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

June 23, 2014


The Quest for Malternatives, tequila reposados, the sequel

Last time, the Gran Centenario was so impressive that I had decided to cut a long session short. Time to have another short flight, and we’ll be done…

Hornitos 'Reposado' (40%, OB, tequila, +/-2014)

Hornitos 'Reposado' (40%, OB, tequila, +/-2014) Two stars and a half A brand by the large house Sauza. It’s 100% blue agave. Colour: very pale white wine. Nose: it’s a rather perfumy one, with whiffs of old cologne and then more grass, agave, light lemon and violets. A little lavender too. It’s actually very clean, rather light, and pretty pure. Not unpleasant, I have to say. Mouth: it’s light (much, much lighter than the Gran Centenario) but it’s crystal-clean, relatively sweet (limoncello) and quite mellow. There are touches of brine, smoke, salt, lemon, olives, juniper and all that, it’s just that the whole remains light. Finish: sort, a little earthier. Ginger and gentian. Comments: it’s good, I’m sure, it’s just pretty light. Good quality. SGP:342 - 78 points.

El Jimador 'Reposado' (40%, OB, tequila, +/-2014)

El Jimador 'Reposado' (40%, OB, tequila, +/-2014) Two starsI quite enjoyed the anejo by El Jimado last year (WF 75). This is 100% agave, the brand being owned by Brown-Forman. Oh, and by the way, this Jimador is not Jim MacEwan. Colour: very pale white wine. Nose: a different style, much more on citrus and simply limoncello, and without much earthy/smoky aromas. Grand-Marnier, ginger liqueur, touches of almonds and cumin. It’s a rather light nose, but again it’s clean. Mouth: it’s a slightly soapy and cologne-y style, not quite my favourite. Green oranges, apples, almonds, a little pepper and mustard, maybe hints of pineapples… Also sour apples, even cider. I’m sure it’s good, but it’s not my favourite style. Finish: rather short and much, much saltier. That’s fun! Sadly, the aftertaste is a little soapy again – a ‘tequila’ soapiness, that is. Comments: I like the fact that there’s less sweetish oak than in the anejo, but I’m not too fond of the soapy/cologne-y side. SGP:461 - 73 points.

Herencia Mexicana 'Reposado' (40%, OB, tequila, +/-2014)

Herencia Mexicana 'Reposado' (40%, OB, tequila, +/-2014) Three stars and a half Pure agave again. On the label it’s said to be ‘Artisanal, por tradicion’, and of course it’s more expensive than others. Say around €60 while most other pure agaves cost around €25-30. Colour: white wine. Nose: ah yes! It’s like a great mezcal by Del Maguey or Real Minero (or others), that is to say that’s packed with briney and smoky smells, a lot of earth, cigar smoke, green olives, ultra-zesty white wine, touches of petrol, limestone… This could be another winner, let’s see what happens on the palate… Mouth: a little less emphatic, maybe because of these notes of cooked apricots, vanilla and caramel that may come from the oak. So it’s much smoother than expected, but what’s behind this smoothness remains absolutely terrific. Salty lemon juice, earth, roots, grass smoke, olives and all that… I think I ought to try the joven version one day. Finish: not too short, briny, more on oranges than on lemons, so relatively smooth. A lot of ripe peaches as well. Comments: maybe a tad too civilised, but the spirit is of very high quality. Pfff, vanilla… SGP:541 - 83 points.

Corzo 'Reposado' (40%, OB, tequila, +/-2014)

Corzo 'Reposado' (40%, OB, tequila, +/-2014) Two stars and a half I find the bottle absolutely superb, even if you may mistake it for your preferred eau de toilette. It’s another expensive tequila, 100% agave from the Highlands and triple distilled. Super-premium, of course. Colour: white wine. Nose: this one’s extremely light, almost silent. Minimalism can be great, but maybe not in our spirits. It’s having a lot of trouble after the very expressive Herencia Mexicana. Hello? Somebody in there? Oh yes, there, in the background, wee notes of tropical fruits, such as mangos. Mouth: there’s a little more happening, and we’re not far from the Herencia Mexicana this time. Smooth, fruity, with only touches of brine, earth and smoke. Having said that, It’s very clean and perfectly chiselled. Touches of new oak (coconut, vanilla), also thyme and rosemary. Finish: a little short and a little soapy. Not the best part. Having said that, there are nice lemons and grapefruits in the aftertaste. Comments: it’s a light and clean one. Very good, but not quite a thrill. The bottle’s lovely, though. SGP:441 – 78 points.

The new malternatives we've found:
Gran Centenario 'Reposado' SGP:352 - 88 points.
Herencia Mexicana 'Reposado' SGP:541 - 83 points.


Pete McPeat and Jack Washback in St Tropez







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