$ — 17% ABV — Dry
A cocktail-slinging city looking for a vermouth as well dressed as they are undoubtedly attracts one of the last true offerings from Chambéry. Dolin has quickly become the vermouth of choice by many high-end bars and it's no doubt due to the piney note it has that lets it slip in quietly with most juniper-heavy gins. It mixes the perfect Churchill martini for those without Churchill's constitution — that is to say, most of us.
There's more to the taste Dolin Dry, though, and fans of Asian cuisine no doubt will be able to pick out the smell of lychee fruits — another evergreen berry but much more palatable. There's also more heady herbs that are mostly indistinguishable, as well as a slight nuttiness.
Because Dolin's made with a very high amount of wine, it does taste very much like a dry wine — not a dry vermouth — but that's what's enjoyable about it. While many vermouths are rambunctious and oftentimes offensive, Dolin retains a level of civility. Feel free to insert your favorite joke on uptight Frenchmen, or just a Pierre Escargot impression, but many cocktail-shakers turn to vermouth as a bridge for flavors and Dolin's, refreshingly, is free of sharp twigs and chewy bark.
Dolin is located in Chambéry, Savoy in southeastern France. Established in 1821 by Louis Ferdinand Dolin, it remains an independent vintner.