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Alamo Añejo Tequila

Review: Alamo Anejo Tequila   (87/100)
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published February 12, 2018

Alamo is a tequila brand sold by Minhas Distilleries in Western Canada. I reviewed part of the portfolio a few years ago, but recently I noticed that a change had occurred concerning the distillery of origin for the tequila brand. In my previous review I had noted that the Nom on my sample bottles was 1529, which indicated that the spirit was produced by Agaveros y Tequileros Unidos de Los Altos, a tequila producer which typically distills agave grown in Los Altos, the highlands of Mexico’s tequila producing region. However, the new spirit sold by Minhas now carries a different Nom (1438) indicating the distillery of origin for the current spirit is Destiladora del Valle de Tequila, S.A. de C.V., a producer which typically uses both highland and lowland agave in its production of Tequila. (The 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.)

The change of Nom upon the tequila bottle is a signal that a new series of reviews is in order, and I though I would take the opportunity to review not only the Reposado and Anejo tequilas which I analyzed a few years ago but also the Gold and Blanco Tequilas which are part of the Alamo line-up.

According to the Minhas Distillery website, Alamo Anejo is a 100 % Agave Tequila aged for at least one year in white American Oak barrels. The Minhas website tells us that the Hernandes Estate near Guadalajara is located high in the mountains which implies the spirit is a highland tequila, however as noted earlier, the distillery of origin, Agaveros y Tequileros Unidos de Los Altos typically uses both highland and lowland grown agave when producing their tequila. (In the production of tequila, highland agave tends to bring stronger fruity citrus notes and more spicy pepper into both the delivery and in the finish. Lowland tequila tends to bring firmer earthy flavours of the agave fruit into the flavour profile.)

In the Bottle  4/5

I like a nice distinctive bottle on my liquor shelf. You get the idea, something a little unique in bottle shape or maybe something with a little color or even something with some texture to make gripping easier. The Alamo Añejo bottle has all of the elements I look for right up to a nice solid synthetic cork stopper.

My only quibble with the bottle is that it sort of has the appearance of a gummy bear. That ‘gummy candy’ look gives the tequila a strange look next to the other tequila bottles on my barshelf which over time is less and less appealing.

In the Glass 8.5/10

I poured out a small sample of the Alamo Añejo Tequila into my glencairn glass and began my review with a good look at the tequila. It is a pale amber/straw coloured spirit consistent with a spirit which has aged for less than three years in oak. I gave my glass a light tilt and a slow swirl and watched as slender legs formed and slowly ran down the sides of the glass. Everything I have seen thus far meets my expectations for anejo tequila.

When I brought the glass to my nose I discovered a lightly sweet, mildly punky agave aroma lifting from the glass. There is also a mild peppery aroma rising which has a light citrus aspect to it. I receive a few whispers of vanilla and perhaps some tea and cocoa scents as well. In all I quite like the aroma which I would describe as ‘relaxed and inviting’.

In the Mouth 53/60

The Alamo Añejo Tequila has a smooth entry onto the palate. I taste a light oak spice from the barrel aging which is melded into the lightly sweet fruity flavour of agave. There is an underlying sweetness which is very appealing, and a light spiciness which seems to stem from oak tannins as well as the normal pepper one associates with Tequila. This element is not overtly strong, but it does serve to liven the mouth-feel. The flavours are not intense, rather they are relaxed. The Alamo Anejo Tequila is an easy-going sippable spirit which does not place a lot of demands upon the Tequila aficionado.

I mixed what is quickly becoming my favourite Tequila cocktail for Añejo and Reposado Tequila, The Maximiliano Tequila.  The result was a superb sipping cocktail. I also made a Margarita, but I would not recommend that particular cocktail as highly. This is because the Añejo Tequila carries light oaky accents which are not suited to the Margarita style cocktail. I did construct another cocktail which I call A Deadly Shade of Gold, based upon mixing Southern Comfort with Alamo Añejo Tequila. This cocktail suited the Tequila quite well. (See Recipe Below)

In the Throat 13/15

The Alamo Añejo Tequila exits with lightly sweet fruity agave, and a fade of white pepper with orange zest. The finish is very smooth with just that fade of zesty pepper to tickle the tonsils. I found this finish to be very appealing.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

The Minhas Distillery is known locally for spirits which are favourably priced compared to their counterparts in the industry. Part of the reason for this is that they work hard at finding bargains when they source their spirits. I suspect that this is the reason why the company is now sourcing their tequila from a new producer. A price advantage was found, and they pounced upon it. This means (if you are checking my review before you purchase a bottle) that you should check the Nom on the bottle and make sure the Nom in my review corresponds to the bottle you are considering.

In the case of Alamo Añejo (labeled with the Nom 1438), it is a nice relaxing tequila for sipping or for mixing especially considering the attractive price point in my locale.

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

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Suggested Recipe

I sometimes like to name my tequila cocktails after the 21 novels in the Travis McGee series by American author John D. MacDonald.  I have named this cocktail after the fifth book in the series, A Deadly Shade of Gold. I have always liked the Travis McGee novels, and I believe that most of the titles for these novels make great names for cocktails.

A Deadly Shade of Gold

1 1/2 oz Alamo Añejo Tequila
3/4 oz Southern Comfort
Angostura Bitters
Ice
Lime slice or wedge

First fill a suitable glass with cubed ice
Add the Alamo Añejo Tequila and the Southern Comfort
Add a dash or two of Angostura Bitters
Stir gently
Garnish with a lime slice
Enjoy!

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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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