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

June 22, 2014


The Sunday Quest for Malternatives, tequila reposado

It seems that tequila (and mezcal) do not obligatorily age gracefully in oak. I know some friends who are tequila freaks and who would never choose an ‘anejo’ over a reposado (aged for a few months) or a joven (not aged in oak). I’ve almost only tasted anejos so far, thinking that ‘if oak does good to whisky, it must do good to agave spirits’. I may have been wrong – again – but let’s double-check all that, with a few reposados.

XXX 'Gold' (40%, OB, tequila, +/-2014)

XXX 'Gold' (40%, OB, tequila, +/-2014) Two stars A tequila that I brought back from the US. I had thought it was a reposado because of it’s yellowish colour, but in fact it’s a ‘gold’, which means either that it saw oak for a very short period of time, or that it was coloured with caramel. It’s a cheap one, probably not made out of 100% agave. What they call ‘a mixto’. Colour: white wine. Nose: a lot of raw alcohol at first nosing, notes of sugar syrup too, then finer touches. Grenadine, touches of earth, lavender, juniper and all that. It’s light, probably not a ‘nosing tequila’. Mouth: rather better, its smooth, slightly syrupy again, with notes of grapefruits and caramel. Little brine or smoke this time, it’s really a smoooooth one. Finish: a little short but rather clean, on juniper and bitter oranges. Sugary aftertaste. Comments: probably for mixing, but there’s nothing really wrong in this XXX. No extreme tequila!  SGP:541 - 70 points.

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

Zapopan 'Reposado' (40%, OB, tequila, +/-2014) Another US import, the price is around $10 a whole bottle! It’s a mixto, not 100% agave. Colour: very pale white wine. Nose: there was a feeling of earthy tequila in the XXX, this time it’s rather strange whiffs of warm marzipan, maraschino and kirsch that rise to your nostrils. Very little tequilaness that I can get, this is pretty strange. Mouth: same feeling, I find cherries and almonds, then sweetened orange juice. No I do not drink it as a Sunrise. These notes of candied cherries are a little disturbing I have to say. I mean, if you’re looking for ‘tequila’. Finish: short, sugary and liqueury. Cherries again… Comments: again, not a bad spirit, but it’s simply not what I’m expecting from a tequila. Little character and a huge smoothness. SGP:630 - 55 points.

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

Familia Camarena 'Reposado' (40%, OB, tequila, +/-2014) Two stars and a half This should be different, its from the highlands of Jalisco, it’s 100% blue agave and its distilled in pot stills. Colour: very pale white wine. Nose: ah, this is something else. We’re closer to artisan mezcal, and even if there are a few burnt notes at very first sniffs, it’s really developing on brine, gherkins, olives, hay smoke, capers, wine vinegar and earth. There’s something happening in this one! Mouth: less entrancing and rather smoother than expected, but it’s still a lovely salty, earthy and smoky tequila, with also some lime and olives. Becomes a tad bitter after a few seconds, but I guess you can’t have it both ways. Finish: rather long, grassier, with some pepper and drops of red Thai sauce. Comments: too bad the palate was a little too bitter, it started well. SGP:461 - 77 points.

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

Gran Centenario 'Reposado' (40%, OB, tequila, +/-2014)Four stars and a half The anejo by Gran Centenario had made quite an impression on me! Let’s see of the reposado matches it. Colour: white wine. Nose: oh well oh well. It’s Duke Ellington’s Orchestra after Justin Bieber. Superb alignment of many botanicals including juniper, caraway, cumin and ginger, then lime and lemon, oranges, tonic water, bitters, seawater… It’s an utterly superb spirit! Mouth: big presence, with the same herbs and spices, plus more earth, pepper, lime and grapefruit, roots, salt, olives (black and green), drops of honeydew and myrtle liqueur… Great body, perfect oomph. Love it. Finish: long, herbal, lemony, smoky, perfect. Comments: I think I’ve found my favourite brand of tequila, maybe with Arette. Matches the anejo, and easily. But remember, we’re talking from some whisky anoraks’ point of view. SGP:352 - 88 points.

I think we’ll stop here, better not add other reposados after the Gran Centenario. Stay tuned for ‘reposados, the sequel!’







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