Google Ten aged tequilas on a Sunday

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

May 31, 2020


Ten aged tequilas on a Sunday

That’s’ agave spirit from Mexico (wow, you’ve outdone yourself this time again, S.!)

Berrueco ‘Reposado’ (40%, OB, +/-2019)

Berrueco ‘Reposado’ (40%, OB, +/-2019) Four stars
A reposado is a tequila that’s only spent a few months of wood. Indeed, it’s not unlike a finishing, you couldn’t call this ‘maturation’. This one stayed in some ‘heavily charred American oak barrels’, so let’s say it was bourbonised, while the packaging is very ‘too much’, never a good sign in my book. But let’s see… Colour: white wine. Nose: ah no, not at all, I get no excessive vanillin or coconut, rather a lovely fresh agaveness, with some lemon, aniseed, dill and fennel, lovage, touches of coriander and the smartest notes of liquorice. Love this nose very much, in fact. Mouth: very good, with moderate vanilla, and rather these wee cologne-y notes that one would find in many a tequila, then dill, lemon, aniseed and coriander once again. Perhaps is it a wee tad too sweet, but we’re fine. Finish: medium, fresh, clean, not oaked. The expected lavender and violet in the aftertaste, bergamots too. Comments: the nose was quite sublime, the palate pretty good, and my fears evaporated. Too bad they haven’t gone to 43% vol.
SGP:471 - 85 points.

While we’re at it, let’s try the Anejo version…

Berrueco ‘Anejo’ (40%, OB, +/-2019)

Berrueco ‘Anejo’ (40%, OB, +/-2019) Three stars
SO ore time in wood, let’s hope that was not for the worse. Colour: gold. Nose: no no no no no no no no. Oak, branches, vanilla, cardboard, grass, asparagus peel. The tequila’s almost blocked, you’ll have to wait until a few lemony and herbal touches manage to make it through the sweet oak. Very nice after around… 20 minutes. Mouth: it’s okay, I like them better with less oak, but I agree this was well made, with nice oranges, nice lavender, nice lemons, and nice aniseed. Pastis aged in oak? Finish: medium, with a little sweetness again. Big liquorice in the aftertaste. Comments: I don’t think I’ve got the joven (or silver, or whatever they call it) in the boxes, but there, high-class distillates need no oak as such. Casks for sure, oak no thanks (going a little far here but there).
SGP:561 - 80 points.

Ocho 3 yo 2008/2012-2016 ‘Extra Anejo’ (53.2%, OB, Las Altena, single barrel, for La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary)

Ocho 3 yo 2008/2012-2016 ‘Extra Anejo’ (53.2%, OB, Las Altena, single barrel, for La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary) Four stars
Ocho have got a high reputation, similar to that of the best artisan mezcals. Colour: white wine. Nose: pure smoked gherkins and cucumbers, then scoria and green liquorice. Wee ideas of natto, then geranium and violet flowers as well as ‘a fresh pack of assorted bonbons’. With water: all grasses and peelings, very subtle. Mouth (neat): very complex spirit, beyond the usual soapiness – or rather perfume-iness. Lime and lemons, gherkins indeed, olive brine… What’s great is that they’ve done their best to avoid any excessive oak, using some re-re-refill wood here. The Scots should take notice if you ask me. With water: gherkins, green olives, natural vanilla, lime, green liquorice, and these touches of geranium again. Geraniol? Finish: excellent, getting perhaps a tad ‘jumbled over’ towards the aftertaste. Comments: I’m wondering if agave doesn’t just need purity and tranquillity. Anyway, great, great tequila.
SGP:551 - 87 points.

Jose Cuervo ‘Traditicional Reposado’ (38%, OB, +/-2017)

Jose Cuervo ‘Tradicional Reposado’ (38%, OB, +/-2017)
100% agave from the largest brand. Do they really run out of agaves these days in Mexico? Colour: white wine. Nose: not much to be nosed here. A little ethanol, wood alcohol, and no good agave-iness, which I find very surprising. I’ve always liked the brand’s ‘Reserva de la Familia’ but this is very poor so far, almost empty. Mouth: better than on the nose – not too difficult – but still lacking definition and becoming oddly ‘burnt’. Very disappointing, sure it’s pure blue agave, but it does taste like a very cheap supermarket mixto. Finish: short and cardboardy. Cheap gin. The aftertaste is notch nicer thanks to some lemons showing up. Comments: no, it’s pretty poor tequila. How disappointing, the #1 tequila brand in the world!
SGP:241 - 40 points.

I’ll get over it, I promise… Having said that I haven’t got much more tequila in the sample library, let’s see… Talisker, Tamdhu, Tamnavulin, Teaninich… there, Tequila! Sadly not 7 Leguas in the box, that’s the only brand you need…

XQ ‘reposado’ (40%, OB, +/-2017)

XQ ‘reposado’ (40%, OB, +/-2017) Two stars
The people who’ve designed this bottle must have smoked the carpet. What’s more, according to the excellent folks at Master of Malt, it was aged in ‘three types of cask - American ex-bourbon, French Limousin and Mexican Encino wood’. That’s a lot of wood for just a quick reposado, no? Colour: white wine. Nose: fine, rather in the style of the great Berrueco reposado, that is to say bright and fresh, on lemons, aniseed, gherkins and olives. Everything good this far – and please let’s stop talking about the crazy bottle. Mouth: probably not as well-defined, perhaps a tad dirty and ethanoly, losing steam as we speak, woosh, what happened? Finish: notes of cheap limoncello. 3.50€ a bottle in the large shops at any border. Comments: nice nose, cheapo palate. Looks like it’s not easy to produce good tequila.
SGP:351 - 72 points.

Crikey, that one had started well…

Herencia de Plata ‘Anejo’ (38%, OB, +/-2019)

Herencia de Plata ‘Anejo’ (38%, OB, +/-2019) Two stars and a half
Tried an earlier batch back in 2013, it was very okay (WF 78). 100% agave. Colour: white wine. Nose: strawberry jam, caramel cream and molasses over Moutai and sochu, does that make any sense? What I don’t quite find here is… agave. In truth it’s the most un-agave-y one so far. Notes of old Madeira. Mouth: the oak’s caramel had taken over here, this could have been other spirits, rums, brandies, bourbons… Having said that it’s pretty good spirit, I’m sure you could almost make a Mexican Manhattan out of it, but we all know someone who wouldn’t be too happy about that idea. Finish: medium, with really a lot of butterscotch and caramel cream. Comments: a different style that lost all contacts with the original distillate. Not bad at all having said that, I do confirm my little score from a few years ago.
SGP:431 - 78 points.

Sierra Milenario ‘Extra Anejo’ (41.5%, OB, +/-2016)

Sierra Milenario ‘Extra Anejo’ (41.5%, OB, +/-2016) Two stars and a half
100% agave once again, and a packaging that even the maddest Chinese emperors would have found a little too ‘show-off’. A Christmas bottle, as we say (at Christmas people just buy the bottle, not the content). Colour: gold. Nose: fine! Plastics, black olives, caramel, wood smoke, lapsang souchong, cigars, earth, and a little agave indeed. Whiffs of rose petals and hand-cream. Estée Lauder ;-). Mouth: wait wait wait, this is something else. Vanilla, custard, caramel and fudge, shortbread, butterscotch, biscuits. Touch of salt, but that wouldn’t make it agave-y enough. Finish: medium, cake-y. More fudge. Comments: looks like the extra-anejo treatment erased any agave-iness. We’re left with some very good whisk… I mean, spirit, but heart and soul are gone.
SGP:531 - 78 points.

Blue Hour ‘Reposado’ (40%, OB, +/-2019)

Blue Hour ‘Reposado’ (40%, OB, +/-2019) Two stars and a half
All the money in the bottle, not much left for the content I suppose. Also called ‘La Hora Azul’, which is pretty poetic I have to say. And jazzy. This baby is to be found just anywhere, apparently; perhaps just not in Jalisco. Colour: white wine. Nose: nice-ish, fresh, with hints of green apples, then lime, gherkins and aniseed. Very light, but clean, well-carved, and only moderately perfume-y (vetiver). Mouth: its good, not too extreme, without excessive vanilla, but it tends to go towards overripe apples, hence loses contact with the agave-y core. We need olives, aniseed and gherkins! Finish: a tad drier, which is nice. Lemongrass. Comments: rather good. Ish. Not sure I’ll remember this one tomorrow when I wake up.
SGP:531 - 79 points.

I think we’re in trouble, are we not?... Pfff…

Tres Josés ‘Reposado’ (40%, OB, +/-2019)

Tres Josés ‘Reposado’ (40%, OB, +/-2019) Three stars
100% blue agave (azul) and a bottle that’s a little less ugly, thank you mucho! I don’t know who those three Josés are, and indeed I could try to find out, but there, as long as José Cuervo is not involved, I am fine. Is he? Colour: pale white wine. Nose: it’s OK, there is some vanilla but not too much, while the agave kind of feels as long as you’re paying attention. It is a light nose, that’s for sure. Wee whiff of tangerines, geranium, and small pink olives. Forgot their name, I am sorry. Mouth: ah, there, we’re talking. Fresh lime, olives, lemongrass, asparagus, and a moderate vanilla that did not kill everything yet. Grapefruits and a little green pepper, that’s all nice. Finish: medium and fresh. Wee olives and a wee vanilla. Comments: a good fresh tequila reposado, where oak didn’t kill the agaves yet.
SGP:451 - 81 points.

More proof that oak is any spirit’s best friend, and its worst enemy. Good, we’ve had many oaked tequilas already, but I believe we’ve still got one free slot. Perhaps another very large brand? This could be done super-fast, do not worry…

Sauza ‘Reposado’ (38%, OB, +/-2016)

Sauza ‘Reposado’ (38%, OB, +/-2016)
Thirty-eight percent alc/vol., not a good sign. Blue agaves, that’s better. ‘Aged in American white oak barrels for four months’, that suggests total ecstasy, better get ready… Colour: white wine. Nose: hello? There’s no one in there. H.e.l.l.o.? H-e-l-l-o? H.EL.L.O? Ah, some wood alcohol. Very poor. Mouth: ugly, dirty, burnt, empty. Finish: nasty but short. Phew. Comments: terrifyingly bad and weak. Must be a conspiracy. China, Venezuela, Cuba, maybe the French, maybe Prince Charles, who knows? This poor thing had clearly been made in a Wuhan lab to eradicate any ability to taste anything within our free world. Better believe me, I would give myself an A+ on this. Anyway, phew, we have triumphed over evil like nobody has seen before this time.
SGP:241 - 10 points.







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