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Corralejo Triple Distilado Reposado Tequila

Review: Corralejo Triple Distilado Reposado Tequila   (88.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted February 26, 2018

Hacienda Corralejo was established in 1775 by Don Pedro Sanchez de Tagle in the Mexican State of Guanajuato. The distillery (Nom 1368 CRT) uses traditional methods of fermentation and distillation with clay ovens used to cook the agave and copper pot stills used for the distillation.

Corralejo Triple Distilado Reposado Tequila is a 100 % Blue Weber agave reposado tequila which undergoes an unusual distillation process. The fermented agave juice is first distilled through a copper pot still, then through a column still, and once more through the copper pot still. This makes the spirit lighter than a typical Reposado Tequila which would normally be distilled twice through a copper pot still.

As a reposado spirit, the Corralejo Triple Distilado must be aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels of any size. In the case of the Corralejo brand the company typically uses charred American oak barrels. The Corralejo website indicates the spirit is bottled at 38 % alcohol by volume which is probably true for the domestic market; however, my sample bottle (available in Canada) is labelled, 40 % alcohol by volume which is also the bottling proof of the spirit in the USA.

Corralejo Triple Distilled Tequila – Front Shot

In the Bottle 4/5

To the left is the front shot of the Triple Distilled Corralejo Tequila. A side view is shown below and to the left. I am not fond of the bottle shape which seems more like a large perfume bottle than it does a tequila bottle.My wife thought it looked like a genie bottle and wondered if we should rum it and ask for three wishes.

The bottle is also cumbersome on my tequila shelf as well as it takes up a more room than the other bottles unless I turn it sideways. If I do turn it sideways I think this will cause me to overlook the spirit in favour of others more ergonomic bottles when I am choosing a tequila spirit to serve my guests.

A saving grace if the cork topper which elevated the presentation and the long neck which makes pouring easier.

Corralejo Triple Distilled – Side shot

In the Glass 8.5/10

I poured the Triple Distilled Corralejo Reposado into my glencairn glass and saw that the spirit has that pale straw colour consistent with a tequila which has spent a short time in oak. When I tilted my glass and gave it a slow swirl I noticed that the crest which formed on top of the light sheen on the inside of the glass gave up small droplets which formed slender legs which ran somewhat quickly back into the bottom of the glass.

The nose was quite retrained. The breezes brought me a light mixture of butterscotch, fruity agave and mild white pepper. There are additional hints of lime and vanilla which I did not notice when I reviewed the Corralejo Reposado last year. I suspect the triple distillation has muted the normally aggressive agave and white pepper allowing me to notice nuances which lie underneath. There is a light honey-like sweetness which builds slightly, and I like how all of the scents and smells are in unison. Hints of oak and light impressions of tea have joined the breezes as well. Although the triple distilled agave spirit is far less aggressive than I normally would prefer, I am finding myself appreciating the light nuances which I would normally miss.

In the Glass 53.5/60

My appreciation for the triple distilled reposado spirit continued to grow as I sipped from my glencairn glass. The spirit seemed to be breaking the rules by being much lighter and much less aggressive in the glass than a typical Reposado Tequila, but the bonus was a plethora of light nuances that I could enjoy as I tasted the agave spirit. It would be true to say that fruity agave and white pepper still dominated the spirit, but it was a benevolent domination which allows me to also enjoy light flavours of lime, vanilla and oak spice. Looking for more in my glass I notice a touch of baking spice (cinnamon) and a very light smattering of Oolong tea.

The spirit is easy to sip but what I really wanted to do is to make a few cocktails. I began with the quintessential agave cocktail, the  Margarita, and found the combination of light agave and lime very enjoyable. It was a more relaxing cocktail as the lime pushed through much more firmly tan the agave did. This gave me the idea to widen my repertoire of citrus. My wife had just bought some Tangelos and so I used their citrus juice in conjunction with lime to create a new Margarita drink.

I suspect I will be mixing a few more of my Tangelo Margaritas in the near future (see recipe below).

In the Throat 13/15

As a tripled distilled spirit, the exit is smooth and light. I seem to notice more flavours in the finish than were apparent in the delivery as light impressions of lime, white pepper and oak spice, vanilla, and butterscotch mingle with equally light impressions of herbal mint and earthy fruit during and after the swallow.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

When I reviewed the Corralejo Blanco and Reposado spirits previously, I was not thrilled by the muted agave which I felt took away from my enjoyment of these Corralejo spirits. However, the Corralejo Triple Distilled Reposado has placed me on the other side of the fence. The agave presence within the spirit is actually muted even further; but this time there is a reward as new flavour nuances have come forward which I enjoyed thoroughly. I suspect those light flavours were present as well in the reposado and blanco spirits; but that the agave within those spirits was just strong enough that I could not notice them as readily. It appears that I enjoy my tequila either bold or extremely light, but not in that land in between.

The Corralejo Triple Distilled Reposado brings me a very enjoyable light agave flavour combined with light nuances from the short time spent in oak. I suspect you will enjoy this combination as well.

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

Tangelos are a hybrid cross between a Duncan grapefruit and a Dancy tangerine. The flavour of this hybrid citrus is closely associated with the tangerine and the great news for cocktail buffs is that the Tangelo is noted for its mild sweet flavour and its juiciness. Thus, they are excellent  choices for fresh cocktails.

Tangelo Margarita

2 oz Tequila (Corralejo Triple Distilado Reposado)
1 1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Tangelo Juice
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (1:1)
Ice
Tangelo Peel

Add the first ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a coil of Tangelo peel
Enjoy!

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 rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail 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!
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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