French distillery Maurin and importer Anchor Distilling have brought back three Maurin vermouths, each sporting the classic green devil on the label. The recipes were inspired by house concoctions that dated back to the 1800s, and each is infused with herbs and spices including coriander, cinnamon, clove, and mixed with a bit of Maurin's absinthe. But how do they taste? We gave each a turn at our review table.
Maurin Dry Vermouth has a rich herbal scent with an musky undercurrent, but the flavor is pretty easy-drinking and peachy, with a little orange peel flavor and a slightly malty finish. It's not as herbal as you might expect, more wine-y and fruity. Pair it with a juniper-forward gin;if you go too floral, you'll be drinking an extra-perfumey combination.
Maurin White Vermouth is sweeter but seemed more balanced and bright to us, bringing forward fresh citrus peel flavors (lemon and orange) and highlighting the herbs a bit more. If you like Lillet Blanc, you might find this a pleasant change of pace. It's nice alone on ice but would work with a little muddled basil and cucumber (consider adding tonic) or try it with fresh lemon and a few drops of absinthe. For us, this was the most successful of the three and the bottle we're most likely to dip into again.
Maurin Red Vermouth definitely displays its cardamom and absinthe with slightly mentholated results; this stuff tastes like sweet cherry juice that's been sucking on Ricola throat lozenges. There's a richness to the fruity side, it makes for a rather intensely fruit-forward Negroni.
Have you tried Maurin vermouth yet? At $24.99 per bottle, would you stock it in your home bar?
Sample provided for review consideration.