Bianco Vermouth Tasting


So far we’ve had a Dry Vermouth Tasting and a Red Vermouth Tasting but what about that third variety of vermouth, the one that many folks write-off as a product of the 80s and best drunk with lemonade or splashed over Joan Collins.

Bianco, also known as white sweet is a middle ground between dry and sweet vermouth, it is less herbal intense and lighter than red vermouth but sweeter than dry vermouth. From my research it seems especially popular in Eastern Europe with some companies based there only making this variety. For this article we will refer to it simply as “Bianco”

A Selection of Bianco Vermouth

We will tasted the vermouths on their own.
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#1 Martini Bianco (15%ABV)

The brand synonymous with vermouth, the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret.
Nose: Sharp citrus with some musky woody notes, some herbal olive notes.
Taste: Quite thick and rich, a little tartness followed by a long herbal bitterness. Quite a lot of flavour and a clear transition between dry and sweet vermouth.
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#2 Toso (14.8%ABV)
Made by Toso SpA a company over 100 years old and based in Cossano Belbo, in North-west Italy; they also make a Dry, Bianco and Orange vermouth.
Nose: floral, pine nuts, pressed flowers, almond, fresh pesto
Taste: Floral and light, not too sweet. A little nutty with foresty alpine flavour and madiera notes. Subtle but pleasant.
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#3 Cinzano (14.8%ABV)
Owned by the Campari Group, Cinzano Vermouth was first produced in 1757.
Nose: Herbal, citrus
Taste: Thick texture, flavourful, bitter but quite a short finish. Unusual but some panel liked the bitterness and found the aftertaste pleasant just as many didn’t.

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#4 Forteni (14.4%ABV)
I don’t know too much about this vermouth, but it was purchased in Carrefour for seven euros. It is made by V.N.P.S.p.A – Asti.
Nose: Sweet herbal and fruity
Taste: Vanilla, thyme and cloves. A bit sticky but still pelasant hint sof white chcoloate, honety and stone fruits. Supringlsy similar to sloe gin.

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#5 Fillipetti (14.8%ABV)
Made by Perlino who’s Dry vermouth and Classico Rosso scored very well in previous tastings.
Nose: Marzipan & Sherbert
Taste: Quite pleasant and herbal most found it rather good but some found it too sweet. It had a confectionery quality like boiled fruit sweets.

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#6 Home-made (14%ABV)
This was made using a combination of the recipes for Red and White Vermouth.
Nose: Tinned fruit (in a good way), small pudding fruit, fruit cocktail
Taste: Honey, bitter and herbal notes, sweet but not over the top.

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#7 Dolin
Made in Chambery, near the French-Swiss border, Chambery vermouth has Geographical Indication (GI) status, like Plymouth Gin, Champagne and the Cornish Pasty.
Tasting notes coming soon

#8 Bellino Bianco (13%ABV)

Not technically a vermouth but a mix of wine, grape juice and herbs.

Nose: Very thin on the nose, lemonbalm and pine
Taste: Once again rather sparse, watery with light herbal notes. Quite insubstantial.

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#9 Stock (16%ABV)
Made by the Stock Spirit Company, whose biggest markets are in Italy and Slovenia, Stock is made with Italian Table Wine and Italian Brandy and is infused with more than 50 herbs & spices. They also make a Dry and a Rosso vermouth, in addition to a very tasty Maraschino.
Nose: Pear drops, oats, straw, ripe berries and fermenting fruit
Taste: Smooth, fruity with medium sweetness.Slight nuttiness with a touch of smoke. I reminded some panelists of salt caramel.

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#10 Vinelli (14.8%ABV)
From Aldi made by V.N.P.S.p.A – Asti, the same folks that make Forteni.
Nose:
Taste: Initially herby with a lack of sweetness, there was some bitterness and a very unpleasant sickly sweetness at the end.

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In Conclusion

Just like Dry Vermouth and Red Vermouth the varieties of Bianco Vermouth vary a lot between themselves. Although, in general, it seems clear that they are sweeter than dry but dryer than red. I also think Bianco has a lot of cocktail potential and an article covering that will be published in the near future. One thing is clear, Bianco is worth a second look.