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Herradura Ultra Anejo Tequila

Review: Herradura Ultra Anejo Tequila   (84/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
April 25, 2019

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 Herradura 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 Ultra Anejo is a true 100% Weber Blue agave tequila. According to the Brown-Foreman website:

With the perfect blend of our premium Añejo and Extra Añejo barrels, ULTRA is a crystal-clear tequila. A subtle hint of agave nectar offers a superior taste that will transport tequila connoisseurs beyond smoothness.

Although the spirit is produced from aged tequila, a clear colour is achieved via a filtering process through activated charcoal that softens and crystallizes the blend of Añejo and extra Añejo tequila. Prior to filtering, a dab of pure agave nectar is added giving Ultra a light sweetness with hints of caramel and cooked agave. The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume for the North American market; my sample bottle however arrived from Mexico where the spirit is bottled at 35% abv.

In the Bottle  4.5/5

Herradura Anejo Ultra Tequila comes in  a squat, clear, rectangular glass bottle pictured to the left. I like the masculine style which the bottle projects. This presentation is professional and consistent throughout the Herradura line-up. Incidentally, the horseshoe or ‘herradura’ in Spanish, is an ancient symbol of good fortune and protection.

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 8/10

When I inspected my bottle of Herradura Ultra, I felt that despite the marketing claim that the spirit was filtered clear, my bottle seemed to house a spirit with a very light tincture of colour. When I poured the Ultra into my glencairn, this was confirmed as the spirit showed me a very light almond hue in the glass.

When I gave my glass a light tilt and slow twirl, I saw that the spirit was quite thin the light sheen imparted on the inside of my glass developed small leglets which fell as slender fast moving legs. As well as most of the colour from the aged tequila being removed by the proprietary filtration technique, apparently some of the heavier oily esters from the copper pot still have been removed as well.

The aroma from the glass would best be described as muted. While other expressions of Herradura tequila are awash with firm fruity lowland agave, the Ultra carries a much milder impression of vegetal agave which carries a sort of punky baked squash aroma. The light agave scent is accompanied by even lighter citrus and vanilla notes. Perhaps I am gleaning hints of almond and butterscotch as well.

To be honest, I am not sure what to think. The aroma is pleasant and implies a smooth spirit (no harshness at all) and so I will score it as such, but my feeling is that the spirit has lost much of its character for the sake of this smooth pleasantness.

In The Mouth 50.5/60

Herradura Ultra has a soft pleasing texture. The mildness continues as the spirit features muted flavours of cooked agave with hints of oak and vanilla. A light sweetness is present with hints of butterscotch, honey and caramel, as well as a very light nutty quality hinting at pecans and almonds. Although the spirit seems positioned to be a sipping tequila, I suspect many tequila aficionados will be disappointed by the tempered flavour they encounter.

Personally, I believe the spirit to be more suited to the cocktail shaker. The resulting Margaritas feature a less aggressive agave profile which should suit a wide variety of palates.

In The Throat 13/15

The finish is pleasant with subtle flavours of vanilla, almond and banana linger within a mild and lightly sweet agave. There is no burn or heavy spice making this a pleasing drink on a warm lazy day.

The Afterburn 8/10

I had high hopes for the Herradura Ultra Anejo. However I felt that too much of the agave character was lost in the filtration process making the spirit a shell of what it could have been. I agree that the spirit is a pleasant indulgence; but I feel it could have been much more.

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 Cocktails

Here is a fancy take on the Paloma Cocktail. In this cocktail, fresh Grapefruit and Lime juice are mixed with Boston Bittahs and Triple Sec. Adding ice and soda results a tall refreshing mixed drink. I brought the serving up a further notch by mixing with Herradura’s premium Herradura Ultra Tequila Anejo.

Fancy Paloma

2 oz Herradura Ultra Tequila Anejo
2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/8 oz Bols Triple Sec
dash Bittermens Boston Bittahs
Ice
Sparkling Soda

Add plenty of ice to a tall glass
Add the first five ingredients and stir
Complete 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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Here is a nice turquoise cocktail that mixes Herradura Ultra Anejo tequila with blue curaçao and pineapple juice.

Pineapple Blue

2 1/4 ounces Herradura Ultra Anejo Tequila
3/4 ounce Bols​ Blue Curaçao
3/8 ounce​ Pineapple Juice
Garnish with fresh citrus

Add the three ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with pineapple or fresh citrus fruit

Please 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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