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  • Writer's pictureBrian Tasch

Spanish Sweet White Vermouth Tasting Guide

Updated: Jun 26, 2022

Spanish white vermouths tend to be all over the map in terms of sugar content and flavor profile, making for a widely diverse category. They generally lean drier, with sugar content in the semi-sweet range rather than sweet, and none of them are above 15% ABV.

Of the confectionary Spanish blanco vermouths, I particularly enjoyed Atxa Blanco. The Vidte Blanco is notable for its racy acidity, and Lustau Blanco for its balance of bitter nuttiness, fruit, and herbs. El Bandarra Blanco is my favorite of the more confectionary vermouths.

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 Blanco

Origin: Spain

Producer: Destilerias Acha, Distributed by De Maison Selections

ABV: 15%

Wine Grapes: Airen

Known Botanicals: at least 5, wormwood, gentian, bitter orange

Sugar: N/A

Nose: fig, raisin, marzipan, millet, vanilla, clove, gentian

Palate: vanilla, bark, cinnamon, clove, orange, poached pear, raisin, date

Finish: wormwood, vanilla, toffee, caramel, orange, cassis, currant

Additional Notes: Pale amber color. Light body. Very confectionary. The bitter notes play on the sugar in a way that almost emulates crème brûlée. This lands somewhere between dry vermouth and a light cream sherry.

El Bandarra Blanco

Origin: Spain

Producer: El Bandarra

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: 50% Garnacha Blanca, 50% Xarello

Known Botanicals: at least 40, including wormwood

Sugar: N/A

Nose: vanilla, mint, cinchona, orange, papaya, lemon, almond, strawberry

Palate: vanilla, wormwood, toasted marshmallow, orange, cinchona, thyme, juniper, candied almonds

Finish: vanilla, wormwood, toasted marshmallow, orange, coffee, cinnamon, ginger, cinchona

Additional Notes: Light straw yellow color. Medium-bodied with a slightly oily texture. Perfectly balanced between the confectionary and bitter. Vanilla and orange dominate the palate. Dilution brings out lots of cream soda notes. More of a ginger heat rather than the expected cinnamon. An absolute delight to sip on its own or in cocktails.

Lacuesta Blanco

Origin: Spain

ABV: 15%

Wine Grapes: N/A

Known Botanicals: at least 20, wormwood

Sugar: 104.5 g/l

Nose: cinnamon, raisin, orange, chamomile, vanilla, clove, pear, cognac, straw

Palate: cinnamon, raisin, honey, chamomile, lemon, vanilla, cinchona, ginger, licorice

Finish: cinnamon, raisin, honey, apple, vanilla, sea salt, wormwood

Additional Notes: Pale orange/deep straw yellow. A cinnamon/raisin bomb. Nice full body despite the low sugar content which technically places it in the semi-sweet category rather than sweet.

Lustau Blanco

Origin: Spain

Producer: Lustau

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: Palomino, Moscatel

Known Botanicals: 9 total, wormwood, chamomile, gentian, marjoram, orange peel, rosemary

Sugar: 144 g/l

Nose: mineralic, sage, sea salt, bark, oregano, raspberry, cinchona

Palate: hazelnut, blackberry, orange, spearmint, sea salt, nutmeg, lemon, vanilla

Finish: hazelnut, nutmeg, wormwood, vanilla, sea salt, blackberry

Additional Notes: Light straw yellow color. A blend of Fino sherry and Moscatel wine. Medium body. Bitter and nutty.

Lustau Rose

Origin: Spain

Producer: Lustau

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: Palomino, Moscatel, Tintilla de Rota

Known Botanicals: at least 5, wormwood, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla, chamomile

Sugar: 145.5 g/l

Nose: vanilla, thyme, oregano, cedar, sea salt, fig, raisin

Palate: vanilla, orange, strawberry, rose geranium, green cardamom, marzipan, cream, grapefruit

Finish: oregano, marjoram, vanilla, orange, strawberry, cream, rose geranium

Additional Notes: Rose-gold appearance. Vanilla through and through. Reminiscent of an orange creamsicle. A little dilution really helps bring the bitter notes out.

Mata Blanco

Origin: Spain

Producer: Mata, imported by Ole & Obrigado

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: Godello

Known Botanicals: at least 5 including wormwood, bitter orange, sage, thyme, star anise

Sugar: N/A

Nose: tamarind, clove, orange, sea salt, vanilla, worshestershire

Palate: brown sugar, bananas foster, vanilla, cinchona, orange, fig

Finish: cinchona, vanilla, allspice, cacao, orange, strawberry

Additional Notes: Green tinted straw yellow. Medium body. Sweetened with grape must. Fortified with neutral grape distillate. Botanicals are macerated in base wine for 40 days before filtration and fortification.

Perucchi Bianco

Origin: Spain

Producer: Perucchi

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: N/A

Known Botanicals: at least 40, wormwood

Sugar: 126 g/l

Nose: clove, cinnamon, honey, orange, jasmine, baked apple, vanilla, gentian

Palate: baked apple, ginger, cinnamon, clove, gentian, cherry, orange, lemon, jasmine, honeysuckle

Finish: ginger, vanilla, orange, clove, allspice

Additional Notes: Light straw color. Claims to be the oldest vermouth producer in Spain. Mild, light body.

Vidte Blanco

Origin: Spain

ABV: 15%

Wine Base: Muscat

Known Botanicals: wormwood

Sugar: N/A

Nose: white grape, sage, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple, eucalyptus, forest floor

Palate: orange, green apple, pine, grapefruit, lavender, vanilla

Finish: wormwood, cinnamon, pear, grapefruit, orange

Additional Notes: Golden color. Very light body. Bitter, bright, and very acidic.

Notably missing: Miro 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

Sweet White Vermouth

Sweet Red Vermouth

Quinquina and Americano

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