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Herradura Silver Tequila

Review: Herradura Silver Tequila   (83.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Revised April 30, 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 the Brown – Forman Tequila Distillery Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V..

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 the Brown – Forman Tequila Distillery Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V..

Herradura is produced from agave grown in the lowlands. This is important to know, because lowland agave will usually bring more earthy/punky flavours through the distillation than highland agave which tends to bring spice and citrus. The lowland character of the Herradura tequila was obvious during my tasting sessions and dealing with the strong earthy flavours of the spirit was particularly significant during cocktail construction.

The subject of this review, the Herradura Silver is a true 100% Weber Blue agave tequila. The agave used is cooked in old stone ovens, and distilled on old copper pot stills. When I tasted the Herradurra spirit several years ago I was told that it was an unaged spirit intended to bring to the palate the true unaltered taste of lowland tequila. I notice this time that my media notes make the assertion the spirit has been aged for 45 days in American Oak barrels which is meant to bring a touch of refinement to the spirit. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume for the North American Market.

In the Bottle  4.5/5

Herradura Silver Tequila arrives 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 back 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

Interestingly, as you can see from my photo, the silver tequila appears to have a very faint tinge of yellowish/green colour. This colour is a result of its short stay in the American Oak barrel. Apparently the spirit is not filtered clear after the short maturation.

Once I pour Herradura Silver into my glass, my nose is immediately greeted with an intense, earthy, agave scent. This was exactly what I encountered when I sampled the spirit several years ago. The wave of earthy agave is hard to get past, and I found myself letting the glass sit for several minutes before I began to write my tasting notes.

There seems to be a bit of sharpness in the breezes, which is expected considering that this is a lightly aged spirit. I notice a firm earthy agave scent which to me resembles the aroma of baked squash with grilled zucchini and pineapple. As the glass breathes I begin to notice some lemon citrus and both lemon and orange peel. There are hints of menthol/mint and the spiciness of hot white pepper in the air as well. As I adjust to the overt agave aroma, very light indications of sandalwood and oak spice are noticed which bring ever so light impressions of tea and chocolate into the air. Overall the spirit is very complex, although perhaps a tad sharp and more than a tad intimidating.

In the Glass   51/60

The silver tequila has a soft feel in the mouth. Despite this softness, the spirit brings a firm bite across the palate with an equally firm earthy agave flavour. This firm earthy quality is characteristic of lowland tequila which brings a strong presence of earthy fruit with peppery spice playing a secondary role. As it was on the nose, it is hard to get past the herbaceous agave. which brings impressions of baked squash, pineapple, as well as herbal grasses. I seem to notice a flavour of granola in the mix, and there is a firm citrus component which I am just beginning to notice as well. Perhaps I taste some roasted coconut; perhaps there are some scattered tea leaves as well; but it is hard to tell, the agave is intense and it tends to drown out my ability to understand the lighter nuances underneath.

To be honest, the spirit is not enthralling me as a sipping tequila. A peppery bite has been building, and the firm agave is overwhelming me. This means I need to mix a few cocktails. As this is a lowland spirit, I decided to begin with a Toreador. I have found that Apricot Brandy (an ingredient in the Toreador) seems to favour lowland tequila in mixed drinks. When I mixed my Toreador, I found that the agave still dominated the cocktail more than I preferred. I decided to mix another, this time using only half the amount of tequila in the recipe, replacing the other half with vodka. This gave the cocktail the same alcohol punch, but toned down the intensity of the agave (see recipe below).  I liked this much better. In fact I liked it a lot!

There was also an intriguing cocktail on the Herradura website which also seemed to pull back on the firm agave flavour of the silver tequila. The Agave Seco mixes the silver tequila with Cointreau as well as Campari, orange juice and grapefruit juice (see here).

In the Throat 11.5/15

The finish is full of intense fruity agave and building white pepper. There is a firm bite of both spice and alcohol which batters my tonsils, although a touch of menthol and a bit of sweetness in the finish soothes the back of the throat somewhat.

The Afterburn 8/10

Herradura Silver Tequila is perhaps the quintessential lowland agave spirit. It practically bursts with earthy, fruity agave flavour. Having said that, I must confess the intensity of the spirit was a little too much for me when I tried sipping neat and over ice.

On a more positive note, I found that when mixed judiciously in cocktails, its overt flavour was welcome. This summer I think I will enjoy a few Palomas, and perhaps a few more of my modified Toreadors.

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 Cocktail

Estrella de la Tarde (Evening Star)
(a modified Toreador)

3/4 oz Herradura Silver Tequila
3/4 oz  Vodka
3/4 oz  Bols Apricot Brandy
3/4 oz  Fresh Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
ice

Add the first four ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a citrus peel.

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)

 

 

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