orange, fennel, oregano, tobacco

Palate: lemon, juniper, thyme, vanilla, cinchona, orange, plum, cinnamon, apple cider

Finish: wormwood, lemon, cinchona, gentian, juniper, cranberry, melon rind, dates

Additional Notes: Pink tinted orange color. Light body. Bright, bitter, and citrusy.

Txurrut Basque Vermut

Origin: Spain

Producer: Vegame

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: Hondarrabi Zuri

Known Botanicals: at least 20, wormwood, fennel, juniper, vanilla, walnut, rose petal

Sugar: N/A

Nose: sandalwood, cinnamon, vanilla, cinchona, raisin, ginger

Palate: cinchona, rhubarb, cinnamon, vanilla, orange, lemon, cedar, fig, cherry

Finish: cinchona, clove, vanilla, orange, raisin, rhubarb, ash, licorice, sea salt

Additional Notes: Reddish-brown appearance. Bright, racy acidity with quinine bitterness on the palate. Medium body with some salinity and minerality most prominent on the finish. Dilution highlights the cinchona, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Vidte Rojo

Origin: Spain

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: Muscatel, Merseguera

Known Botanicals: wormwood

Sugar: N/A

Nose: pear, cinnamon, cedar, bay leaf, orange, vanilla, rose, white pepper, rhubarb, banana

Palate: cinchona, pear, lemon, cinnamon, licorice, tobacco, tarragon, sage, rhubarb

Finish: cinchona, raisin, currant, tobacco, cinnamon, eucalyptus, pear, rhubarb, coffee

Additional Notes: Rich mahogany color. Savory, smokey, and spicy with a pronounced rhubarb bitterness similar to Cappelletti Sfumato Rabarbaro Amaro. Very light body, dries out quickly. Doesn't hold up particularly well in cocktails.

Notably missing: Miro Rojo and Yzaguirre Rojo. 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

Sweet White Vermouth

Sweet Red Vermouth

Quinquina and Americano

Please send updates and corrections to


bottom of page