Review: La Pivon Vermouth – Blanco and Rojo
La Pivon is a new vermouth brand crafted in Madrid, using local herbs and botanicals (including cardamon, wormwood, cinnamon, cloves, orange peel, lemon peel, and gentian — La Pivon doesn’t say how the herbs are different in each bottling) and aged in oak barrels before bottling. As Spain is pretty much ground zero for the vermouth industry these days, we had high hopes for these two bottlings, representing the two most traditional styles of vermouth on the market (dry white and sweet red).
Both are 16% abv.
La Pivon Vermouth Blanco – Traditional herbs inform the attack, giving the vermouth a bittersweet profile with notes of thyme, lemon peel, and some bitter gentian. The focus is considerably more bitter than sweet, however, save for an unusual note of vanilla that is more evident on the nose than the palate. This vanilla character makes a very cautious return on the finish, alongside a citrus note reminscent of tangerine. Altogether a nice little mixer. B+ / $29
La Pivon Vermouth Rojo – A bit chocolaty, this Spanish-style red/sweet vermouth works well on the rocks, without adulteration. Sweeter than is typical of the style, it’s got plenty of crushed red fruits, raisins, and baking spices, plus that chocolate note, which here tends toward chocolate syrup. Refreshing and enjoyable, if not overwhelming in its complexity. B+ / $29