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Posts Tagged ‘Tequila’

2015 Margarita Challenge #10 – Hornitos Plata Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 5, 2015

HORNITOS SAM_1519

Hornitos Margarita

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:

Review: Hornitos Plata Tequila

“… 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:

2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge

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: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #10 – Hornitos Plata Tequila

2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 3, 2015

Alfred Cointreau Margarita SAM_1517s

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.)

Herencia Margarita SAM_1514s

Herencia Margarita

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:

Review: Herencia de Plata Tequila

“… 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: , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge

Review: Jose Cuervo Tradicional (Reposado)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 12, 2015

SAM_0543 Jose Cuervo TradicionalAccording 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:

Review: Jose Cuervo Tradicional (Reposado)

“… 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.

Chimo!

Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Jose Cuervo Tradicional (Reposado)

Review: Patrón Reposado Barrel Select Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 15, 2015

Arc to Arcturus

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:

Review: Patrón Reposado Barrel Select Tequila

“… 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.

Enjoy Responsibly!

Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Patrón Reposado Barrel Select Tequila

Review: Patrón Reposado Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 7, 2015

Patron ReposadoPatron 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

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:

Review: Patrón Reposado

“… 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.

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Patrón Reposado Tequila

Review: Don Julio Reposado Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 22, 2015

SAM_0574 Don Julio ReposadoDon 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.

Metro Mexico

Metro Mexico

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:

Review: Don Julio Reposado Tequila

“… 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: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Don Julio Reposado Tequila

Review: Hornitos Reposado Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 15, 2015

Repo Sauza HornitosHornitos 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

Nightmare in Pink

You may read my full review here:

Review: Hornitos Reposado Tequila

“… 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: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Hornitos Reposado Tequila

Review: Casamigos Reposado Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 27, 2015

Casamigos Reposado and the Valerie Project

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:

Review: Casamigos Reposado Tequila

“… 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: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Jose Cuervo Especial Plata (Silver)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 12, 2014

SAM_0541 Jose Cuervo Especial SilverAccording to the Jose Cuervo website, it all began in 1795, when Jose María Guadalupe de Cuervo was producing his Mexcal wine spirit commercially having obtained an official permit for this purpose from the King of Spain. By 1812, he had established La Rojena, the distillery which to this day 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 apparently occurred when 3 bottles of Jose Cuervo were transported across the United States border by donkey. As you know, those exports have continued (although no longer by donkey), and now the Jose Cuervo brand is the best-selling tequila in the entire world.

The Jose Cuervo Especial is available as both a Gold or ‘joven’ tequila and as a Silver or ‘plata’ tequila. These tequila spirits are not made from 100 % blue agave which means that they are referred to in the industry as “Mixto“. A Mixto tequila must have at least 51 % of its volume made from blue agave distillate, but the other 49 % can be distilled from other non agave sugars (usually sugar cane). Mixto is also subject to less stringent regulation with respect to additives such as sugar syrup and caramel.

The Dreadful Lemon Sky

The Dreadful Lemon Sky

(In July of 2013, Proximo Spirits acquired the distribution rights for the Jose Cuervo brand in supplanting Diageo, who had managed the brand since 1997.)

You may click on the following review excerpt to read my full review:

Review: Jose Cuervo Especial Plata (Silver)

“… The initial nose from the glass carries a mixture of light honey, mild white pepper and a somewhat muted herbaceous agave (the smell of which resembles boiled squash). As I let the glass sit, the light honey tones begin to remind me of sugar cane syrup, and the breezes above the glass reveal a light impression of lemon zest within the white pepper …”

Although this review was originally published two years ago, I have updated it to contain more current information and added a new cocktail suggestion, the Dreadful Lemon Sky. This Margarita style cocktail is based upon the Picador, a recipe which predates the margarita by several decades.

Please enjoy my updated review, and the cocktail suggestions which follow it. Cheers!

 

Posted in Blanco Tequila, Mixto Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Jose Cuervo Especial Plata (Silver)

The Year in Tequila (2013 Rum Howler Awards)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 27, 2013

RH-winner2013

In my locale, many whisky events populate our calendars, and a few Rum Clubs have popped up over the last several years which feature tastings and the like where consumers have an opportunity to taste a new spirit before plunking down their cash to buy it. With respect to tequila however, consumers (again in my locale) have very little ability to read about or taste any of the new Tequila brands as such clubs and events are rather scarce. Perhaps my 2013 Rum Howler awards for the Year in Tequila can help remedy the situation somewhat. (And hopefully I will be able to sample more of these new brands and feature more reviews in the coming year.)

I was able to sample and taste 17 different agave spirits for my 2013 Rum Howler Awards. The Awards I am presenting are based upon side by side tastings of the various spirits which are in competition for each particular award. Depending upon the style of Tequila I was sampling, I would build one or two Cocktails with each brand to taste, and I also sampled each spirit neat side by side with those of the same style. And so without further ado, it is time for me to reveal the recipients of the 2013 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Tequila.

These Awards are for the best Tequila Spirits I encountered in the year 2013!

The 2013 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Tequila

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Enjoy this break from my Rum Howler Top 10 Rums Countdown, which will resume on Monday with the number 7 rum.

Posted in Anejo Tequila, Awards, Blanco Tequila, Extras, Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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