Cruz Del Sol Tequila (Silver)
Review: Cruz Del Sol Silver Tequila 83/100
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on September 3, 2012
(Re-visited and Re-scored May 07, 2015)
According to the website information, Cruz Tequila contains no chemicals, additives or flavorings. It is produced entirely from Blue Weber agave plants grown in the highlands of the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico. After harvesting the agave, it 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 using a proprietary process. 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.
Note: I identified the NOM on the back label of the bottle as 1102. 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 verify the distillery of origin. In this case the producing distillery is TEQUILA EL VIEJITO which also produces a variety of other brands including Don Quiote, Mi Viejo, and Tortuga.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
Pictured to the left is a nice J-peg of the Cruz Del Sol Tequila (Silver). The bottle has a rather unique shape which looks quite nice on my liquor shelf. On the side of the bottle is a production label which (on my bottle) says:
No. 39000 Rt
I like the bottle, it caught my eye at one of those liquor trade shows, and I suspect it catches the eye of the consumer when he (or she) spies it on the shelf at the liquor store.
In the Glass 8/10
I poured out a small sample of the Cruz del Sol Silver into my glass and began my review with a good look at the spirit before I began to nose it. It is a completely clear spirit consistent with a Silver Tequila which would not have been aged in oak barrels. I gave my glass a light tilt and a slow swirl and discovered a light sheen of tequila left on the inside of the glass which gave up a few very skinny legs and nothing more. Everything is as it should be.
The initial aroma the aroma from the Tequila is somewhat earthy, and has a sweet underlying agave scent that to me is somewhat reminiscent of freshly broiled garden squash. Soft peppery notes come forward out of the glass, followed by clean scents reminiscent of lightly sweet orange and lime citrus juices. The breezes above the glass contain an ever so mild impression of mint, some soft anise and a hint of vanilla which all seem to provide a little softness in the air. All of the sensations above the glass are subdued and carry less intensity than I would normally expect from a highland tequila.
In the Mouth 50/60
Although the Highland character of the tequila was hidden on the nose, this character is on display upon the palate. Things begin softly with an initial agave sweetness and a warm citrus flavours of lemon and orange. 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. If I had taken only one sip, I might have mistaken this spirit for a lowland tequila as a gentle earthiness dominates early. It is those second and the thirds sip which reveal the building flavours of citrus zest and white pepper which are so typical of a highland tequila.
When my tasting group, the Rum Chums sampled this agave spirit as part of our deliberations for the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge, we discovered that Cruz del Sol was a good choice for Margarita Cocktails. The gentle earthiness of the spirit combined with its building highland character creates a gentle agave forward margarita which is easy to sip.
BTW: I had fun experimenting with the Cruz del Sol, and you can find both a nice Margarita recipe as well as another one of my recipe creations down below.
In the Throat 12.5/15
The tequila finishes with a nice peppery zest which heats the throat (although not uncomfortably so). There is a certain amount of sugary sweetness which is quite pleasant, and those bits of cinnamon, hints of black licorice, and impressions of candy cane seem to linger in my consciousness.
The Afterburn 8/10
The Cruz Del Sol Silver is a good spirit to serve when introducing persons to the highland tequila taste profile. The softer sweeter notes in the agave profile are more approachable than one finds in a typical blanco tequila from the highlands.
You may read some of my other Tequila Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
Alfred Cointreau Margarita
4 oz Cruz del Sol (Silver) Tequila
1 3/4 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz sugar syrup (1:1)
2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Combine all ingredients in a large metal shaker and add ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Shake and strain into a set of martini glasses
Garnish with salt and a lime wheel.
Please enjoy this indulgence responsibly!
Free Fall in Crimson
2 oz Cruz Del Sol (Silver) Tequila
2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lime juice
3/4 oz Triple Sec
1/2 oz Grenadine (more or less to suit your desired level of sweetness)
1 cup of ice
Place the 6 Ingredients into a blender
Blend until Smooth
Transfer to a tall chilled glass
Enjoy when the sun is warm, and the day is lazy.
Note: This cocktail continues my series of Tequila cocktails named after the Travis McGee novels of American author John D. MacDonald. I have always like the Travis McGee novels, and the titles of these novels just seem to me to be particularly well suited to be also the names of great cocktails. This tasty cocktail in particular is aptly named. As you allow the bar drink to rest the crimson liquid settles while the crushed ice rises.
Note: If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!
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)