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Don Julio Blanco Tequila

Review: Don Julio Blanco Tequila (87.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Refreshed March, 2029

Don Julio is a 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila made from agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. As a highland tequila,we can expect the Don Julio to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the finish. The company was established by Don Julio González, who apparently began to examine the prospect of making his own Tequila in 1942.

The identified NOM on the back label of the bottle is 1449 CRT. 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 by researching this we can discover exactly which distillery produces each brand of tequila. It came as no surprise to me to discover that the Don Julio Brand is produced at the Don Julio Tequila Distillery located in Atotonilco, Jalisco. This distillery also produces the 3 Magueyes tequila brand.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

To the left is a bottle shot of Don Julio Blanco. I really like the distinctive bottle with its light blue colour. The labeling is attractive, and I like that the bottle is sealed with a very nice high density cork which gives me that nice satisfying ‘pop’ when I open it.

Each bottle is individually numbered which reinforces the impression that the spirit is crafted rather than manufactured.

In the Glass 8.5/10

After I poured a little of the Don Julio spirit into my glencairn, I tilted my glass and gave it a swirl, I saw only a light oily sheen which disappears over time rather than releases legs. Soft peppery notes come forward out of the glass, followed by lemon and lime citrus juices. Muted fruity agave and a hint of vanilla waft into the air as well providing just a little more softness. I allowed the glass to breathe, and the aroma did not change significantly. I was hoping the agave notes would grow in the glass, but the scent remained quite mellow.

In the Mouth 53/60

Don Julio Blanco has a smooth presence in the mouth with soft agave flavours combined with warm citrus. I use the term ‘soft’ agave to try to give an indication that the typically earthy and punky flavour of agave is restrained in this spirit to the point where I cannot really call it punky or earthy anymore. It resembles a taste which sits somewhere between the flavours of cucumber and squash; but it has a more herbaceous quality than either. Citrus flavours reminiscent of lemon-lime and perhaps a touch of passion fruit are melded into the agave. As you sip on the Don Julio, the citrus begins to turn peppery in the mouth with flavours of citrus zest and scattered white pepper.

I mixed a Margarita and I can see why this tequila is a favourite for many. The soft agave flavour meshes extremely well with the lime making a very tasty cocktail which would please any crowd. Afterwards, I mixed a Paloma Cocktail and was pleased that the tequila was also able to shine in a tall bar drink with soda as well.

In the Throat 13/15

When sipped neat, I taste warm agave and citrus flavours in the exit which give way to spicy citrus zest and white pepper in a finish which is crisp and smooth.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

Don Julio Blanco is a soft refined spirit. It works well as a shooting tequila, and makes really nice cocktails. The agave flavour is perhaps not a strong as many aficionados would prefer; but on the flip side, the spirit has a smooth clean taste that will be accessible to a wide variety of palates.

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 Recipes

The Don Julio Margarita

2 oz Blanco Tequila
1 oz fresh Lime Juice
7/8 oz Bols Triple Sec
1/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Lime Peel

Combine all ingredients in a large metal shaker and add ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a suitable cocktail glass with a salt rim
Garnish with a coil of lime

Please enjoy this indulgence responsibly!

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The Paloma cocktail mixes Grapefruit juice, soda tequila in a highball style. It is extremely refreshing and delicious. I like to kick it up just a notch by adding a touch of acidity in the form of lime juice.

Paloma

2 oz Don Julio Blanco
2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar syrup (1:1)
Ice
soda

Add plenty of ice to a tall glass
Add the first four ingredients and stir
Fill with soda
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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