After an initial taste test on Monday, I let the vermouth samples age for a few more days before bottling them Thursday night. From memory, I think that the extra time made a subtle, but still significant, difference. Unfortunately, I think that that difference may be that I went too far. Different sized batches with different amounts of wood will change the results, but I think this method should be limited to 1 week of aging.

Uncharred Oak

My woodworking experience may be a problem here. I taste vermouth with oak in it. The other taste testers, who may not be quite as familiar with the taste of plain oak, seemed to be able to taste the whole rather than just its parts. That said, despite being too oaky, I notice a pleasant dryness added by the wood.

Charred Oak

The smell is noticeably whiskey like, which is not surprising at all. The taste is similar to the uncharred oak, but more subtle, and with a bit more of a caramel feel.

Uncharred Cherry

Again, it tastes very much like licking a board of cherry. In this case, I find it less jarring than the oak. This is definitely a unique flavor that I would like to use very carefully.

Charred Cherry

The difference between charred and uncharred is much less significant with cherry than with oak.


So far, my favorite blend is equal parts uncharred cherry and charred oak. The two wood flavors are different enough that they tone down when blended rather than adding to each other.

It might be a while before I make my next batch of vermouth. After this experiment I have a lot of stock to get through. But stay tuned for a few new projects I have planned.

Next Post Previous Post