Archive for the ‘Tequila’ Category
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 7, 2015
The Number 9 spirit in my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge (according to the Cruz Tequila website information) contains no chemicals, additives or flavorings, and is produced entirely from Blue Weber agave plants grown in the highlands of the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico.
The harvested agave is slow cooked in traditional brick ovens for two days, then cooled before the juice is extracted and naturally fermented. The fermented juice is double distilled in small batches and all Cruz Tequila is packaged and bottled using recycled materials. This includes the blown glass bottles and the aluminum caps as well as the aluminum cross on the front label.
During the deliberations for the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge, my judging panel found Cruz del Sol Silver was a lightly earthy spirit with a building spiciness, and those features of flavour worked well in the Margarita Cocktail I served in the competition. Well enough to rank this tequila as the number 9 spirit in my challenge.
Here is a link to my newly revised review which incorporates the information learned during my most recent tasting sessions as well as the information gleaned during the competition tasting:
“… There is an almost tender quality to the agave which is very pleasant with some interesting earthy flavours of fresh garden squash and cucumber laying underneath the agave fruit. As I continue to sip I taste tiny bits of cinnamon, hints of black licorice, and sweet impressions of sugar cane and mint. Building alongside these subtle flavours is a spicy white pepper and a citric zest which heats the palate a little more with each sip …”
The Cruz Del Sol Silver is a good spirit to serve when introducing persons to the highland tequila taste profile. The soft lightly sweet notes in the flavour profile are more approachable than one finds in a typical blanco tequila from the highlands.
Note: If you wish to follow my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown, I have created a summary page which will list all of the results as they are published. That page is available here:
Posted in Awards, Blanco Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge, Blanco, Cocktails, Cruz Del Sol, Margarita, Review, Silver, Tequila | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #9 – Cruz del Sol (Silver)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 5, 2015
A few days ago I announced that my Rum Chums and I had been busy during the months of March and April sampling a variety of Blanco Tequilas cocktails (Margarita Cocktails to be exact) with the aim of determining which was the best agave spirit for the quintessential Tequila cocktail, the Margarita. Beginning today, on Cinco de Mayo, and then in a countdown format throughout the month of May, I shall publish the results. I am also going to take this opportunity to reassess many of my previous tequila reviews, with the aim of incorporating the newest information available about each brand and of course incorporating my groups deliberations into the review process. I shall begin my publications with the spirit my group judged as the 10th Best Blanco Tequila to use for mixing your Margarita Cocktails, Hornitos Plata.
And in fact, you may read my most recent review of the Hornitos Plata by clicking on the following link:
“… The entry into the mouth is spicy with more heated citrus zest than I noticed on the nose. In addition to citrus zest, the spicy flavour also carries black pepper, a touch of cloves and perhaps a little ginger across the palate as well …”
If you wish to follow my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown, I have created a summary page which will list all of the results as they are published. That page is available here:
Note: Hornitos Plata Tequila is a 100 % Agave Tequila produced by the Sauza Tequila Import Company. The Plata Tequila is said to be the creation of Don Francisco Havier Sauza (Don Franco), who is a third generation member of the Sauza family which founded the La Preseverancia, distillery. Incidentally, Don Franco is credited with helping the Mexican Government to establish the Jalisco region of Mexico as the exclusive origin of genuine tequila in 1974.
Please enjoy this new Rum Howler Challenge!
Posted in Awards, Blanco Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge, Blanco, Cocktail, Hornitos, Margarita, Plata, Review, Suaza, Tequila | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #10 – Hornitos Plata Tequila
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 3, 2015
Alfred Cointreau Margarita
During the months of March and April, my Rum Chums and I embarked on a Tequila Odyssey, as we sampled and tasted a series of blanco spirits in an attempt to determine the best Tequila to feature this summer when sipping Margarita Cocktails. Prior to this engagement, I contacted several of my industry sources letting them know about my plans for the Margarita Challenge which I would publish as a series of reviews during the month of May. I was of course provided with samples from some of these sources and after combining those samples with the bottles of tequila which I already owned, I felt I had enough agave spirit to make for a worthwhile competition. Hence my plans for the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge came to fruition.
During my initial deliberations regarding the Margarita Challenge, the folks at Select Wines stepped up and arranged for me to receive a bottle of Cointreau singed by Alfred Cointreau himself, and asked me if I would consider using their spirit as the orange liqueur of choice for the cocktail challenge. I thought using the special bottle of Cointreau was a splendid idea, and in honour of Mr. Cointreau (for supplying and signing my bottle) I have dubbed my version of the quintessential Tequila cocktail used for the challenge, the Alfred Cointreau Margarita.
(You can find the recipe here.)
The deliberations regarding the Margarita Challenge are complete and my Rum Chums and I have determined what we believe are the best 10 blanco tequila spirits for this summer’s backyard cocktail enjoyment. I will begin to publish the official results on May 05 (Cinco de Mayo), however I could not resist providing you with a prequel of sorts by offering my recently re-visited review for Herencia de Plata Tequila a spirit which deserves an honourable mention as it fell just outside the top ten.
Here is a link to the newly republished and re-scored review of Herencia de Plata review:
“… The aroma from the glass is somewhat soft and earthy with hints of honey caressed by a very light smoke and even lighter vanilla. A smattering of white pepper and of zesty lime has risen into the breezes, and that punky agave scent we know so well has melted nicely into the citrus and pepper …”
This inexpensive blanco tequila is a real crowd-pleaser with a taste which matches many much more expensive brands.
Posted in Awards, Blanco Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge, Blanco Tequila, Cocktails, Herencia de Plata, Margarita, Review, Tequila | Comments Off on 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 19, 2015
1921 Tequila is made from 100% Agave cultivated in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The distinction between tequila made from highland agave versus tequila made from lowland agave is important because agave grown in the highlands tends to carry a different flavour profile into the final tequila than lowland tequila. Highland tequila tends to have more sweet fruity citrus flavours and perhaps a touch more hot pepper in the finish.
The website for 1921 Tequila states that their Añejo Tequila has spent a year in white oak. The tequila is described on the website as:
“…It is definitely a Tequila made to be tasted calmly and enjoyed slowly in a cognac wine glass, allowing the description of the authentic taste of the white oak barrel aged for 12 months, where the wood has blended its most sophisticated characteristics with the agave from Jalisco´s soil…”
I decided to follow the advise of the website and began my tasting session with a cognac glass and the 1921 Añejo Tequila served neat without ice.
Here is a link to my full review:
“…As I brought the brandy glass up to my nose, the fruity agave began to assert itself into the air around the glass. Nice soft pepper and ginger notes come forward out of the glass as well, followed by lime citrus and soft butterscotch. A hint of vanilla wafts into the air with some scattered tea leaves. The aroma is very nice…”
I have followed the review with a cocktail recommendation called, Maximiliano Tequila.
Please enjoy my review!
Note: I have been on a bit of a tequila kick lately re-visiting the many of the brands which I first reviewed several years ago. This has all been in preparation for the Rum Howler 2015 Margarita Challenge which my Rum Chums and I have been working on in secret the last several weeks. The purpose of the Challenge is to determine what we feel is the best Blanco Tequila for this Summer’s Margarita Season. The results of our determinations will be published in May, when I will revisit many Blanco spirits here on my website and introduce a few more. Until then I hope you have been enjoying my re-visitations of the previously reviewed Reposado and Anejo tequila spirits on my website. (The astute observer will have noticed a few new reviews were scattered in as well.)
Posted in Anejo Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: 1921 Tequila, Anejo Tequila, Cocktails, Maximiliano, Review | Comments Off on Review: 1921 Añejo Tequila
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 12, 2015
According to the Jose Cuervo website, it all began in 1795 when Jose María Guadalupe de Cuervo began to commercially produce his Mexcal wine spirit based upon an official permit from the King of Spain. By 1812, he had established La Rojena, the distillery which to this day still produces Jose Cuervo Tequila. By 1844, Jose Cuervo Tequila was being distributed within Mexico, and in 1873 the earliest known documented export of the Tequila outside of Mexico occurred when 3 bottles of Jose Cuervo were transported across the United States border by donkey. Those exports have continued (although no longer by donkey), and now the Jose Cuervo brand is the best-selling tequila brand in the entire world.
Jose Cuervo Tradicional is produced from 100% blue agave, and aged (or rested) in oak barrels for a minimum of two months.
Here is a link to my newly updated review:
“… The delivery is quite soft in the mouth as the spirit seems to have a bit of an ‘oily’ consistency. The herbaceous agave flavour is somewhat muted (I am reminded of baked squash, and grilled pineapple with a light dusting of white pepper). Hints of light oak, vanilla, and honey accompany that mild, fruity agave flavour across the palate …”
Please enjoy the review which includes a few cocktail suggestions in the body of the write-up as well as a tequila shot recipe at the conclusion of the review which I have dubbed Cinnamon Skin.
Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Cinnamon Skin, Jose Cuervo, Reposado, Tequila, Tequila Review, Tequila Shot, Tradicional | Comments Off on Review: Jose Cuervo Tradicional (Reposado)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 15, 2015
Arc to Arcturus
Several weeks ago (at my first Rum Chums Tequila Tasting of 2015), I asked each member to bring a special tequila for the group to share. One of my newer members, Val, brought a very interesting reposado from Patron. The Patrón Barrel Select Reposado is a single barrel bottling brought into Alberta by one of our new liquor store chains Wine and Beyond, who describe themselves as “Alberta’s newest premier destination liquor Super Center”. (They carry over 6000 wines, 2500 spirits and 1800 varieties of beers.)
I found this new tequila very exciting as single barrel vintages while quite common for Scotch Single Malt whisky, are almost unheard of in the world of tequila. Val allowed me to borrow her bottle after the tasting such that I could provide a review here on my website.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… When I brought the glass to my nose, firm scents of caramel and mildly earthy/punky agave fruit were rising from the glass. The agave fruit is lightly accented with white pepper and citrus zest. The impact of the breezes is to suggest a milder, smoother style of tequila than the regular Patron Reposado …”
Included at the conclusion of the review are two recipes which I developed as late evening cocktails suitable for consumption during an evening of stargazing, Arc to Arcturus, and Spin on to Spica.
Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Arc to Arcturus, Barrel Select, Cocktails, Patrón, Reposado, Review, Spin on to Spica, Tequila, Wine and Beyond | Comments Off on Review: Patrón Reposado Barrel Select Tequila
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 7, 2015
Patron Tequila is a pure 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila made from agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. This Agave is 6 to 7 years old when harvested, and the heart of the plant or the piña is all that is used. These piñas are cut and slowly steamed in traditional masonry ovens for 79 hours. The steamed piñas are then shredded and placed into a traditional stone pit, where they are broken into finer pieces with large stone milling wheels called “Tahonas”. The resulting juice is fermented for 72 hours in a wooden fermentation vat, and distilled twice in copper pot stills.
Bright Orange for the Shroud
Patrón Reposado is a blend of individual tequilas which have been aged in oak barrels for an average of six months.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… My tasting notes include descriptors like honeyed caramel sweetness, soft ‘earthy’ oven baked squash, sweet green peppers, hot white pepper, sprinkles of sandalwood, and a hint of vanilla. But a list of descriptors does not really give us an understanding of how these flavours interact with each other. It turns out that the Patrón Reposado Tequila is a bit of a dichotomous spirit which begins to act in one direction, but then takes a sharp turn in another as you take your first sip …”
Please enjoy the review which includes one of my cocktails which is based upon a Travis McGee novel by John D. MacDonald, Bright Orange for the Shroud. I have always like the Travis McGee books, and their titles just seem to me to be particularly well suited to also be the names of great tequila cocktails.
Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Bright Orange for the Shroud, Cocktails, Patron Spirits, Reposado, Review, Tequila, Tequila Review | Comments Off on Review: Patrón Reposado Tequila
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 22, 2015
Don Julio is a 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila made from agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. As a highland tequila,we can expect the Don Julio to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the finish. The company was established by Don Julio González, who apparently began to examine the prospect of making his own Tequila in 1942. He established his distillery called, La Primavera, (TEQUILA DON JULIO NOM 1449, DOT 163, LOCATION: Atotonilco, Jalisco) and spent nearly forty years refining his Tequila into the spirit which now bears his name.
The Don Julio Reposado is aged in American white-oak barrels for eight months. The spirit brand is currently owned by the Diageo Conglomerate.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… typical herbaceous agave aroma which is lightly peppery or spicy, somewhat earthy and somewhat fruity. I am reminded of baked squash, white pepper, and spicy citrus zest (reminiscent of grapefruit). A very faint echo of sandal wood is in the air with some equally light scents of, honey, vanilla, butterscotch, cinnamon and ginger …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a nice cosmopolitan-style recipe I call Metro Mexico.
Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: 1921 Tequila, Cocktails, Don Julio, Metro Mexico, Reposado, Tequila, Tequila Review | Comments Off on Review: Don Julio Reposado Tequila
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 15, 2015
Hornitos Reposado Tequila is a 100 % Agave Tequila produced by the Sauza Tequila Import Company located in Tequila, a municipality of the state of Jalisco, Mexico. The Tequila is the creation of Don Francisco Havier Sauza (Don Franco), a third generation member of the Sauza family who founded the La Preseverancia, distillery. Don Franco is credited with helping the Mexican Government to establish the Jalisco region of Mexico as the exclusive origin of genuine tequila in 1974. Hornitos was reported to be Don Franco’s favourite tequila. Unlike other spirits which proudly boast of a maturation period in small oak barrels to ensure heavy contact between the spirit and the oak, Don Franco’s Hornitos spirit is different. The Hornitos Reposado is aged in large 10,000 gallon oak ‘pipones’ to ensure limited contact with the wood during maturation such that the agave flavour remains as pure as is possible in a reposado spirit.
Nightmare in Pink
You may read my full review here:
“… The initial nose is full of spicy herbal agave fruit. It is a powerful, earthy smell that pours out of the glass growing deeper and stronger as you allow the tequila to breathe. White pepper scents and tart green apples reach the breezes along with grilled pineapple and lemons to round out the nose which is robust and anything but laid back. The scents and aromas from my glass interest me, but I sense a strong warning in those breezes. This is going to be intense…”
I hope you enjoy my review which contains a suggested cocktail which I designed for the Hornitos Reposado in 2011. I affectionately call it, Nightmare in Pink.
Please enjoy the review and the cocktail!
Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Cocktails, Hornitos, Nightmare in Pink, Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Comments Off on Review: Hornitos Reposado Tequila
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 27, 2015
Casamigos Reposado and the Valerie Project
Casamigos is a new tequila brand promoted by George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman. According to the website information this is an ultra premium tequila made in a small batch process from ‘hand-selected 100% Blue Weber agaves, grown in the rich red clay and cool climate of the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico‘.
As a Highland Tequila, we can expect Casamigos to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the delivery and in the finish. (This is as opposed to lowland tequila which has stronger earthier flavours of agave and less hot pepper.)
I was provided a sample bottle by the Alberta distributors Charton Hobbes, who have brought both the Casamigos Blanco and the Casamigos Reposado into my home Province.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The initial entry is a little soft and buttery with a stronger impression of caramel sweetness than the nose implied. Milk chocolate and a little bit of sea salt seem to ooze from the caramel making this a very interesting tequila to sip. Of course we also taste that squeal of highland white pepper, but the spiciness does not translate into burn across the palate …”
Although Casamigos Reposado is a very nice sipper it also works very well as a high-end mixer, and my review includes a new Margarita style cocktail, the Valerie Project.
Enjoy my review, and my cocktail!
Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Casamigos, Cocktails, George Clooney, Highland tequila, Reposado, Tequila, Tequila Review, Valerie Project | 1 Comment »