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1800 Reserva Reposado Tequila

Review: 1800 Reserva Reposado Tequila 82/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published July 23, 2018

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. 

1800 ReposadoIn the Bottle 4.5/5

Although my sample bottle is of the 1.75 Liter variety it has the same shape and look of the standard 750 ml bottle shown to the left. It is a clear decanter style bottle which showcases the colour of the reposado tequila. According to the 1800 Tequila website:

The packaging for 1800® Tequila is an iconic triangular shape, reminiscent of the centuries-old Mayan stone pyramids found throughout Mexico and dressed with a crest.

“Trabajo, Passion, Honestidad” (“Work,” “Passion,” “Honesty”) is displayed on the crest, signifying the honor and tradition that go into the process of crafting this historically rich tequila.

Although I appreciate the features of the presentation mentioned upon the website, the label on the bottle could be improved. My quibble is with the gold lettering upon the clear glass which is hard to see against the backdrop of the light gold coloured spirit.

Another quibble is with the stopper. The back label informs me that this glass topper serves a dual function as a shot glass. When I inspected the topper, there was a small hole in the bottom which can be filled by tipping the bottle on its side with the topper still in place. This fills the cavity in the stopper. It’s not worth the trouble, as getting the tequila back out of that stopper to drink it is a bit of a nightmare.

In the Glass 8.5/10

The 1800 Reserva Reposado tequila has a light gold colour which is actually a few shades darker than I would expect for a spirit aged only 6 months in American and French oak. When I gave my glass a bit of a tilt and twirl, I saw the tequila imparted a glossy sheen on the inside of the glass which gave up a multitude of small legs.

When I nosed the glass it yielded 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 although the chocolate aroma could be part of my imagination.

In the Mouth 49/60

The initial taste brings just a bit more caramel forward than I would prefer as I wanted to taste the soft punky flavours of the lowland agave more clearly. The agave does build through the mid palate before it is swamped by peppery spice. There is a nice ribbon of chocolate-like flavour which is more distinct upon the palate than it was upon the nose, and I also taste touches of cinnamon and nutmeg as well as a touch of salty brine which all appear and disappear into the caramel and agave. This is all quite nice, but underlying everything is an out of step sour grassy flavour which appeared after the glass has sat for a few minutes. This grassiness seems to ambush my enjoyment especially as it seems to seems to grow stronger as the glass breathes.

This means that cocktails are the most probable destiny of this 1800 Reserva Reposado, and so I did a little mixing, first a Margarita and then a Picador (For my purposes when I mix with lime I call the libation a Margarita, and when I mix with lemon I call it a Picador). The Picador was preferred as lemon seems to mix better than lime with that odd sour grassy flavour which is within the tequila. Then I tried an ice filled serving, a Scarlet Ruse,  which is a creation of mine that resembles a Tequila Sunrise but mixes with Blood Orange Juice as well as regular orange juice. The ice filled serving was the best fit for my palate.

In the Throat 12/15

The finish is typical for a Reposado Tequila with soft agave giving way to heated spice. After a few sips, both the odd grassy flavour has become distracting and the heated spice is perhaps just a tad too aggressive. I can understand someone who would disagree and find the exit bracing by refreshing.

The Afterburn 8/10

The 1800 Reserva Reposado is a standard reposado spirit.  For tall ice filled cocktails, Picadors and even Margaritas it will work fine; but it falls short as a sipper and carries too much spice (and perhaps even a touch of burn) to be a comfortable shooting spirit.

You may read some of my other Tequila Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


Suggested Recipe

Scarlet Ruse SAM_2561The Tequila Sunrise is a simple bar drink made in an ice filled glass with orange juice, silver tequila and grenadine. I recently began to experiment with the juice from blood oranges in the recipe, and then I went even further and used Reposado and Añejo Tequila instead of a regular Silver Tequila.

This new recipe, the Scarlet Ruse, tastes a little different from a typical Tequila Sunrise; but it is just as delicious.

The Scarlet Ruse

1 3/4 oz 1800 Reserva Reposado Tequila
1 oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Juice of Blood Orange
3/4 oz Grenadine

Build over ice in an Old-Fashioned Glass
Enjoy Responsibly!

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!

Note: This cocktail is part of my ongoing 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.


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)

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