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Herradura Anejo

Review: Herradura Anejo Tequila   (86/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Revised May 14, 2018

The Herradura Tequila brand is owned by Brown-Froman. It is produced thirty miles from Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco, in the town of Amatitan, at Brown – Forman Tequila Distillery Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. which is also referred to as Hacienda Herradura. The spirit produced here uses agave cooked in traditional old stone ovens, and distilled on old copper pot stills.

The subject of this review, the Herradura Anejo is a true 100% Weber Blue agave tequila.According to the Brown-Forman website:

Herradura Añejo matures in the barrel for 25 months, which is more than double the 1-year age requirement for a tequila to be considered an Añejo by Mexico law. This aging gives it both a deep amber color and a complex, spicy taste. Herradura Añejo was introduced by Casa Herradura in 1962.

The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume for the North American market.

In the Bottle  4.5/5

Herradura Anejo Tequila comes in  a squat, clear, rectangular glass bottle pictured to the left . I like the horse-shoe shaped logo/label and the style which the bottle projects. This presentation is professional and consistent throughout the Herradura line-up with the only difference between the Silver, the Reposado, and the Anejo being in the colour scheme chosen for each spirit.

The Nom identifier on the side label is 1119. This identifies the distillery of origin as the Brown – Forman Tequila Distillery (Nom 1119) which also produces the  well-known brand, El Jimador.

In the Glass 8.5/10

When poured into my glencairn, the aged spirit displays itself as a pale straw coloured liquid with a slightly oily texture. When I tilt and twirl my glass the liquid sheen on the inside which slowly releases a multitude of leglets which turn to s slender legs which run back down to the whisky at the bottom of the glass.

Like the previously reviewed Silver and Reposado spirits, the Herradura Anejo brings firm aromas of earthy lowland agave into the breezes above the glass which reminds me of baked squash and grilled zucchini. I notice fine oak spices, a touch of caramel, and a sweep of vanilla accenting the fruity lowland agave. There are some additional notes of black pepper, and some more earthy notes which I liken to banana or maybe plantain. A hint of chocolate and some notes of Oolong tea round out the aroma.

The time spent in oak seems to have buffed off some of the rough edges which were noted in the younger expressions although there is still a bit of rough and tumble in the air.

In the Mouth 51.5/60

The spirit has a lightly soft somewhat oily texture. Firm fruity agave gives the spirit a strong lowland character. Black pepper breaks through heating the palate, and then some light oak flavours of caramel and vanilla come through as well. The overall flavour is more balanced than either the Silver or the Reposado was. Although fruity agave dominates, the oak and the characteristic tequila spice play a strong role as well. I find that when I sip the spirit over ice, the tequila is quite pleasing with additional flavours of raisin, chocolate and perhaps even a touch of walnut appearing.

Although I liked the flavour of the Herradura Anejo over ice, I preferred it much more when mixed in a short cocktail. A modified Old Fashioned is a good choice with a dollop of orange liqueur used instead of sugar syrup and just a touch of chocolate bitters (see recipe below).

In the Throat 13/15

The finish is peppery, and full of earthy agave. I seem to taste impressions of green apples and raisins as I swallow with some baking spice and herbal menthol settling in afterwards.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

Herradura is a fruitier, earthy style of tequila made from lowland agave. The flavour is more vegetal with the agave fruit rather than the agave spice being the star of the show. With the Anejo tequila, some of that fruity punch has been muted which allows that spice to have a little more expression. The oak is felt gently adding a bit of depth and character. Although I found I enjoyed sipping the anejo spirit, I will be much more likely to enjoy the recipe I am sharing down below.

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

The Old Fashioned Cocktail is usually associated with Whisky or perhaps brandy, and it only recently has become acceptable as a Tequila Cocktail. This is perhaps because the flavour characteristic of tequila (anejo or otherwise) does not lend itself easily to this simple cocktail. What I have found is that rather than adding simple syrup as the sweetener, a better course of action is to add a mixture of agave syrup and orange Curacao. In particular the orange Curacao plays wonderfully with aged tequila. I like to omit the brandied/maraschino cherry garnish used so frequently by other and instead add the more traditional garnish, a small strip of orange peel.

Tequila Añejo Old Fashioned

2 oz Herradura Anejo Tequila
1/4 oz Orange Curacao
1/8 oz Agave Syrup
dash Aztec Chocolate Bitters (Fees Brothers)
ice
Lemon Peel

Build in a rocks glass
Stir gently to mix the ingredients
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!

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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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