broVo Spirits Jammy Sweet Vermouth
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This sweet red vermouth was such a charming and delicious discovery at a recent trade tasting made by BroVo. BroVo is a project in Washington State, calling itself 'Lady-Made Liquor' and a bartenders' dream brand. Winning awards left and right for high quality hand crafted spirits including amaro, vermouth and liqueurs, BroVo is made 'by bartenders for bartenders' even those of us bartending at home! When the owners first ventured out to bars to sample their amaro, bartenders frequently asked us “Do you make vermouth?” They soon started the process to make their own vermouth.
Vermouth is traditionally made with lower quality white wine, infused with herbs and spices, then sweetened with sugar and fortified with bulk liquor. To get started, BroVo first had to license a winery because it uses a wine base, not a spirit base. They decided that having both a winery and distillery gave them an advantage and then began to experiment with the process.
So what’s different about how BroVo makes Vermouth?
One, they wanted to highlight Washington wine in the vermouth. They chose four varietals to use; they are all from the Wahluke Slope. But they also wanted to change the process. Working in parallel processes for both the wine and spirit bases, the flavors attach to both which increases the vermouth’s longevity. Their vermouth is 19.9% ABV–just under 40 proof. It is 75% wine base and 25% spirit base, the maximum allowed by law. This is delicious, true 'craft' American-made vermouth, one that highlights the wine made in Washington State, at a value oriented price.
Jammy is a sweet red vermouth that starts with a Merlot base. The wine is grown on the Wahluke Slope in central Washington. BroVo adds cherries, hibiscus, ginger, tellicherry peppercorns, coriander seed, orange peel, lemon peel, cacao nibs, and decaf coffee beans. Then it is sweetened to about 10% sugar with agave nectar. They oxygenate the wine and rack it. There is a dryness to the finish–the Merlot coming through–uncommon in a sweet red vermouth. This is a bold vermouth, good as a base for sangria or mulled wine and mixes well with rye.
Platinum Medal, 96 Points- Beverage Tasting Institute – 2013