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Alamo Blanco Tequila

Review: Alamo (Blanco) Tequila   (82.5/100)
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published January 29, 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 decided I would take the opportunity to review not only the Reposado and Anejo tequila which I analyzed a few years ago but also the Gold and Blanco tequila which are part of the Alamo line-up.

Alamo Blanco is labeled as a 100 % Agave Tequila. 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 usually like to take my own photograph of the bottles I review, however with the temperature being sub-zero outside, and the snow flying all around, the clear bottle which houses the Alamo Blanco did not photograph to well so I contented myself with a bottle shot from the Minhas Website.

The silver tequila is housed in a stubby rectangular bottle with a mid-sized neck and plastic screw cap closure. The simple label gives the spirit the look of a lower shelf offering, however, as the agave spirit is quite affordable in my locale, I am not displeased by what I see.

In the Glass 8.5/10

My nose is greeted with a firm fruity agave aroma accented by white pepper and hints of orange peel zest. The breezes above the glass bring me impressions of baked squash, grilled pineapple, mushy banana and light hints of peppery lime. There is a light herbal grass-like quality as well with a dab of menthol.

So far I am rather happy as the spirit seems to be bringing me more than what the bottle and label promised.

In the Mouth 50/60

When I took my first sip of the blanco tequila the spirit seemed smooth and subdued. A light squeal of highland spice is tempered by earthy agave flavours of baked squash, pumpkin, and  mushy banana. As I continue to sip, I taste impressions of licorice, and lightly sweet impressions of sugar cane and mint. Building with each sip is that spicy squeal of white pepper and citrus zest which continues to heat the palate. Although the spirit may be constructed from both lowland and highland agave, it is the spicy highland character which appears to dominate.

I mixed a few cocktails to see how the tequila fared in some of my favourite mixed drinks. I began with a classic Margarita, and followed that up with a tall Paloma. I was very happy with both cocktails, although I seemed to favour the Paloma this time. Grapefruit and tequila are very good partners. (See recipe below)

In the Throat 12.5/15

In the exit, I seem to notice that light squeal of white pepper just a little more firmly than I would like to when sipping the spirit neat. However, it would be equally true to say that this same squeal of white pepper was very welcome in the cocktails I constructed.

The Afterburn 8/10

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 Blanco (labeled with the Nom 1438), this is a decent silver tequila sold at a favourable price in my locale. It does well in classic agave cocktails, and if you like a nice squeal of agave heat, it may suit your purposes for sipping as well.

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

The Paloma cocktail mixes Grapefruit juice, soda tequila in a highball style. It is extremely refreshing and delicious. I like to kick it up just a notch by adding a touch of acidity in the form of lime juice.

Paloma

2 oz Alamo Blanco
2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar syrup (1:1)
Ice
soda

Add plenty of ice to a tall glass
Add the first four ingredients and stir
Fill with soda
Enjoy on a hot sunny day

Note: If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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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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