I thought for my last post of 2021 it would make sense to review a tequila. We have all been stuck dealing with Covid for much of 2021, and I know we probably have enough new recipes that we still haven’t tried yet. This tequila is one we actually came across when we were visiting Puerto Vallarta.
One of our favorite excursions is walking into town and visiting the tequila shops. They are always very eager to give you samples, so we try to make sure we buy a bottle from them when we are all done. The bottle has a very cool twisted design, but the bottle that you can find here in the United States looks like it got a bit of an update.
The one thing that stands out about this tequila is how balanced it is across all its flavors. Usually, tequila will lean sweet or spicy, sometimes oakey, but this balances them all very well. In reading other reviews, many people thought this tequila was too sweet. Since I do tend to like sweeter tequilas, I thought I would share others’ observations.
When you compare this to something like Casamigos, I think Adictivo is much more balanced. It still serves up the vanilla and caramel notes, but the oak and spice smooth it out for me. The other thing about this tequila is how smooth it is and it finishes well. This may not be the perfect gift for a tequila connoisseur, but is worth trying! Enjoy your New Year’s Eve. Happy 2022!
Happy National Tequila Day 2020! With the Coronavirus still cancelling some of our favorite drinking holidays this year, I thought I would pick a really nice tequila for you to go out and blow some money on.
I have written about the trend of clear Anejo tequilas coming on the market. I previously reviewed Don Julios version last year. If you don’t know the difference between a silver or plato tequila and these clear anejo counterparts, please read on.
Anejo tequilas are aged much longer than other varietals. Because of this, they absorb much of their color from the barrel along with that deep smokey flavors you usually get with a good one. Silver tequilas aren’t aged long at all, so that’s why they remain clear. For these clear anejos, they follow the same aging process, but than are filtered many times. This filtering process pulls out some of the color and even some of that dark sugary taste.
What you are left with is a very very smooth tasting tequila that still has all the complexities of a normal anejo, but a very refined taste palate. What I like about Herradura tequilas, is their strong spicy profile. Here’s what the distiller says about this tequila: “With the perfect blend of our premium Añejo and Extra Añejo barrels, ULTRA is a crystal-clear tequila. A subtle hint of agave nectar offers a superior taste that will transport tequila connoisseurs beyond smoothness”.
Like many other Herradura tequilas, the beginning is very sweet with a powerful vanilla taste which is not uncommon for aged tequilas. But, where this tequila wins is the finish. It comes together with some spicy tons and ends very smoothly. Easily one of my favorite tequilas at the moment.
Once alcohol sales moved into grocery stores in Washington, it really did impact the diversity of spirits you could buy across different state run stores. So, when we happened to be out and come across an original Liquor Store still doing business, I had to go inside.
The selection wasn’t that big of a departure from the big box liquor stores, but when I see something out of the ordinary I tend to be a moth to a flame. When I saw La Gritona at the North Tacoma liquor store, I grabbed it. The bottle has a vintage look and feel with a moonshine vibe.
I wish the bottle was the only thing that had a moonshine vibe, but this tequila had a rough alcohol taste that we tend to call “grainy”. I have read several other reviews that referred to a plastic like taste, which might be the note I was getting stuck on.
This tequila still stands well above any Jose Cuervo or Jimidor, but not a show stopper. It has some very sweet flavors, which I personally enjoy. However, the complexity that the oak barrels seems to overpower that at the end.
This tequila is another discovery that came from attending the tequila festival in Seattle. I had actually seen the less expensive variety at a local liquor store, but not until about a year or so ago did I start to see the Gran Orendain pop up at my Total Wine.
The thing I like most about this tequila is the complexity of the sweetness. You really get all sorts of notes like caramel and vanilla but the allspice and clove bring it together. I don’t mind the oak flavors as I personally like how it pairs with the sweet flavors. Some have noted black pepper flavors, but they are definitely not too strong with the reposado.
For a slightly different take on this tequila, I looked at Total Wine’s write up. They note aromas of dried flowers, tropical fruit custard tart and marinated cucumber with a supple, medium to full body. Finishes with notes of dates, figs, sweet roasted pineapple and powdered sugar.
Taste can sometimes be on the tongue of the taster, but I think the consistent take on Orendain’s upper shelf reposado, is that it is a sweet but not overpowering. One worth bringing home and tasting for yourself!
Patron was one of the first brands that expanded the perception of tequila in America. Though one time considered the go-to top shelf tequila, recent competition has leveled the playing field. However, Patron had decided to raise the bar again with one of its news varieties of tequila.
Roca Patron has been out for several years and comes in silver, resposado and anejo. Roca was means “rock” is a good insight to what makes this tequila different as it refers to the stone wheel (or tahona) which was traditionally used to crush cooked agave in the production of tequila.
Patron Tequila has been made from a blend of agave that is crushed by the traditional Tahona process (which includes the agave fibers in both the fermentation and distillation) and agave which has been crushed through a roller mill (a more industrialized process where the agave fibers are not included in the fermentation and distillation). Each of these styles of crushing, fermentation, and distillation yields a tequila with distinct character. The traditional Patron tequila represents a marriage of these two styles.
This reposado is aged for 4-5 months in ex-bourbon barrels (the traditional is aged in a combination of ex-bourbon, French, and Hungarian Oak) and bottled at a slightly higher proof than traditional Patron Reposado. In addition to barrel impact, there’s the cooked agave note as well as a very slight peppery spice. This variety of Roca Patron Reposado is much lighter than the traditional Reposado and less complex. It starts with the sweet caramel, vanilla, and agave notes mixed with light pepper and oak spice. In the middle there’s an increase of the spice along with an increase in pepper. Things never get too spicy and there’s an overall light, delicate quality to the Roca Reposado. The finish for Roca Reposado is medium length and dry with light oak and pepper lingering on the palate.
I always like to share discoveries I make at the Agave Fest in Seattle. This year, I am reviewing a brand I was unfamiliar with called Elvelo. Created in collaboration with Master Distiller Carlos Hernandez Ramos of La Cofradi, this tequila is made with the unique purpose of making the very best cocktails.
Altamar Brands, which also brings us Ocho Tequila is serving up this new tequila in Liter format only. The other interesting attribute of this brand is the high alcohol content at 44.5% ABV. So, it is a great value, but is it good?
The reposado is aged 5 months in Ex-Jack Daniels Barrels which gives it a very smooth and smokey start. However, what I like best about this tequila is deep sweet notes that round out the flavor. With that, you will also get strong hints of vanilla which give it that caramel taste I like in a reposado.
So, if you happen to come across this when shopping for Tequila, it is definitely worth picking up and trying out some great craft cocktails.
I have been a long time fan of Hornitos. I recall when I first started drinking tequila regularly, that Hornitos Silver was the go to tequila. But, the more I learned about the complexities of tequila, I realized that resposado was really my preference. But as I explored anejo and extra anejo varieties, I started to see how each different one has its own unique flavor profile.
It was actually at the Tequila Fest in Seattle that I was first introduced to Hornitos Black Barrel. If you know someone who likes Whiskey, then this would be a great tequila to introduce them to. This tequila is initially aged twelve months in American oak, then moved to “deeply charred” American oak for four months. At that point, the batch is moved again to “specially toasted” American oak for another two months. The resulting tequila, a kind of accelerated añejo, is a deep amber color.
The initial flavors are very oak forwarded given the aging process, with some very spicy undertones. This is definitely a richer deeper tasting tequila. After sometime, the agave shows through leaving you some hints of vanilla and sweetness.
Cazadores is a great family of tequila created in Los Altos de Jalisco. The Cazadores Reposado has actually become a staple in our household because it is such a great value. However, this tequila can be used in cocktails or served neat.
Like many reposado tequilas, Cazadores reposado variety is aged one year in American Oak Barrels. This is where a reposado picks up some of its golden color. This tequila is not overly sweet except for some subtle notes of vanilla and tropical fruits.
I think what makes this tequila somewhat unique is how spicy the initial flavors are in this variety. This would be the perfect tequila to use in a Bloody Maria!
I have always been a huge fan of Don Julio Tequilas. When I first had the opportunity to taste this fine spirit at a Tequila tasting, I knew this was going to be a permanent addition. Tequila Don Julio 70 Añejo Claro is a unique variety that redefines the Añejo category. The tequila still has the deep flavor of a traditionally aged 100% Agave Añejo but after being filtered multiple times, it becomes clear.
Don Julio claims that 70 is the world’s first anejo claro, and depending on how you look at it, that’s true: Maestro Dobel does the exact same thing, but it is a blend of reposado, anejo, and extra anejo tequilas, filtered back to white. Technically it would only be considered a reposado if bottled unfiltered.
Tequila Don Julio 70 is aged to perfection in reclaimed American white oak barrels for 18 months. That smokey oak flavor is apparent, but it almost starts out with a floral taste almost fruity. Then other complex flavors and spice comes out, but the most amazing thing about this tequila is the finish. Many marginal tequilas have what I call a “grainy” alcohol taste, but this finishes smooth and goes down easy. Keep in mind this is not a cheap bottle of tequila, but would make a perfect gift for any special occasion.
You might think that I chose this bottle because of the great label which is so appropriate for your Dia de Los Muertos celebration. However, this tequila is under rated for what it has to offer. Now, I have only seen Espolón available in Silver and Reposado, so for today’s review, I will be focusing on the Reposado.
There are a couple main things I look for in a tequila. The first is how sweet is the tequila. Sometimes, overly sweet tequilas can mean there are added sugars. I do like sweet tequilas, but prefer when the sweetness comes from the cooking process. The second thing I look for is how spicy the tequila is taste. And finally, the overall finish of the tequila is important as well. If you are drinking a very fine expensive tequila, it will finish smooth without a grainy alcohol taste.
So, when looking at all three of these things with Espolón, it is very well balanced. It has both elements of sweet and spicy that don’t compete with each other. What stands out about this tequila, is the smooth finish you get. You might expect this from more expensive tequilas, so finding this on such an affordable brand makes it a bargain.
So, as you head out to prepare for your Dia de Los Muertos celebrations, keep an eye out for this very cute, very tasty bottle of tequila!