Vermut Lustau is hoping to really stir things up in the craft vermouth scene...
The House of Lustau was born of sherry making, but has expanded over the decades to now produce several different sherry collections, as well as brandies, vermouths, and vinegars. We’ll focus mainly on the sherries in this course. Below are the basics on each of the Lustau sherry collections.
Solera Familiar (“Everyday Quality”)
This collection of sherries represents the complete range of all sherry types, and is considered the benchmark of quality around the world. Each individual offering is made with exacting attention to every detail, to ensure that it is the best possible example of its type of sherry.
The Solera Familiar collection is the one found in the most retail stores and is priced to be affordable for everyone. Many sherry enthusiasts think of this as their “everyday” choice.
Many sherry experts think of the “Almacenista” range as today’s Artisanal sherry collection.
An Almacenista is an independent entrepreneur producing and aging small batches of sherry in their own “micro-bodegas”. In fact, the House of Lustau had humble beginnings as an Almacenista nearly two centuries ago. Still today, the love and care these craftsmen continue to give their small and unique sherries is remarkable. Lustau pays tribute to these special Almacenistas by bottling the most impressive and unique offerings and making them available to enthusiasts around the world.
Specialties (“Small Batch”)
A variety of unusual and rare small batch sherries fit into this category. Each is focused on a specific experience and produced with extraordinary care.
VORS (“Very Old Rare Sherry”)
VORS are the most extraordinary wines we make. Each selection has been aged for 30 years or longer, and is certified by the Consejo Regulador (the industry regulatory body). Lustau VORS are subjected to intense scrutiny by a panel of experts within the company before being selected for a one-time bottling. Lustau releases VORS in these styles: Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Oloroso, and Pedro Ximinez). Any Lustau VORS bottling must be 1,000 bottles or less, which are then allocated to the top markets around the world. These excruciating quality restrictions are self-imposed by the House of Lustau, which results in spectacular sherries that are unmatched by any in the world. Lustau VORS are more rare than even the finest Scotch or Bourbon bottlings; if you have an opportunity to taste or buy one, you should seize the moment.
3 En Rama (“Natural”)
These special sherries do not undergo filtration or other treatment before bottling – they are bottled straight from the casks. Lustau established this style to provide an option for those who want the purest, most natural sherry possible. This range is usually bottled in the Spring, when the layer of living yeast is at its peak. The range includes one biodynamically aged sherry from each of the three cities comprising the Sherry Triangle: a Fino style from Jerez de la Frontera, a Fino from El Puerto de Santa Maria, and a Manzanilla from Sanlucar de Barrameda.
Besides all of these sherry collections, the House of Lustau also makes Brandies, Vermouths, and Vinegars. Below we’ll give you a brief overview, with links to other parts of the Lustau website where you can read more.
Brandy de Jerez
Brandy de Jerez is a special category of Spanish brandy, made in the sherry region and distilled from the wines, then aged in oak casks. Brandy de Jerez is not as common as other brandies such as Cognac or American brandies, but is treasured by brandy aficionados.
The House of Lustau makes a full range of brandies of exceptional quality that has won countless awards. You can read more about them here.
The House of Lustau has recently revived the tradition of Spanish sherry-based vermouths. Produced from a careful selection of Lustau Sherry wines, botanicals and fragrant plants. The red vermouth has been released first, and it has a deep mahogany color with reddish glints. Sweet aromas of ripe fruit are laced with citrus and herbal notes over a smoky wood background. Velvety, ﬂavorful and balanced with a bitter ﬁnish, this vermouth gives a remarkable and unmatched character and depth to cocktails, or it’s great just over ice with a citrus garnish. Read more about Lustau Vermouth here.
Vinagre de Jerez
Sherry vinegar is produced from Sherry wine and aged in oak casks using the Solera aging system. It is cherished by top chefs and gourmet home cooks for the unique flavors and depth of taste it adds when incorporated into dishes. It’s also great when splashed onto traditional fish and chips. Lustau offers two different vinegars, both with concentrated character, pungent aromas, and very intense flavors.
With limited production, a very small quantity of Lustau vinegars are imported to the U.S. But to learn more, visit this main Lustau website here.