Vermouth Review: La Fuerza Rojo Vermouth

Okay one extremely niche reason I wanted to start doing a blog is I've started to drink vermouth a fair amount. I had never really enjoyed vermouth - probably because I was always drinking the Dolan sweet stuff, which I've always found very perfume-like. A few months back, however, I picked up a bottle of Little City vermouth basically on a whim and was completely blown away by how delicious it was - so much so that I took to drinking it straight up, cold from the fridge, in tiny glasses, like an ancient Spanish man. I know almost nothing about vermouths, a category that I feel like is even less considered than amari, and I figured a weird little vermouth review section might be helpful.

METHODOLOGY: As I see it you generally want to know the following about sweet vermouths (as those are what I pretty much solely plan to be sampling): does it taste good in a whiskey-based cocktail, does it taste good in a gin-based cocktail and - if you're a sicko like me - does it taste good on its own. So my plan is to try each reviewed vermouth in a rye manhattan (2 parts Old Overholt + 1 part vermouth + 2 splashes Angostura bitters), in a negroni (1 part Camprai + 1 part Misguided Spirits Bathhouse John's Grown Man Gin*) and straight up. I'm actually going to do this backwards to how it's written here so I can talk about how the vermouth tastes on its own, followed by a lighter cocktail and finishing with pitting it against Old Overholt, a rye I love but which is not so affectionately known as Old Overcoat.


La Fuerza Rojo Vermouth is the first bottled vermouth from the Andes, although it draws on a long tradition of Argentine vermouth-making, apparently! Made using local Malbec grapes and botanicals, it's the signature vermouth of Buenos Aires' La Fuerza Bar, a place I just learned about right now but want to live in for the rest of my life.

They have a pretty cool website and a cool bottle


Starting with a really interesting nose of almost full vanilla, the first thing I really taste is cherry notes - almost like cherry heering but a lot gentler and more subtle. What is REALLY surprising is a transition to a very herbal, almost vegetal backend - surprisingly bitter and bracing giving the sweetness up front. It's not my favorite sipping vermouth so far but it's definitely interesting.


The color of the vermouth renders this a very dark, very attractive purplish shade, and the taste itself doesn't disappoint - the cherry and vanilla notes of the vermouth compliment the florals of the gin really well. This is a really well-rounded Negroni.


Ahhh swing and a miss - this is no match for Old Overcoat. I'm getting a little bit of the cherry but mostly just the corn of the rye and maybe a little bit of the bitterness at the back, which isn't exactly pleasant.

FINAL JUDGEMENTS: This is probably not going to enter my rotation for sipping but if you're a fan of lighter cocktails with vermouth definitely check this one out.