Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 11, 2016
Espolon is a tequila brand created by Master Distiller Cirilo Oropeza. This is a premium tequila made in a small batch process from ‘hand-selected 100% Blue Weber agave, grown in the rich red clay and cool climate of the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. At that facility piñas of the hand selected agave are cooked for 18 to 20 hours prior to their fermentation. They apparently use a slower distillation technique than is in use at most other facilities, and when the spirit is finished, their Espolon Reposado Tequila is aged in new American Oak barrels for 6 months, filtered and then bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
The Espolon website tells us that the company likes to play rock music at their facilities to ‘inspire’ the agave. I did a little follow-up research and found a question and answer session with the Espolon Master Distiller, Cirilo Oropeza on the Campari America (the brand owner) website (see here) where the Mr. Oropeza admits he actually prefers to play classical music instead. This is because (according to Oropeza when referring to classical music), “it’s not so fast, not so crazy, it’s gentler for the yeast.”
Here is a link to my full review of the Espolon Reposado Tequila which apparently is produced after exposure to in interesting range of musical styles:
“… The first sip brings a slight coolness to the palate a we have a light menthol-like flavour melded into the soft agave and peppery spice of the highland tequila. A mild but firm impression of sweetness comes through as well resembling light butterscotch lying alongside the agave. There is a gentle vanilla presence, hints of cinnamon and milk chocolate and a scattering of sandalwood spice …”
Please enjoy my latest review as I continue to walk on the wild side with the agave spirit, Chimo!
Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Espolon, Reposado, Review, Tequila | Comments Off on Review: Espolon Reposado Tequila
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 2, 2016
The 1800 Tequila brand is owned by the Beckmann Family, who also own the Jose Cuervo brand. And indeed, according to the nom identifier upon the bottle (Nom 1122 CRT) the brand is produced at the same facility, the Casa Cuervo, S.A. de C.V. which is located in the central lowland tequila region of Jalisco Mexico. The 1800 Reserva Reposado is produced using piñas from 100 % Weber Blue Agave (8-12 year old) and is aged in a combination of American and French Oak barrels at least six months.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… When I nose the glass it yields mild butterscotch aromas, and behind them are soft punky vegetal smells of lowland agave. The earthy aroma is reminiscent of baked squash and grilled pineapple. There are also unusual hints of cooked celery within the vegetal nature of the agave aroma (maybe a bit of water cress too). As I gave the glass time to breathe some peppery notes began to break free from the fruity agave as well as hints of vanilla and cinnamon, and perhaps a dusting of milk chocolate …”
Please enjoy my review as my descent into Tequila Madness continues
Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: 1800 Reserva, Reposado, Review, Tequila | Comments Off on Review: 1800 Reserva Reposado Tequila
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 30, 2016
Tequila Cabresto, imported by Cabresto Imports Corporation, is a brand rooted as solidly in Detroit as they are in Arandas, Mexico. Tequila Cabresto is a family owned brand with duties spread across two generations of the Lopez family. Founder Silverio Lopez runs the family ranch in Arandas and cares for the agave until its reached peak yield. His son Antonio is learning the craft of growing the best agave in the world and currently handles the branding and exportation of Cabresto to the US. Daughter Sonia is the first Lopez to graduate college and is spearheading the US operations of Cabresto Imports Corporation. They do all this while maintaining the family tire shop in Southwest Detroit.
Cabresto Reposado Tequila is a pure 100% Agave tequila. The agave fields, and the distillery which produces the tequila are located in Atotonilco in the highlands of Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico. The harvested agave is cooked in an adobe furnace that softens the plant’s fibers and transforms its starches into sugars. Once cooked and rested the agave is passed through a shredder to separate the coarse fibers, then through rollers to squeeze out its sweet juice. Once distilled, the reposado tequila is aged in charred white oak barrels for a period of over six months, and then bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
Here is a link to my review of the Cabresto Reposado Tequila:
“… When I bring the spirit to my nose I notice the breezes carry a very light honeyed caramel scent into the air beside a warm punky agave fruit. There is some spicy white pepper and some mild indications of sandal wood and oak spice. The notes are not aggressive but they are firm. As the glass breathes I notice impressions of scattered tea leaves, a light herbal quality reminiscent of fall grass which has just turned dry enough to cut for hay, and bits of menthol. These impressions are slippery and vague yet they serve to give the Reposado Tequila a bit of added character …”
Please enjoy the review, Chimo!
Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Cabresto, Reposado, Review, Tequila | Comments Off on Review: Cabresto Reposado Tequila
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 27, 2016
Hacienda Corralejo was established in 1775 by Don Pedro Sanchez de Tagle in the Mexican State of Guanajuato. The distillery (Nom 1368 CRT) uses traditional methods of fermentation and distillation with clay ovens used to cook the agave and copper pot stills used for the distillation.
According to the Corralejo website their Reposado Tequila is an aged in America Oak barrels. As a reposado spirit, the tequila must be aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels of any size. I could find no information on the company website indicating the exact aging time for this brand; it could be that the time of aging varies depending upon when the master blender feels the spirit is ready to be bottled. The website indicates the Corralejo Reposado is bottled at 38 % alcohol by volume which is probably true for the domestic market; however, my sample bottle ( available in Canada) is labelled, 40 % alcohol by volume which is also the bottling proof of the spirit in the USA.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The nose of the glass carries a mixture of caramel/ butterscotch, light fruity agave and mild white pepper. Both the aroma of agave and spicy pepper were muted which gives me the impression that this reposado tequila promises to be very approachable. After waiting for a few minutes I nosed the glass again hoping to find a more assertive agave aroma, but the glass remains dominated by light caramel and vanilla …”
Please enjoy my review, Chimo!
Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Corralejo Reposado Tequila, Reposado, Review, Tequila | Comments Off on Review: Corralejo Reposado Tequila
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 10, 2016
Dulce Vida Tequila is produced from 100% organic agave grown in the Los Altos highlands which are situated in the Tequila Region of Mexico. The company produces the only 100° proof, 100% organic tequila (also free from additives of any kind) in the world. As well as being 100% organic, their tequila is also produced in a manner which embraces the concept of sustainability. During production of the spirit a complete waste recapture program is set in place which results in the production of a nutrient-rich soil supplement which is supplied to the local farming community. As well, the methane gas which is produced as a by-product of the waste collection & processing is captured and utilized to help power Dulce Vida’s production facilities in the village of San Ignacio Cerro Gordo at Campanario (in Mexico of course).
Dulce Vida Organic Añejo Tequila has been aged for 11 months in American Bourbon Whiskey barrels, and my review shall begin as it always does with a look at the bottle.
Here is a link to my review of the 2015 Rum Howler Reposado Tequila of The Year:
“… The initial breezes above the glass carry a nice updraft of fine oak spice and sandalwood interspersed with wisps of butterscotch and honey. It takes only a little while for a nice peppery agave scent to come forward. The spicy agave slowly reveals its signature ‘punky’ fruity aroma; however the oak and sandal wood in the air never lose their way. They remain as lovely accents upon the spicy punky highland agave fruit …”
Please enjoy the review!
Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Dulce Vida, Organic, Reposado Tequila, Review, Tequila | Comments Off on Review: Dulce Vida Organic (Reposado Tequila)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 27, 2015
In 2013, I lamented that it was a bad year for Tequila as far as my home Province of Alberta was concerned, and in 2014 things were to the point that I decided to omit my Rum Howler Awards for Tequila altogether. In 2015, I decided to do something about this state of affairs and I made a concentrated effort to make Tequila a larger part of my website. I began in May with my Rum Howler 2015 Margarita Challenge. As part of my efforts, I sent a call out to industry and asked for samples of Blanco Tequila with the aim of having a small competition to see which brand made the best Margarita Cocktail. I even designed my version of this quintessential cocktail just for the competition, the Alfred Cointreau Margarita Cocktail.
My efforts were rewarded as I managed to garner about a dozen samples and when the dust had settled I determined that a new agave brand from Patron, Roca Patron Silver was in the opinion my cast of jurors the best Blanco tequila for our summer time tequila cocktails. My competition had the ancillary benefit of drawing the attention of more tequila producers to my website, and I received not only a good selection of blanco tequila samples, but also a nice smattering of Reposado, and Anejo tequila as well as a very delicious Extra Anejo.
All of this means that my Rum Howler Awards for Tequila are back, and quite frankly, I could not be happier about that. Here is a link to my awards page for my 2015 Tequila Awards:
Note: The awards pages contain links to all of the reviews for the awards spirits, two of which have never been reviewed upon my website previously. Please enjoy the awards and stay tuned for my awards for Gin, Vodka, Whisky and Rum!
Posted in Anejo Tequila, Awards, Blanco Tequila, Extra Anejo Tequila, Extras, Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: 2015 Rum Howler Awards, Anejo, Blanco, Extra Anejo, Reposado, Review, Tequila | Comments Off on The Year In Tequila – (The 2015 Rum Howler Awards)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 30, 2015
Corzo Reposado is a 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila produced from Highland agave whose manufacture is a bit of an interesting tale. The process begins with a long (slow) fermentation cycle which apparently takes place while the music of Mozart is playing in the background. The resulting liquid is then double distilled with only a small center cut taken from each distillation, in fact this fine center cut requires the company to use twice as much agave to produce the tequila as would normally be used.
The resulting distillate is then rested for 2 to 4 months in American white oak barrels. After the tequila has matured for this first amount of time the tequila is then distilled a third time. After the third distillation the tequila is then matured (or rested) for a second period of time (3 to 6 months) in French oak.
Here is a link to the review of the #56 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.
“… The entry onto the palate begins softly with honey and a mixture of dark and citrus fruit leading the way. However, the tequila quickly asserts its Highland character with spicy pepper and herbaceous agave spilling over the taste-buds. I taste impressions of grilled pineapple with hints of cinnamon, as well as flavours of vanilla pudding, lemon gumdrops, coconut, anise, nutmeg and almond …”
You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits
Posted in Awards, Extras, Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Corzo, Reposado, Review, Rum howler, Tequila, Top 100 Spirits | Comments Off on #56 Corzo Reposado 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