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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

July 3, 2013


Malternatives, this is tequila day

Just like other golden spirits, the best tequilas can easily compete with most malt whiskies, provided you enjoy agave, no need to say. It's also interesting that after rum, some adventurous whisky people are starting to delve into single cask tequilas these days. Let's have two today - because I haven't got more interesting ones anyway ;-)).

Casa Noble 5 yo (40%, OB, tequila, anejo, +/2007)

Casa Noble 5 yo (40%, OB, tequila, anejo, +/2007) Three stars This is single estate tequila, from a golden and black decanter while another Casa Noble anejo we had - and enjoyed - in 2011 came in a black and silver decanter. Carlos Santana himself is one of the main owners of the company. Colour: straw. Nose: starts extremely aromatic, very cologne-y and almost soapy but that's part of this style and, in a way, it's no soapy spirit. I mean, whisky lovers may find it soapy, but I'm sure tequila freaks won't agree. Oh well, I know what I'm trying to say! Anyway, there's also some kind of dill, lavender, something slightly geraniumy and then Toulouse violets. So yeah, it's very floral. Mouth: sweet, a tad weakish in the arrival and it will remain relatively narrow, but the spicy and peppery style works well despite some tannins that are a tad in the front. Dutch genever. Finish: the spices do their work but the rest is a little weak. Rather oaky/gingery aftertaste, hinting at European oak indeed (I know it's European oak). Comments: excellent spirit but I cannot not feel that the oak's a little loud and maybe not perfectly integrated. The spirit itself is wonderful. SGP:380 - 81 points.

Arette 6 yo 2006/2013 (50%, OB for Svenska Eldvatten, El Blano Distillery, single cask, Early Times barrel)

Arette 6 yo 2006/2013 (50%, OB for Svenska Eldvatten, El Blano Distillery, single cask, Early Times barrel) Four stars These single barrels or casks are in the 'Gran Clase' category. I've already tried one back in 2010 and it was wonderful (WF 87-ish). Colour: straw. Nose: this one is more restrained, less wham-bam than the Casa, and probably much more grassy and earthy. Very nice notes of moss, humus, fennel, agaves (obviously) - well, it's cactusy - juniper berries and then vanilla. There's a little sawdust but that goes well here. Maybe also caraway. Mouth: wham! It's a bigger, punchier, almost aggressive and even acrid spirit. There's a lot of oak again but it does echo the spirit, while bigger and bigger notes of salmiak or salted liquorice arise. No wonder this cask went to Sweden ;-). I have to say I'm a sucker for salmiak myself. Grassy background, on raw ginger and even horseradish. Also something unusual, maybe rose geranium liqueur? Have you ever tried that? Finish: long, green and spicy. Oh, and liquoricy. More salt in the aftertaste. Comments: it's tequila for big boys. Would challenge many an Islayer. SGP:280 - 87 points.

(with thanks to Carsten)


Pete McPeat and Jack Washback







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