Cabresto Don Silver Reserve Series Extra Añejo Tequila
Review: Cabresto Don Silver Reserve Series Extra Añejo Tequila (92/100)
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published June 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.
Any day of the week, the Lopez family can be found toiling away at Lopez Tire and Auto Accessories at the corner of Vernor and Waterman in Detroit. The tire shop has enabled Silverio to progressively buy up farm land in Mexico and ultimately fulfill the American dream, which is a spectacular achievement for an immigrant who came to the United States with almost nothing.
On March 7th, 2016 Tequila Cabresto released the latest addition to their line of premium tequila, Don Silver Reserve Series Extra Añejo. This is a 100 % agave tequila which (according to the media information sent to me) has been aged for seven years in American white oak former whiskey barrels.
Although the Cabresto website does not specify the exact distillery which produces this agave spirit, I did notice that the identified NOM on the bottom of the label 1509. This 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. In this case the producing distillery is Tequila Embajador who incidentally also produce Alma de Agave and of course Embajador Tequila.
In the Bottle 4/5
Cabresto is currently the process of rebranding their logo and bottle. While my reviews of the Cabresto Silver and Reposado Tequila featured a medium tall rectangular bottle, the new Don Silver Reserve Series Extra Añejo was released in Tequila Cabresto‘s new shorter more premium bottle with its modernized logo. (Apparently Cabresto Silver and Reposado will be following shortly if they have not already received the makeover).
Although the press release I was sent advertises this spirit as a 7-year-old expression, I see nothing on the label to indicate that age. This is a major oversight by the brand owner. Seven year old tequila spirits are a rare commodity and showing this age on the label would certainly lift the image of the brand. As well I wish the brand owners had provided a little more information regarding the brand owner’s family run business and their roots in both Detroit and Mexico. This information would surely be of interest to their potential customers. (It could be accommodated on the back label.)
In the Glass 9/10
The spirit has a nice warm amber colour in the glencairn, and when I tilt that glass and give it a slow twirl I see the crest which forms at the top of the oily sheen drops medium-sized leglets which amble back down the side of the glass at a moderate pace. Throughout the entire line-up of Cabresto Tequila I have been impressed at how everything is as it is supposed to be from a visual standpoint. There is no evidence of added colour or added sweetness within any of their tequila spirits.
The extra-añejo spirit brings light sandalwood and oak spices into the air alongside a nice rich agave presence. Light caramel scents accent the agave and the oak, and as I continue to nose the glass the three aspects of the aroma seem to merge together forming a lightly sweet impression of agave oak syrup. Peppery spices build up as does the firm earthy agave presence. Tea leaves, bits of milk chocolate and hints of cinnamon round out the nose which is very inviting.
In the Mouth 56/60
The aroma translates very well through the palate making the aged agave spirit a pleasing sipper. Although the spirit is advertised to be 7 years old, the oak is not dominant nor burdensome. Rather the fine oak spices are entwined into the flavour of agave and pepper giving the spirit a good balance of complementary flavours. The agave is earthy and warm and the peppery highland spice is content to glow without becoming heated.
The spirit is perfect to sip neat or with a small lump of ice. It also works great in classic cocktails such as an Añejo Old Fashioned. An Autumn Margarita would be an excellent choice for a cocktail as well (see my suggested recipe below).
In The Throat 14/15
The medium to light body of the spirit implies a relatively short crisp finish. Agave spice glows on the palate with hints of cinnamon and a sprinkling of tea leaves. There is also a pleasing sweetness which balances compliments the spice. The Cabresto Extra Añejo really is a very pleasant sipper.
The Afterburn 9/10
I have traversed the entire line-up of Caresto Tequila during the past two months. At every turn, I have been extremely pleased. This is the first time I have encountered any of the agave spirits produced at the Tequila Embajador distillery. It seems to me that perhaps I should be making it a priority to seek out some more of their tequila brands.
My final score for the Extra Anejo from Cabresto is 92/100. This represents an excellent sipping tequila which I plan to hoard for myself from this point forward.
You may read some of my other Tequila Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
Here is a recipe which combines the slightly rougher Cabresto Reposado with the more full flavoured Cabresto Extra Anejo. Some may say that mixing a wonderful sipping tequila with its younger sibling in a sour style cocktail is heresy; I counter with the observation that the results are delicious!
1 oz Cabresto Reposado Tequila
1 oz Cabresto Exta Anejo Tequila
1 oz fresh Orange Juice
1/2 oz fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Add the first six ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a lemon slice
Please 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!
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)