Tequila

Review: Cazadores Tequila Reposado by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
Reposado (2 - 12 months)
Recipe
100% Blue Agave
Distiller Bacardi Y Cia (Arandas, Mexico)

One thing I do really like about Mexico is that the distillery has to be written on the bottle - with Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM) codes. (See here.) I wish whisky had the same...it might cut out quite a bit of misleading or illegitimate marketing, which is everywhere in the whisky world.

The stag on the bottle comes from the deer which grazed among the blue agave plants outside the house of Jose Maria, who founded the brand. The tequila is double distilled, and double fermented (like wine).


Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: 2016

Quite candied on the nose, with some creamy and spicy notes as well.  Dry and spicy, with cilantro, and rising woody spice through to the peppery, methol, fresh orange, toffee, and creamy finish. Fairly clean, and also a bit sweet (too much perhaps). The finish also has some dried berries. Overall, again, no bad off notes – but lacking complexity I search for.

Score: 81/100

Value: 67/100 (based on $37)


Review: Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
>1 year
Recipe
100% Blue Agave
Distiller Tequila Sauza (Tequila, Mexico)

I picked this one up in the Mexico duty free in Mexico city after tasting a bunch of different tequilas. It is aged to be quite woody - four months in deep charred oak barrels, then an additional two months in specially toasted barrels. And there might be a whisky barrel in their too, but I can't get a clear story. Maybe I liked this one because I like whisky more than tequila though....definitely has some parallels. I like to taste this one blind in whisky tastings to see if I can trick people.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

This is very oaky – oak, peppermint, light bourbon aromas, vanilla, pickled jalapeno, grilled pepper….the palate is creamy and sweet, full of vanilla and asparagus before leading into a wave of oak and classic tequila flavours underneath. If you like whisky and want a tequila to start with, this is terrific – though very oak driven which squashes some of the agave’s impact. But, I really like it…the finish is dry, spicy, and oaky. I like to throw this one in at whisky tastings for fun…all you “smooth” word lovers would throw it in here.

Score: 83/100

Value: 72/100 (based on $40)


Review: El Jimador Tequila Reposado by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
Reposado (2 - 12 months)
Recipe
100% Blue Agave
Distiller Brown Forman Tequila Mexico (Amatitan, Mexico)

At the Mexico airport duty free, I tasted countless tequilas, and the bottle I chose to go away with was this El Jimador – one of the cheapest offerings, but a nice clean distillate. A jimador is a type of Mexican farmer who harvests agave plants. Like many tequilas, it is made from 100% blue agave - known as the best type of agave for making tequila. El Jimador is a Brown Forman brand (they also own Jack Daniels and Canadian Mist).


Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: ~2016

Beef jerky, citrusy, and some brilliant oranges, agave, fresh fennel, cumin, and menthol. I do love the vegetal and spicy character of tequila. Jalapeno juice, peppermint, green cardamom…The palate has lots of pepper notes, mustard, full of agave and more black pepper and beef jerky.  Finishes with some black pepper, more agave, and arugula and spinach.  It’s not brimming with complexity, but it is extremely clean and there aren’t any negative notes which I often find with cheaper tequilas. My choice mixer for a soft tequila in cocktails.

Score: 80/100

Value: 69/100 (based on $31)


Review: Casamigos Reposado Tequila by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
American Oak; 7 months
Recipe
100% Blue Agave
Distiller Productos Finos De Agave (Jesus Maria, Mexico)

Exploring different spirits is something I always enjoy, and throwing in good Tequilas to tastings is always interesting (though lots of folk have had too much experience with bad tequila to appreciate it...). I bought this one before even hearing about it thanks to a medal from the New York International Spirits Competition - a rare spirits competition which doesn't give out awards like candy - only about 50% of entries are awarded a medal (most competitions give out medals for nearly all of the entries).

The brand was founded by Clooney and a business partner, and the tequila is made at the same distillery as the well known Clase Azul, Avion, and others. The reposado ("rested") designation means that the tequila was aged between 2 months and a year - this one, apparently, for 7 months.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: 2015

Sour, vegetal and spicy on the nose – pickled jalapenos, cilantro’s soapiness, dill, black pepper, vanilla, and freshly charred white oak – and some fresh, creamy tropical fruits emerge – like guanabanas. The palate has white pepper, agave, celery, and a bit more cilantro – a very nice vegetal and spicy balance with a bit of a buttery feel to it. Quite restrained, and balanced. Slightly sweet.

Finishes in a vegetal fashion with some dryness, and a bit of white pepper, with some tropical fruits emerging after the initial fade.  Slight saccharin. The tropical fruit notes bring in quite a lot of diversity and balance to the tequila, and make it quite interesting. I quite enjoy sipping this. Very complex.

Score: 85/100

Value: 58/100 (based on $70)