Tag Archives: Blue Agave

Jose Cuervo Tequila Tasting, 38% x 6

Global drinks group Jose Cuervo’s Tequilas regularly top the best selling charts.

In Ireland they aren’t doing too badly either with Bushmills coming in at No 3 for the Irish Whiskey category.

The recent hot weather prompted me to sample some Jose Cuervo Tequila.

One positive from the pandemic is a profusion of outlets offering tasting packs to whet your appetite.

c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

This particular 6 bottle selection was ordered from Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder – although other providers exist.

A zoom tasting accompanied it – I missed the date – but it didn’t deter me from enjoying the tequila!

Comprising of 3 separate ranges – all 100% blue agave & 38% ABV – I chose initially to compare within each brand starting with the Tradicional offerings.

Tradicional Tequila c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Traditional Silver

That classic earthy agave pungency greeted me with a hint of peppery spice.

Smooth & silky palate topped off with a hearty serving of signature black pepper spice on the finish.

Just what I expect from a tequila.

Traditional Reposado

The agave pungency was tempered a touch by hints of barrel ageing.

More complexity on the palate as the interplay between the raw ingredients used & wood maturation played out & added a hint of oakiness to the finish.

Very enjoyable – although the clear simplicity of the Silver won me over.

A trio of brand 1800 came next.

1800 Tequila c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

1800 Silver

Back – for me at least – to the signature agave & spice combination.

Lovely.

1800 Reposado

Once again – a lovely interplay between the distilling ingredients & wooden maturation.

1800 Anejo

I was beginning to miss the agave influence with this one!

It was there – but the barrel ageing dominated for me & detracted from what I’m looking for in tequila.

All 1800’s were enjoyable tipples – with Silver gaining my affections most.

Reserva Tequila c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Reserva de la Familia Extra Anejo

A solo offering that stood out from the others with a noticeably darker colour & clearly perceptible & pronounced wooden cask influence.

The sweet agave came through on the nose – but caramels & hints of vanilla more reminiscent of whiskey were evident.

Very smooth, very cultured & very engaging – tequila for the whiskey lover?

For a 2nd round I compared the Silver & Reposado offerings.

Silver Tequila c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Silver

Traditional’s flavour profile shone through with it’s defining features.

1800 delivered similar – but I found it a smoother, sweeter & ultimately a less exuberant offering.

Traditional for me!

Reposado Tequila c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Reposado

Tradicional was a shade lighter than 1800 – which suggests a shorter period in wood.

This played out in the tasting.

1800 had less spice, a sweeter & subdued feel to it with the wood influence a tad more forward.

The differences weren’t massive – & would be hard to pick up unless a back to back comparison was possible – but once more – Tradicional won the day.

Overall

As in all these tastings – I like to choose my favourite.

For the sheer clarity of flavours & bold display of the agave used in distillation there could only be one winner for me – Tradicional Silver.

Tradicional Silver c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

What would you have picked?

Sláinte

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Tequila Reserva 1800 Silver, 40%

Tequila appears to be the new ‘in thing’ with rising sales across the world.

Moving beyond the salt-lemon-tequila shot of yore are more upmarket brands made using 100% agave that can be appreciated neat for the pleasing flavours within.

Tequila in a Tuath c/othewhiskeynut

1800 Tequila is one of those brands.

Available in supermarkets across the UK & more specialist outlets in Ireland – 1800 is presented in an attractively designed bottle that catches the eye.

The contents pleased my palate too!

Tequila miniature c/othewhiskeynut

This Silver variety – unaged tequila – exhibits a rich earthy & vegetal agave nose coupled with a luxurious mouthfeel topped off with those signature cracked pepper spices on the finish.

1800 is a classy tequila.

Isn’t it about time you explored tequila?

Arriba, abejo, al centro, pa’dentro!

AC/DC Thunderstruck Tequila, Blanco, 40%

Let There Be Rock!

I’ve been enjoying AC/DC’s brand of rock from the mid 1970’s.

Bon Scott was the singer back then – for the last live shows Axel Rose was fronting – but Brian Johnson is back for their latest release – Power Up.

I’ve been enjoying Tequila ever since encountering it on a WSET course.

Exploring the different flavours & heritage of Mexican Tequila has expanded my knowledge & appreciation of distilled spirits.

Thunderstruck! c/othewhiskeynut

Combining music & drink together just seems natural – so sipping on Thunderstruck Tequila while strolling down memory lane listening to early AC/DC was a joyous interlude in an otherwise chaotic world.

Tequila is a highly regulated industry.

Have A Drink On Me! c/othewhiskeynut

It can only be made in certain areas of Mexico from blue agave – 100% in Thunderstruck’s case – and always shows the distillery of origin on the bottle – NOM 1472 here – allowing you to look up what other brands the distillery makes – over 20!

Thunderstruck comes in several varieties – I went for the Blanco – or unaged – looking for the influence of the raw ingredients on the distillation process. When you start maturing in wood – Reposado & Anejo – the cask influence can often impart flavours similar to that found in aged whiskey – and I was looking for something different.

Get It Hot c/othewhiskeynut

The bottle is suitably chunky & solid – much like the music.

The liquid is clear & colourless – as expected.

The nose is rich & pungent – redolent of agave – earthy with a touch of pepper on the back.

An oily mouth coating palate.

The peppery spice gradually bursts through – much like Angus strutting his heavy guitar solos from the solid back beat of the rhythm section.

This is no nonsense Tequila from a no nonsense rock band!

I think I’ve just been Thunderstruck!

Sláinte

Sierra, Tequila Reposado, 38%

Well this is quite a fun bottle!

Sierra Tequila c/othewhiskeynut

Garishly attractive bright yellow label featuring a guitar playing hombre sat under a cactus – embossed lettering on the side – complete with a golden sombrero cap too!

Back label c/othewhiskeynut

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was rather cheap, gimmicky stereotypical marketing.

Yet the liquid inside was classic tequila!

Lots of earthy pungent agave on the nose.

More agave on the easy & accessible palate.

Topped off by a gently growing peppery spice.

Hencho en Mexico c/othewhiskeynut

Very enjoyable!

Sláinte

Patrón, Silver, Reposado & Anejo Tequila, 40%

Cinco De Mayo.

A holiday commemorating the Mexican Army victory over foreign intervention in 1862 – now morphed into a celebration of Mexican identity & culture – often of the alcoholic variety – tequila.

To mark the day I further explored this wonderfully pungent spirit by tasting Patrón’s 3 core releases.

2 (1 of 1)-3
Los tres amigos c/othewhiskeynut

Silver, Reposado & Anejo.

All are presented in highly attractive & distinctively shaped bottles complete with oversized corks at 40% ABV using 100% blue agave.

Silver is the unaged variety.

2 (1 of 1)-5
Silver, Blanco, Plata. Unaged. c/othewhiskeynut

It displays the pure clean taste of agave after it’s long growing period & subsequent distillation process to make Tequila.

A lovely pungenty earthy agave note of soft ripe fruits with thick legs and an oily consistency.

The palate was smooth & rich in flavour.

A light peppery spice enlivened the finish over a slowly fading earthiness & attractive heat.

Very enjoyable!

The Reposado is aged for 3 to 5 months in oak barrels – ex-bourbon barrels are commonly used!

2 (1 of 1)-4
Reposado, Aged, 60 plus days. c/othewhiskeynut

A more pronounced nose with an added charred cask note.

The mouthfeel was softer – more mellowed agave with an easier overall appeal & gentler finish.

Anéjo is aged for more than 12 months in French Oak, Hungarian Casks & ex-bourbon barrels.

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Anejo, Extra Aged, 1 plus years. c/othewhiskeynut

Hints of vanilla, caramel & a soft smoke overlay the earthy agave.

Silky smooth on the palate – the flavours are more balanced & complex bouncing between the cask influence & pungent agave base.

A more relaxed experience.

All 3 were highly enjoyable easy sippers.

My order of preference would have to be Silver for the sheer exuberance & excitement of the agave.

Anéjo for the interaction of that earthy agave with cask aging notes more familiarly encountered in Whiskey.

And finally Reposado possibly slipped between 2 stools here but an engaging offering on it’s own merits.

I’d happily explore more tequila based on these experiences.

Salud!

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