Today I’ve sampled Volume Primo Vermouth, another vermouth developed in collaboration with a specific bar - this one is the Archivio bar in fair Verona, where we get - this vermouth, bay-bee! I actually can’t find a lot about the bar itself other than LonelyPlanet listings on line so let’s get to the tasting!
This one is VERY interesting: with a very strong aroma of wildflowers, camomile and maybe a hint of rose, this light amber vermouth explodes on the tongue with a hit of honey sweetness. I’m getting some of the bitterness and botanicals on the backend but the main note for me is something like clover honey - this almost tastes like a mead. It’s surprisingly not cloying at all. I am missing maybe a bit more uh wineyness at the back - both tannins and the more jammy flavors you get with vermouths that wear their wine heritage on their sleeve. I don’t think this would be a regular straight tipple for me but honestly I’m amazed at how much I like it - if you told me before I tasted it how honey-forward I would find it I would assume it was awful but it’s really nicely balanced, even for someone who likes my sweet vermouths on the drier side.
This is another Negroni where the vermouth really shines. You get a big hit of the honey sweetness at first which very quickly and smoothly evaporates out to the combined botanicals of the gin, Campari and vermouth. Very pleasant
After the Fuerza I kind of assumed this vermouth would get lost in the sauce as well and was really pleasantly surprised - that immediate honey sweetness works really well with the sharpness of the rye and just kind of rolls out on your tongue while the astringency of the whiskey plays out on the edges of your mouth, and you definitely walk away with a nice honey sweetness. It might be a little one-note - as with straight up I’m kind of missing some tannin sharpness in the legs - but I would love to be served this. I feel like if you sort of halfway this to an Old Fashioned and do a citrus rub on the glass rim it’ll sit really nice.
Let’s see how many more times I can say “honey sweetness” - that would make a tremendous name for a fancy cat. But seriously, if you’re looking for something to give your cocktails a bit of a spin - and you like honey - I would strongly recommend this one. It really felt like it opened up the character of both the Manhattan and the Negroni, and despite it not making it into the rotation as a stand-alone I can wholeheartedly recommend this one.