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Alamo Gold Tequila

Review: Alamo Gold Tequila   (77.5/100)
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published January 22, 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 spirit sold by Minhas now carries a different Nom (1438) indicating that 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 change of Nom upon the tequila bottle is a signal that the spirit may have undergone significant changes, and a new series of reviews is in order. I thought 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 Gold Tequila does not represent itself as a pure 100% agave brand, which probably means it is a ‘Mixto’ brand. A Mixto spirit is not made from 100 % blue agave; however it must have at least 51 % of its volume made from blue agave distillate. However, the other 49 % can be distilled from other non agave sugars (usually sugar cane). Mixto is also subject to less stringent regulation with respect to additives such as sugar syrup and caramel.

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 Gold did not photograph to well so I contented myself with a bottle shot from the Minhas Website.

The gold tequila is houses in a stubby rectangular bottle with a mid-sized neck and plastic screw cap closure.  The spirit looks like a lower shelf offering which is exactly what Mixto tequila usually is. As the spirit is quite affordable in my locale, I am not displeased by what I see.

In the Glass 8/10

When I pour golden spirit into my glass, my nose is greeted with a light but firm agave aroma. There is a light ribbon of sweetness in the air indicating to my that the spirit has either been enhanced with caramel (allowed in a mixto) or contains at least some cane sugar distillate in the blend (again allowed in a mixto).

The breezes also bring me a punky earthy quality which reminds me of the lowland agave which seems to be accented by white pepper and hints of orange peel. The breezes above the glass hint at additional impressions grilled pineapple, mushy banana, baked squash and green pepper. There is a light herbal impressions as well with a hints spearmint and menthol.

So far the spirit seems to be exactly what I suspected a moderately complex mixing spirit with a slightly sweetened character typical of mixto tequila.

In the Mouth 46/60

When I took my first sip of the gold tequila I noticed that the spirit was lightly sweet. The agave complexity was masked somewhat by this light sweetness with earthy agave flavours of baked squash, grilled pineapple and banana sitting a little further back in the flavour profile slightly behind the sweetness. Spicy white pepper as well as hints of lime zest accents the agave. Considering this is a mixto spirit, I am quite pleased.

I decided to mix a few cocktails beginning with a mixed drink (Toreador) I had found success with when I reviewed Siempre Plata, a tequila spirit which hails from the same distillery of origin (see recipe below). The Toreador tasted quite nice. I also tried a classic Margarita, and a tall Paloma. Both were good, but I preferred the Toreador.

In the Throat 12/15

Mixto Tequila usually features less aggressive agave and spice which I have noted in the review. In the finish this less aggressive quality can be quite welcome as the spirit is easy on the throat. The light sweetness which is prevalent also tempers the spicy heat of the finale. That is the case here as the exit is of moderate in length carrying a light sweetness in front of the herbaceous agave and white pepper.

The Afterburn 7.5/10

I have not reviewed many ‘Mixto’ spirits as I usually prefer the more forceful flavour of a 100 % pure agave tequila. However, I was rather pleased with the Alamo Gold which demonstrated a light complexity alongside a light cane-like sweetness. While the spirit probably would not engage me as a sipping tequila, as a mixer it is pleasant. Palomas, Maragaritas, and especially Toreadors all work well with the Alamo Gold.

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 Cocktail

Toreador

1 1/2 oz Alamo (Gold) Tequila
3/4 oz  Bols Apricot Brandy
3/4 oz  Fresh Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
ice

Add the first four ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a lemon slice (optional)

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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!

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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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