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  • 92

    Belsazar Rose Vermouth (750ml)

    GERMANY
    $44. 99 Bottle
    $539.88 Dozen
    ABV: 17.5%
    This raspberry-scented Rosé is possibly a first for the vermouth category. Not only does it underline Belsazar's 'vineyard first' strategy - the rosé uses Pinot Noir from three organic wineries as its base wine - it also underpins the quality-meets-innovation lying at the heart of this project. For such a pretty drink, it's taken on a rather macabre nickname in its adopted city of Berlin: the Aperol Killer. This is because, as a pouring apéritif, it's now usurped Aperol in the top class venues that list both drinks. Of course, home advantage helps but where there's smoke... as they say.

    Alongside the two types of wormwood, the rosé's botanical bill includes orris root, lemon peel, peppermint, white pepper and raspberries, the latter flavour reinforced by the raspberry eau-de-vie used for fortification. With juicy notes of strawberry and raspberry, it's bittersweet, refreshing and summery, offering a quirky, harmonious blend of pink grapefruit, Seville orange and orange blossom flavours with balancing savoury bitterness and a crunchy, juicy close. This is terrific as an apéritif - neat over ice or with a splash of tonic and pink grapefruit garnish - yet the vermouth's relative dryness and delicate, fruity, bittersweet style lends itself freely to the creative barkeep.

    Tasting note: Brilliant salmon pink / new copper penny colour beams from the glass. Offers lifted aromas of berry tart, cranberry juice, grapefruit and dried herbs. Medium dry, featuring juicy berry and fresh-citrus peel; more bittersweet to finish. Ends grapey, crisp, balanced with trace bitterness through the aftertaste. Hard to resist. 17.5% Alc./Vol.