Punt e Mes is a product of the acclaimed Carpano Distillery. Antonio Carpano opened a wine bar in Turin in the late 18th century and in 1786, began serving Carpano, a wine he had fortified and infused with sweetening herbs. This was to become the first commercial sweet vermouth in history. As legend has it, nearly a century later, in 1870, a stockbroker ordered a sweet vermouth from his nephew with an extra point-and-a-half of bitterness to reflect his loss on the market that day – and the rest is history.
The nose is a collision of cinnamon and peat in a cloud of tobacco, and behind that you'll also get cloves and oily pine. On the palate it is smooth, in large part down to the honey, syrup and vanilla notes that help soften the sharp edges of that peppery cinnamon. Cherries marry with wormwood and there's a suggestion of menthol, too.