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Cabrito Reposado Review

Review: Cabrito Reposado Tequila   84/100
Review by Chip Dykstra
May 19, 2020

Cabrito is a Tequila Brand owned by the Phillips Distilling Co.. The agave spirit is produced by Tequila Centinela, S.A. de C.V. (Nom 1140). (This is the same distillery which produces Centinela Tequila). The distillery is located in the Arandas, Jalisco which is the main tequila production center in the Los Altos highlands.

Cabrito Tequila is produced from 100 % agave grown in the Los Altos highlands. Tequila produced from highland agave typically exhibits strong fruity citrus notes and has a little squeal of hot pepper in the finish.  In the case of Cabrito, their harvested agave is cooked in a stone oven. The cooked agave is shredded with a roller mill and the extracted juice is double distilled.

The Reposado Spirit was rested for a period of at least two month (but less than a year) in oak barrels and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4/5

Cabrito Reposado is presented in the 750 ml medium tall long-necked bottle pictured to the left. The label features a picture of a small goat which is an homage to the brand name, as ‘cabrito’ is a Spanish word for a young goat kid.

The bottle and labeling are satisfactory for an economy priced tequila which is what Cabrito is. The long neck makes pouring easier, and the plastic reinforced metallic screw cap closure is better than the common pressed on metal screw cap closure which I normally see on  economy offerings.  I have no real quibbles with what I see.

In the Glass 8.5/10

The Reposado spirit has a pale straw colour in the glass, and when I tilt my glencairn and give it a slow twirl I see small to medium-sized droplets forming at the crest. These droplet fall as slender legs back down to the spirit below.

The breezes above the glass are agave forward with the vegetal smells of baked squash and grilled pineapple combined with a light butterscotch and toasted bread. After a few moments, I begin to notice the familiar peppery notes of highland agave which are represented by impressions of citrus zest, green bell peppers and hints of white pepper.

In the Mouth 51/60

The tequila enters the mouth with a light butterscotch sweetness combined with punky agave. This is quickly followed by a squeal of peppery highland agave spice. I taste light impressions of almond and vanilla within the mild butterscotch. The fruity agave gives me impressions of grilled zucchini and plantain. There is also a very light smoky quality which seems to hint at tea leaves and leather. The highland spice reminds me of white pepper and lime zest. Interestingly, I find the Cabrito Reposado much smoother than the previously reviewed Cabrito Blanco (see here). I can sip the spirit over ice and I suspect it will work well as a shooter.

I seem to taste just a little firmer flavour of earthy agave than I would in a typical highland tequila spirit which makes me wonder if perhaps both highland and lowland agave have been used in Cabrito’s production. As I find that lemon mixes better than lime with lowland agave, I decide to mix a Picador as my feature cocktail (see recipe below).

In the Throat 13/15

As I indicated Cabrito Reposado seems much smoother than Cabrito Blanco which I tasted two years ago. The finish is lightly sweet with flavours of butterscotch and vanilla combined with fruity agave. After the swallow bite pf peppery spice settles in, but I do not feel any burn associated with alcohol.

The Afterburn  8.5/10

I have found it very interesting that Cabrito Reposado seems so much smoother that the Blanco spirit I tasted 2 years ago. I believe the spirits are made in much the same way with the only difference being the time the Reposado spirit has spent resting in oak. So I am left to wonder whether why the oak is having such a positive impact as it is more common for me to find only a small difference between Reposado and Blanco spirits from the same company. Perhaps the time spent in oak is much closer to one year than 2 months, or perhaps the oak itself is a higher quality (first or second fill vs third or fourth fill) barrel. Whatever the reason, I have a much higher recommendation for  Cabrito Reposado than I did for Cabrito Blanco.

My final score of 85/100 reflects my enthusiasm for Cabrito Reposado as both a sipping spirit over ice and as a cocktail spirit.

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 Serving:

My suggested serving is classic cocktail which can be found in W.J. Tarling’s, 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book, the Picador. What makes the Picador particularly interesting is that it represents an earlier form of the quintessential Tequila serving, the Margarita. In fact, if cocktails were dinosaurs, the Picador after it was rediscovered, might have began to replace the Margarita on cocktail menus and mixology books much the same way that the Apatosaurus has replaced the Brontosaurus in paleontology journals and science textbooks. (If you are curious just google “Apatosaurus vs Brontosaurus“.)

Cocktails are not dinosaurs however, and the Margarita has never shown any sign of disappearing. And in fact, the two cocktails are different enough that perhaps there is room for both on the Cocktail Menu. The first difference is that Margaritas are almost always made with lime juice, whereas the Picador can be made with either lemon or lime juice (or even both). The second difference is that the Margarita is meant to be served in a salt rimmed glass. The Picador (at least in its original form) is served sans salt. So I say, in much the same way that those aforementioned paleontologists are now finally saying, there is room for both. Small differences in structure are still differences. If we make the libation with lime and salt rimmed glasses we have made a Margarita. If we serve the bar drink without a salt rim (or made with lemon juice) we have made a Picador.

If you are wondering what possible difference this all makes, I just might have an answer. In my experience, I have found that lime juice tends to favour clean, peppery (usually highland) tequila, whereas lemon juice tends to favour earthy agave-rich (usually lowland) tequila. Of course, some highland tequila brands break the mold and have strong earthy flavours, and some lowland tequila brands break the other mold and have a strong peppery side. Its the flavour profile of the tequila, not the region where it is produced, that should be your guide.

And that is the case with Cabrito Reposado Tequila. There is just enough of the earthy agave such that it is more suited for a lemon based Picador.

Picador

2 oz Cabrito Reposado Tequila
1 oz Bols Triple Sec
1 oz fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
Ice
Lemon Slice (optional)

Add the three ingredients to your metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Double strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a slice of lemon (optional)

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more 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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