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  1. #11
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: The New Noilly Prat Dry

    Gary Regan devoted his most recent newletter to singing the praises of this new/old version of Noilly Prat, which to him makes a perfect martini, with liberal use of his orange bitters, of course.

    I actually worked on the Noilly Prat brand at one time, when Brown-Forman had the U.S. distribution, many moons ago.

  2. #12
    Novice
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    Dec 2008
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    Houston, Texas
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    8

    Re: The New Noilly Prat Dry

    Quote Originally Posted by craigthom View Post
    An alternative would be to just drop an olive in straight gin. While the author of the first article claims he likes to taste the vermouth in his martini, the rest of the article implies otherwise. And there's always Cinzano or Martini & Rossi for wetting the ice.

    If the existing U.S. martini market was providing Noilly Prat with the sales they want I doubt they would be making the change.
    Haha, that's Eric Felten writing that article. He's a pretty huge authority on classic cocktails, and I am sure that he would object very strongly to any interpretations that he doesn't like vermouth. He would probably drink a whole bottle in front of you after hearing you say that just to prove to you how much he loves the stuff, which is really the source of his frustrations with the new formula. His book, How's Your Drink, should be a staple for anyone interested in cocktails.

    In regards to vermouth as a whole, I have found that vermouth changes flavor dramatically rather quickly, say a month or so. I always vacuum seal my vermouths and place them in the fridge both in the bar and at home, and I go through them as quickly as possible to avoid any funky manhattans.

    The reason why most people don't like vermouth is not because they don't like the flavors; it is because their first experiences with vermouth in all likelihood took place in a bar where the vermouth they were served sat out for several months opened in a speed rail. I don't like spoiled wine, and I don't think most people agree. The best thing Noilly Prat or any other company can do to improve sales is teach people how to keep vermouth after opening.

    If you have the opportunity, track down some Vya vermouth or Carpano Antiqua or Punt e Mes. The Vya is a California small batch vermouth, and the sweet vermouth makes one of the best Manhattans you will ever have. It is about $18 for a liter, which might make you think twice, but this is an outstanding aperitif. You will find yourself enjoying this as an aperitif by itself, and therefore, when comparing it to other wines, you will find it to be a bargain. Carpano Antiqua is harder to find, and it is also a sweet. This is generally considered the best vermouth on the planet if you can find it. Carpano's Punt e Mes is a bitter Italian vermouth which is best described as sort of a cross between Italian vermouth and Campari, if you're into that sort of thing.
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  3. #13
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Just East of the Big Chicken, GA
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    5,873

    Re: The New Noilly Prat Dry

    Quote Originally Posted by anvil_houston View Post
    Haha, that's Eric Felten writing that article. He's a pretty huge authority on classic cocktails, and I am sure that he would object very strongly to any interpretations that he doesn't like vermouth. He would probably drink a whole bottle in front of you after hearing you say that just to prove to you how much he loves the stuff, which is really the source of his frustrations with the new formula. His book, How's Your Drink, should be a staple for anyone interested in cocktails.

    In regards to vermouth as a whole, I have found that vermouth changes flavor dramatically rather quickly, say a month or so. I always vacuum seal my vermouths and place them in the fridge both in the bar and at home, and I go through them as quickly as possible to avoid any funky manhattans.

    The reason why most people don't like vermouth is not because they don't like the flavors; it is because their first experiences with vermouth in all likelihood took place in a bar where the vermouth they were served sat out for several months opened in a speed rail. I don't like spoiled wine, and I don't think most people agree. The best thing Noilly Prat or any other company can do to improve sales is teach people how to keep vermouth after opening.

    If you have the opportunity, track down some Vya vermouth or Carpano Antiqua or Punt e Mes. The Vya is a California small batch vermouth, and the sweet vermouth makes one of the best Manhattans you will ever have. It is about $18 for a liter, which might make you think twice, but this is an outstanding aperitif. You will find yourself enjoying this as an aperitif by itself, and therefore, when comparing it to other wines, you will find it to be a bargain. Carpano Antiqua is harder to find, and it is also a sweet. This is generally considered the best vermouth on the planet if you can find it. Carpano's Punt e Mes is a bitter Italian vermouth which is best described as sort of a cross between Italian vermouth and Campari, if you're into that sort of thing.
    I agree with you on the Vya. It makes such a terrific Manhattan, that I have also gone to drinking it on the rocks by itself. It's very, very good. And, I've had mine open for several months, and I still enjoy it. I do keep it in the fridge, though.
    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  4. #14
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,793

    Re: The New Noilly Prat Dry

    If I make you a Manhattan at my house, it will made with Vya Sweet. Great stuff. I also have a unopened bottle of their Extra Dry....reading this I think I will open it tonight and make a "Perfect Manhattan".

  5. #15
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
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    12,544

    Re: The New Noilly Prat Dry

    Woodford Reserve is very liberal about what it will call a Manhattan, and while it promotes the traditional article, it also offers variations. One I actually like is the Woodford Reserve French Manhattan.

    2 oz. Woodford Reserve®
    1 oz. Chambord®
    Dash of bitters

    Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or cherry.

    It's not a coincidence that Brown-Forman also owns Chambord.

  6. #16
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
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    479

    Re: The New Noilly Prat Dry

    I was very apprehensive about the new Noilly Prat. The old was/is my standard for both martinis and for deglazing pans. I love the dry, almost austere character.

    BUT - I love the new! Complex, earthy, herbal tones. And it makes a great, more complex martini. I am definitely not of the "glance in the general direction of the vermouth bottle" school when it comes to vermouth in martinis. I find that a decent amount (4:1, say) of vermouth is a synergistic addition to good gin which makes a martini different from just iced gin (vodka martinis? spit!).

    While I love some of the newer gins such as Old Potrero and Tanqueray Ten, I keep falling back on old reliable Old Beefeater. It is a perfect mate for the new Noilly Prat.

    IMO, this is not the "New Coke," which is what I was concerned it was going to be. I like it.

    Jeff
    "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943

  7. #17
    Guru
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    Sep 2001
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    Pelham, AL
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    3,890

    Thumbs up Re: The New Noilly Prat Dry

    Ok Jeff, you have convinced me to at least try it.

    BTW, regular Beefeater is my favorite gin, too.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

 

 

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