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Noilly Prat


The Hersch
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Anybody get a load of the wacky new bottle they're putting Noilly Prat vermouth in? What the f*ck is that about? I don't understand why they mess with a winning formula this way. Remember when Gilbey's gin dropped their iconic frosted-glass bottle? I've thought ever since, with absolutely no evidence of course, that they lost all kinds of business, but they never went back. New Coke is not a winning marketing strategy, but they keep trotting it out.

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Anybody get a load of the wacky new bottle they're putting Noilly Prat vermouth in? What the f*ck is that about? New Coke is not a winning marketing strategy, but they keep trotting it out.
Dunno if ur getting at this with ref to new Coke, but this is a new more Euro formulation of Noilly Prat probably - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123154573030469717.html
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Oh dear. I hadn't tasted what came in the creepy new bottle until a moment ago. I'm not prepared to say that it's awful, but it is certainly different from the solid, dependable, not-to-be-altered-by-the-sane product I have relied on for my whole life. Why, why, why. Joe: It's what was on the shelf at Calvert Woodley last Saturday, when I bought a bottle of it.

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Joe: It's what was on the shelf at Calvert Woodley last Saturday, when I bought a bottle of it.

It's entirely possible that CW went out and got it themselves. All I know is, my salesman hasn't seen it, and he claims that nothing has been said about it in their sales meetings. Who knows, they might be sitting upon a 3 month supply of the old stuff, and the next time they re-order, that is what will be sent to them.

A nice reason to come and buy it from me (hint, hint...) :rolleyes:

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Dunno if ur getting at this with ref to new Coke, but this is a new more Euro formulation of Noilly Prat probably - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123154573030469717.html

Noilly claims that it's a return to the original 1813 formulation which has been sold in the rest of the world all along, now packaged in a newfangled bottle meant to evoke the Eiffel-designed spiral staircase at Noilly Prat's cellars in Marseillan. More in the Noilly Prat press release, which is much more readable than their annoyingly animation-laden website.

The more interesting question is the one that Felten raises, to wit: when it comes to the Martini, which Noilly tradition is more important? It's unclear exactly when Noilly started exporting a different product to the US, although Felten notes an industry-wide change in coloration around 60 years ago. Noilly's press release plays to the ur-cocktail crowd by referencing the 1911 Knickerbocker martini recipe, but it's clear that the martini of mid-century America onward had evolved into something different and classic in its own right. Although long neglected, is the martini of Rockefeller important enough to replace the martini of the Rat Pack? I wonder if Noilly didn't miss an opportunity here to satisfy both the classic and the antique crowds.

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Make no mistake, the "new" Noilly Prat was intended as a measure of efficiency and a determined market shift: to consolidate and eliminate a costly ancillary production for the US only (in place since the '50s to replicate the other clear dry French Vermouths) and to focus on a US market now friendlier to sweeter and woody wines. Take a look at the Grey Goose recipe on the back of the bottle for an indication. There's a misperception that French Vermouth = Noilly Prat, when it's always been a brand, a historically a style known as Marseilles that others also made (semi-dry, woody, madeira like finish); most other French producers focused on the clear varieties, Blanc and Dry, the latter of which grew especially popular in export in the early 20th century, and NP got on the bandwagon in the 1950s. For those wondering, the new NP is about 4% sugar, vs. 3% on the old and with other French Dry Vermouth.

In the wake of the press backlash, Bacardi-Martini's PR made a strong call to prior NP sponsored and other Bacardi-Martini sponsored to speak up and stand behind the product. Most tried to retrofit the Marseilles style to Pale/Dry applications, when you'd hope they'd focus on unique applications for this unique style. Telling us to simply use less new NP vermouth than before so we can stay brand loyal (and raise our pour costs) is not helpful. The stuff is tasty and great for cooking, but needs different drink recipes. IMHO the new bottle is kinda cool.

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Ha! You'd feel better after I lose some of this upper-midwest insulation!

The new NP is quite nice on the rocks, perhaps better than the old served as such. I think what's lost is that the new NP is different and deserves consideration for it's unique Marseilles style instead of trying to fit it for drinks designed for the classic French pale dry.

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This is the Millennium spirits-world "New Coke" :rolleyes:

Yeah, it's a fine product as long as you don't use it for dry Martinis.

Eric, I imagine that this situation is almost like an answer to your unspoken prayer. Dolin dry is perfect for classic Martinis and I have to believe that demand for Dolin has spiked since this step was taken by NP.

Oh, and welcome to the "Rockweilers" <_<

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