Dulce Vida Organic Rocky Mountain (Añejo Tequila)
Review: Dulce Vida Organic Rocky Mountain (Añejo Tequila) 94/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published on January 31, 2016
Dulce Vida Tequila is produced from 100% organic agave grown in the Los Altos highlands which are situated in the Tequila Region of Mexico. The company produces the only 100° proof, 100% organic tequila (also free from additives of any kind) in the world. As well as being 100% organic, their tequila is also produced in a manner which embraces the concept of sustainability. During production of the spirit a complete waste recapture program is set in place which results in the production of a nutrient-rich soil supplement which is supplied to the local farming community. As well, the methane gas which is produced as a by-product of the waste collection & processing is captured and utilized to help power Dulce Vida’s production facilities in the village of San Ignacio Cerro Gordo at Campanario (in Mexico of course).
Although the Dulce Vida 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 1443. 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 it is the Don Pilar Distillery who of course also produce Don Pilar Tequila.
Dulce Vida Organic Rocky Mountain Edition is a special selection of barrels chosen by Dulce Vida’s Colorado State Manager to appeal to the light, crisp air of the Rocky Mountains’ high altitude and outdoor environment. The Añejo Tequila was aged in these single barrels in the Los Altos region of Jalisco at 1790 meters of altitude in the dry, crisp climate of San Ignacio Cerro Gordo near Arandas, also known as Tierra Colorada.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
The spirit arrives in a tall slender bottle shown to the left. More and more of the Tequila spirits I have been reviewing lately seem to be arriving in some form of this tall slender bottle. These bottles have good eye appeal; however they do have the drawback of being rather difficult to place upon my tequila shelf which is constructed for the more typical short and squat tequila bottle. The ‘slender tallness’ of this style of bottle has the additional drawback of being a bit unstable requiring only a small jostle to knock it over.
Having said that,the bottle is sealed with a nice synthetic cork closure, and included upon the label of each bottle is the batch number from which the bottle was produced.My particular bottle sates that is from Batch 920. I am uncertain; but I believe the spirit was bottled from individual barrels which would make that Barrel No. 920.
In the Glass 9.5/10
When I poured the Rocky Mountain Añejo into my glencairn glass I saw that the spirit was a very pale straw colour consistent with a spirit which has sat for less than two years in a refilled oak barrel. It was in fact the palest of the Dulce Vida Anejo Tequila which I have reviewed. When I tilted the glass and gave it a slow twirl, I saw a light sheen of spirit on the inside of the glass the crest of which held back for only a few moments before dropping very thin legs which disappeared before reaching the bottom of the glass.
The initial scents above the glass carry impressions of fine oak spices and sandalwood interspersed with wisps of butterscotch, honey and vanilla. As I inspected the breezes I soon noticed a very well-defined highland spiciness (white pepper and lime zest) coming forward which was accented very nicely with the light earthy aroma of agave fruit. Pineapple, pumpkin and baked squash all seem to be hinted at. I also notice some pumpkin spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a delicate dusting of allspice). A few scattered tea leaves and a very delicate impression of milk chocolate round out the aroma which is extremely inviting.
In the Mouth 56/60
The first sip is surprising carrying lightly sweet impressions of honeyed butterscotch and vanilla alongside herbal impressions of menthol-like camphor with bits of anise, heather, and cinnamon. These initial flavour impressions are accompanied by a firm highland spiciness which runs through the tequila. I also seem to taste delicate flavours of milk chocolate and earl grey tea which tag along for the ride. As with the other Dulce Vida Añejo tequila I have sampled recently, the Lone Star III and the Dulce Vida Añejo, I am struck by how the alcohol intensity of a 100 proof spirit is kept in check.
Sipping is quite marvelous, but I decided that a few cocktails are not out of bounds either. I mixed an Anejo Margarita and the result was very satisfying. Then I decided to get a little creative and I mixed a short cocktail based upon my original Medusa Coil. (I simply replaced the Cognac in the recipe with Añejo Tequila, and then tweaked the proportions to suit my taste.) The short cocktail was delicious, and I can say with confidence that the Dulce Vida Rocky Mountain Edition Añejo Tequila is both a great sipping tequila and a great mixing tequila. (See Recipe Below)
In the Throat 14/15
The finish is soothing with mild flavours of menthol-like camphor and light bits of cinnamon (and a touch of chocolate) lingering within the peppery agave heat. The spirit is surprising smooth for considering the high alcohol content.
The Afterburn 10/10
The Dulce Vida Organic Rocky Mountain Edition Añejo Tequila is yet another fine spirit in the Dulce Vida line-up. The oak barrels which had previously rested in the altitudes of Colorado have imparted some delicate yet very appealing nuances of flavour to the spirit. These impressions of camphor, anise and heather are more familiar to me as flavour impressions I receive when I taste agricole rhum; however I have determined that they are very welcome as flavour accents within the profile of a fine aged highland tequila spirit.
My Score is quite high (94/100), I offer Dulce Vida my congratulations on a job very well done!
You may read some of my other Tequila Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
The Ice Wyrm
2 oz Dulce Vida Rocky Mountain Añejo
1/8 oz Luxardo Amaretto
1/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 dash Fees Cocktail Bitters
1/8 oz Simple Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Add the first five ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a coil of lemon peel
Add a small lump of ice to the center of the lemon coil
Please Enjoy Responsibly!
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!
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)