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Camarena Silver Tequila

Review: Camarena Silver Tequila   82/100
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published May 12, 2016

Camarena is a relatively new tequila brand launched in 2010 by six generation tequila producer, Familia Camarena. The spirit is produced at the Tequila Supremo Distillery (Nom 1456 CRT) and is apparently distributed throughout North America by E.& J. Gallo Winery.

The Camerena Silver Tequila is produced from 100% Blue Weber agaves, grown in the rich red clay and cool climate of the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. As a Highland Tequila, we can expect Camarena to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the delivery and in the finish. (This is as opposed to lowland tequila which has strong earthy flavours of agave and less hot pepper.)

Camerena SilverIn the Bottle 4/5

I am not sure why I do not like the bottle presentation more. The flask style bottle is nice, and it is sealed with a wooden topped screw cap closure. Yet I find myself slightly disappointed when I look at my bottle on the tequila shelf. I think the problem is with the light blue labels on the neck and on the bottom part of the bottle. These turquoise labels are contrasted with silver lettering. Silver on dark blue would certainly ‘pop’ more.

In the Glass 8/10

When I pour myself a small sample of the clear spirit, I am immediately aware of the spicy ‘pop’ the blanco tequila brings to the breezes above my glass. Looking at the spirit in the glass, I see it is clear with no hint of colour.  I gave my glass a light tilt and a slow swirl and discovered a light sheen of tequila was left on the inside of the glass which slowly disappeared giving up only a few thin slender legs.

When I brought the glass to my nose, I discovered a heated agave aroma with spicy white pepper scents rising into the breezes above the glass. There is a very evident vegetal earthiness apparent which warns me that this spirit is going to have a fruity agave punch to go along with its overt spiciness. Fortunately, I also notice some soothing menthol-like aromas which may salvage my tonsils.

In the Glass 49.5/60

I braced myself for the first sip not knowing really what to expect. My first impression was one of surprise as the spirit did not possess the bite I was expecting. The intense spiciness which was hinted at on the nose was muted and the fruity agave found even more expression upon the palate than it had in the breezes. I taste grilled pineapple, zucchini and garden squash underlain by black pepper and citrus zest. Despite the somewhat muted spiciness, I would not necessarily call the Camarena Silver a smooth spirit. A firm mushy vegetal quality lurks underneath which dissuades me from sipping.

I am not really overly concerned by my observations to this point as based upon the attractive price which I have seen the Camarena Silver listed at, I suspected from the outset that its destiny would be within a nice cocktail or bar drink. I decided to mix a Margarita and found the resulting mixed drink very much to my liking. Just enough of the agave presence pushes through the cocktail to give it character, yet it remained very approachable at the same time. I mixed a Paloma next (see recipe below) and was again pleased with my tall cocktail. In mixed drinks the Camarena Silver should be a crowd-pleaser.

In The Throat  12.5/15

Although the spiciness is tempered, the spirit nonetheless seems a little rough and tumble. There is a touch of alcohol astringency which heats the throat just a little too much, and the flavours seem to lose expression as the tequila goes down. There is a soft glow of fruity agave left behind, but not much else.

The Afterburn  8.0/10

Camerena Silver is a solid mixing tequila great for Palomas and Margaritas, and if you want a 100 % agave spirit which will please a party crowd, then this blanco tequila certainly fits the bill. As a sipping or shooting tequila it misses the mark by a few hairs, but as an economical choice for that aforementioned party crowd, it hits the nail on the head.

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:

Paloma SAM_2517Paloma

1 1/2 oz Camarena Silver Tequila
3 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar syrup (1:1)
Ice
Fill with Soda

Fill a tall tumbler with Ice
Mix the first four ingredients in a mixing glass
Add to the ice filled tumbler
Complete with soda
Garnish with fresh grapefruit if desired
(For best results use fresh chilled ingredients)

Enjoy 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!

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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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