1921 Añejo Tequila
Review: 1921 Añejo Tequila 93/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on June 22, 2011 (Revised 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.
Although I could not find direct information on the 1921 Tequila website regarding the exact distillery which produces this agave spirit, I did notice that the identified NOM on the bottom of the label is 1535. This NOM identifier is required by the Mexican Government to be placed on the label of each bottle of tequila to verify that it is produced legally from agave sourced in the Tequila region of Mexico. Each distillery has its own NOM, and thus we can trace the distillery of origin. In this case it is Destileria Morales, S.A. de C.V. which is located about 100 km east of Guadalajara in Arandas ( a municipality of the Altos Sur region of the state of Jalisco).
The when I first researched the 1921 Tequila the information provided to me on the producer’s website was that:
“…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.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
Pictured to the left is the bottle presentation for the 1921 Añejo Tequila. The squat square bottle has a nice visual appeal. It is quite different from other bottles on my liquor shelf, and this difference serves to help it stand out a bit from the crowd. The bottle is sealed with a nice synthetic cork which is always a bonus for me, as I find the synthetic corks have far more durability than the regular variety, yet they still give that satisfying ‘pop’ when the spirit is opened. To ensure nothing inside escapes before you open it, a waxy plastic covering seals the cork which must be removed with a tear strip.
In the Glass 9/10
In the glass, 1921 Añejo is light amber gold consistent with a spirit which has spent about a year in oak. I gave my glass a slow tilt and then an even slower swirl. The light sheen imparted on the side of the glass coalesced slowly into droopy legs which slowly fell back into the spirit.
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 a very soft butterscotch. A hint of vanilla wafts into the air with some scattered tea leaves. I can tell that I am going to like this!
In the Mouth 56.5/60
In the mouth, the 1921 Añejo Tequila is very smooth with a mellow fruity agave flavour. My initial tasting notes include words like, “Sweet Bell Peppers”, “Gingerbread”, “Butterscotch”, “Citrus Zest”, and “Sweet Fruity Agave”. In subsequent tastings I began to notice that there is also an abundance of dry fruits (figs and dates) underlying the flavour. Hints of cocoa and scattered tea leaves add to the complexity as the oak speaks within the tequila also bringing some light vanillans and oak spices to round out the flavour which is laid back and mellow, yet very complex and pleasing.
I found the 1921 Añejo Tequila very easy to sip and enjoy in my glass, and although I have demonstrated a preference to mix cocktails with the spirits I review, I was not driven by a strong urge to mix cocktails with this one.
In the Throat 13.5/15
The 1921 Añejo Tequila finishes with soft fruity agave, and a long fade of white pepper and ginger. There is just a touch of harshness in the exit to remind you that this is tequila, and tequila sometimes has a little bite; but having said that, this is the style of finish I prefer when I drink tequila.
The Afterburn 9.5/10
I found as I sipped on my glass, that the Tequila flavour seemed to become more well-rounded and appealing as I let the glass breathe. A little more of the oak asserted itself, and the flavour impressions I received seemed to be blended together just a little more thoroughly. Although I liked I liked the initial taste of the tequila when I sipped it, it was the fully decanted glass which brought the scores up so high.
You may read some of my other Tequila Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
Here is a nice recipe I discovered on the 1921 Tequila Website called the 1921 Maximiliano Tequila. Mixing 1921 Añejo Tequila with Grand Marnier is definitely a great idea worth repeating:
1921 Maximiliano Tequila
1 1/2 ounces of 1921 Tequila Añejo
3/4 ounces of Grand Marnier.
Serve in a suitable glass with no ice
Allow the cocktail oxidize for about 5 minutes
Garnish with a twist of orange peel.
The advise from the 1921 Tequila Website to decant the cocktail is marvelous. The flavour grows and grows in the glass.
You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing Tequila. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, (we are probably still cocktail in territory).
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing delicious cocktails!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)