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Herencia Historico Tequila 27 de Mayo 1997 Extra- Anejo (5 Years)

Review: Herencia Historico Tequila – 27 de Mayo 1997 (85/100)
Extra Anejo 5 Anos Cristalino       

a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published June 26, 2016

Herencia Tequila is 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila produced by TEQUILAS DEL SEÑOR, S. A. DE C. V.,  a mid-sized, fourth generation family company located in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The company was founded in 1943 and currently produces a number of tequila brands which include, Reserva del Señor, Sombrero, Tekali, and of course Herencia de Plata.

Herencia Historico Tequila 27 de Mayo 1997 was created by Tequilas del Senor to commemorate the recognition of the domination of origin, TEQUILA which was signed in Brussels Belgium, on May 27, 1997. Three expressions commemorate this historical event, the Extra Anejo 15 Anos, the Extra Anejo 5 Anos, and the Extra Anejo 5 Anos Cristalino. All of these expressions are 100 % Agave tequilas which have been aged in oak casks imported from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The Cristalino (which is the subject of this review) is aged for 5 years and is then triple filtered to produce an almost clear spirit which is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.

Historica Cristalino SAM_2582In the Bottle 4.5/5

Herencia Historico is available in a wooden box (not shown) that is constructed from wood that was previously part of the oak aging casks used to mature fine spirits. Within the wooden gift box is a Herencia Historico long stem Riddell Tequila Gass.

The bottle within the box (shown left) is a medium tall, heavy glass decanter which is sealed with a crystal topped synthetic cork stopper. The labeling is attractive with a dark blue background accented by silver lettering.

I like the overall presentation, and I think the spirit looks great upon my Tequila shelf.

In the Glass 8.5/10

The tequila inside my bottle of Herencia Historico Cristalino Tequila is not completely clear, rather it has a very pale straw-like hue. When I spoke to the importer (Westway Imports), he explained that the filtering process does not necessarily make the spirit clear. The spirit undergoes a triple filtration process, however the purpose of the filtration is not necessarily to make the spirit completely clear, it is to temper the oakiness of the spirit which allows the agave to have a more dominant expression. Different batches have slightly different hues with some being almost clear and others being the very pale straw colour of my bottle.

The nose is very interesting as the filtering has muted much of the oak and wood spice to the point that all I can decipher (of the woody notes) is a light piny scent which resembles sandalwood. The typically strong earthy note of agave has only a fraction of its former power as well. Within these muted scents of oak and agave are additional mild herbal aromas (menthol and licorice) and a pleasingly sweet smell of toasted marshmallow. In fact, the overall impact upon the nose is reminiscent of a lightly aged gin, especially that light piny scent of the oak.

In the Mouth  51/60

The spirit is buttery, and I taste some spicy pepper and earthy agave melded into mildly sweet impressions of marshmallow and vanilla pudding. Flecks of cinnamon and mint are sprinkled in along with an underlying flavour of macadamia nut  which adds to the buttery mouth feel.

Sipping the 5 Year Old Cristalino Tequila is quite easy. The combination of the triple filtering process and the lower than normal alcohol proof has buffed out all the rough spots. However, along with those rough spots, some of the character which I associate with aged tequila has been buffed away as well. Although I am enjoying sipping the spirit, I cannot help but think that more has been lost than has been gained by the filtering and the lower alcohol proof.

I wonder to myself if the intent of the producer was to make this Herencia Historico spirit more approachable for the cocktail enthusiast. Perhaps a spirit to compete with ultra premium Vodka. To test this I mixed a Cosmopolitan style cocktail (see recipe below) and served it to a few of my friends. The unanimous consensus was that my Metro Mexico mixed drink was quite a very nice way to enjoy the Cristalino Tequila.

In the Throat 12.5/15

The spirit has a long buttery finish with light flavours of agave and pepper ebbing within a light caramel sweetness. Some oakiness appears in the exit in the form of sandal wood and fine wood spice; but as quickly as it appears it is lost within the lingering flavours of the agave and pepper.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

I suspect that the Cristalino from Herencia is a bit of an experimental spirit. It reminds me somewhat of the new wave of aged rums which have been filtered clear to be used a premium cocktail mixers. The result is a suave spirit which is easy to sip, but one which does not bring the full character of agave tequila to the glass. Perhaps a higher alcohol proof would have brought more of this character forward.

My final score is 85/100 indicates that I believe there is merit in this approach, but more work needs to be done before I can fully embrace the new style.

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:

Metro Mex SAM_2605

One of the modern classic cocktails I love to work with is the Cosmopolitan which mixes Vodka and Orange Liqueur with Cranberry and Lime juices. It is an excellent serving which never fails to please my friends when we have our Vodka Tastings. A few years ago, I came upon the idea of tweaking the Cosmopolitan using Tequila as its base rather than Vodka. I called this new recipe of mine, Metro Mexico, and I discovered it worked very well with both Blanco and Reposado Tequila.  A few weeks ago when I was introduced to the Ultra Premium Herencia Historico Tequila – 27 de Mayo 1997 Cristalino Extra Anejo Tequila (see note below), I knew that I had to mix at least one Metro Mexico with this commemorative spirit.

Metro Mexico

2 ounces Herencia Historico Cristalino
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce Cranberry juice
1/2 ounce Lime Juice
Bar spoon of  sugar syrup (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients over ice.
Strain into a suitable glass

Garnish with a lime slice

Please Remember, the aim of my blog is not to encourage you to drink more, it is to encourage you to drink better!!

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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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