Cabresto Reposado Tequila
Review: Cabresto Reposado Tequila 90/100
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published May 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.
Cabresto Reposado Tequila is a pure 100% Agave tequila. The agave fields, and the distillery which produces the tequila are located in Atotonilco in the highlands of Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico. The harvested agave is cooked in an adobe furnace that softens the plant’s fibers and transforms its starches into sugars. Once cooked and rested the agave is passed through a shredder to separate the coarse fibers, then through rollers to squeeze out its sweet juice. Once distilled, the reposado tequila is aged in charred white oak barrels for a period of over six months, and then bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
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 among others.
In the Bottle 3.5/5
My feelings towards the Cabresto reposado bottle presentation are pretty much the same as the feelings I had towards the previously reviewed Cabresto Silver. The tequila arrives in a somewhat squat rectangular bottle shown to the left. The labeling is clear but perhaps lacks a bit of ‘pop’. Neither the front nor the back label give me any real information about the brand and if I encountered this bottle in a retail setting, I doubt if I would be inspired to purchase it. The topper looks to be a flimsy metallic screw cap which screams ‘bottom shelf’.
Note: Upon opening the bottle I discovered that the flimsy metal screw cap is reinforced with a plastic liner which provides a suitable seal. Of course, until one actually purchases a bottle and opens it, the fact that the screw cap performs better than it looks is immaterial.
In the Glass 8.5/10
When I pour the Cabresto Reposado into my glencairn glass, I see the spirit has a very light pale colour consistent with a reposado tequila which has spent just over 6 months in a charred white cask. The spirit has a slightly thickened consistency which gives the impression of an oily consistency and indeed when I tilt my glass and give it a slow twirl I see a thickened sheen on the inside of the glass. The crest which forms at the top is mildly stubborn but gives up medium-sized droplets which form slender legs that traverse back to the spirit at the bottom of the glass.
When I bring the spirit to my nose I notice the breezes carry a very light honeyed caramel scent into the air beside a warm punky agave fruit. There is some spicy white pepper and some mild indications of sandal wood and oak spice. The notes are not aggressive but they are firm. As the glass breathes I notice impressions of scattered tea leaves, a light herbal quality reminiscent of fall grass which has just turned dry enough to cut for hay, and bits of menthol. These impressions are slippery and vague but serve to give the Reposado Tequila a bit of added character.
In The Mouth 55.5/60
The spirit has a lightly sweet quality of butterscotch and honey at the front of the delivery. Earthy agave is melded into this sweetness giving the spirit a softness not often found in young reposado spirits. Mild impressions of milk chocolate and oolong tea are accented by even lighter impressions of vanilla, cinnamon and sandalwood. As we sip the palate begins to feel the heat of the highland spice, but this heat is tempered by the mild sweetness with the spirit and a light herbal menthol quality which comes through as the heat builds. The overall effect of the Cabresto reposado is of a nuanced spirit with a delicate finely balanced complexity. The mild flavours I taste are all melded wonderfully together giving me an impression of care and attention during the blending process.
As was the case with the Cabresto Silver, the Cabresto Reposado is well suited for sipping, and to be honest I would be inclined to select a rougher Reposado if I were to mix margarita style cocktails or tall soda filled servings. Using the construction of my Modern Gin Cocktail as my guide I set about creating a similar serving for the Cabresto Reposado (see recipe below). I must have been on the right track, as when I served the cocktail to my tasting group at my most recent Tequila tasting, there was unanimous support for this style of serving for the Cabresto Reposado.
In the Throat 13.5/15
The spirit is smooth and the light oily texture allows the flavours to linger. A soothing menthol and a lovely light sweetness serve to balance the building agave spiciness. Perhaps the flavours could be stronger in the exit, although that may also cause some of the lovely nuances to be missed.
The Afterburn 9/10
Cabresto Reposado Tequila is a very nice sipper. Soft earthy agave combines almost perfectly with delicate flavours of milk chocolate, Oolong tea, vanilla, cinnamon and sandalwood. And there is just enough spice to heat the palate between sips. A hardened Tequila aficionado may long for a stronger punch of flavour and spice, but there is something to be said for enjoying the nuances instead.
My score for the Cabresto Reposado (90/100) did not quite match the height of its sibling the Cabresto Silver (93.5/100), but on those days when I want a relaxed sipping tequila, it still fits the bill very nicely.
You may read some of my other Tequila Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
Cabresto Reposado Tequila is a very nice agave spirit which is easy to sip. I wanted to craft a cocktail which enhanced the sipping experience rather than one which would hide or diminish the spirit. The recipe I came up with is very similar to the cocktail recipes which had began to evolve in the late 1800s (see, American and Other Drinks, 1878 Leo Engels) where only a small amount of sweetener and bitters are used to complement the spirit.
I chose to call this particular libation Los Altos Finesse.
Los Altos Finesse
2 oz Cabresto Reposado Tequila
1/8 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao
1/8 oz Agave Syrup
2 drops Fees Cocktail Bitters
Place the Tequila, Orange Curacao, and Agave syrup into a metal shaker with the bitters
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a small rocks glass
Garnish with a strip of Orange Peel
Please enjoy the spirits and cocktails I recommend responsibly
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!
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)