Olmeca Blanco Tequila Clasico
Review: Olmeca Blanco Tequila Clasico 71/100
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published July 31, 2015
Olmeca is a Tequila brand owned by Pernod Ricard, distributed by Corby Brands here in Canada. The line-up features three sub brands, Olmeca (which is a Mixto), Olmeca Altos (which is a 100 % Blue Weber Agave tequila) , and Olmeca Tezón (which is 100% Blue Weber Agave and which is produced from 100 % Tahona crushed agave). All of these sub brands are double distilled from Mexican Blue Agave in Copper Pot Stills. As well each of the brands will contain some distillate from the juice of agave which has been crushed in the traditional method with a two ton Tahona millstone.
According to the NOM identifier on the bottle’s back label (NOM 1111 CRT), Pernod Ricard produces the spirit at the Pernod Ricard Mexico Distillery in Arandas, Jalisco which would suggest that Olmeca is a highland Tequila. However, because Olmeca Blanco Clasico is a mixto rather than a 100 % Agave tequila, we cannot be sure that all of the agave within the spirit comes from the same growing region. As well mixto Tequila may also contain up to 49 % by volume of spirit distilled from other sugars.
Olmeca Blanco is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
In the Bottle 4/5
The bottle presentation for the Olmeca Blanco is shown to the left. It is a squat rectangular bottle with a square base. The the label includes a small illustration of a colossal stone head which is an artifact associated with Olmec civilization. The Olmec were present in Mexico from approximately 1500 BCE to about 400 BCE, and are believed to be the first Mesoamerican civilization.
The bottle also features embossed designs which represent a style of artwork which was present at the time of the Olmec. These designs not only give the bottle a link to the Mexican past, they also serve the dual purpose of making the bottle easier to grip.
A major detractor to the presentation is the pressed on metal cap which seals the bottle. In my opinion, those metallic caps which seal spirit bottles practically scream “bottom shelf”.
In the Glass 7.5/10
I began the review process pouring a sample of the spirit into my glass such that I could examine it visually before I began to nose it. However, as soon as I cracked the seal on my bottle, I noticed an aggressive punch of smokey agave filled the air. The aroma vanished as quickly as I noticed it, and even when I took a cautious sniff from my glass, I could not locate that same punch of punky fruit and smoke. Instead, I noticed a peppery effervescence which was combined with mild agave aromas and a light sweetness which reminded me of cane. The spirit is typical of a mixto in that the aromas and scents in the breezes are not nearly as aggressive as I would notice a typical 100 % agave tequila.
Scoring is difficult as I do not know what to make of that initial punch to my nostrils which opening the bottle revealed. I decide for now to take the high road and ignore it.
In the Mouth 42/60
When I took my first cautious sip of the spirit, I re-established contact with that punky smokey fruit which had first filled the air. The tequila has an unmistakable vegetal quality with underlying flavours which remind me of over-ripe squash and pumpkin. A peppery spice lies beside the punky fruit and some soft citrus flavours and some sugar cane sweetness lie underneath as well. However, the spirit is not pleasant to sip. I know not whether we have some new strain of agave present, or whether perhaps we have a proportion of earthy lowland tequila blended within, but the punky earthy flavour which has resulted was unexpected and unwelcome.
Of course, a mixto tequila is not necessarily intended to be sipped, and so I decide that it is probably best to begin a few cocktail explorations. I began with a Margarita, and noticed immediately that a light earthiness, and a mild flavour of punky fruit followed through the cocktail. The cocktail was somewhat pleasant. I wouldn’t do cartwheels if this was served to me in a restaurant; but if that restaurant was a tacky joint called Howler’s Bar and Grill, this is about what I would expect.
In the Throat 10.5/15
Although I would not call the spirit rough, I did find the finish unpleasant. The aftertaste is reminiscent of over-ripe and over cooked zucchini. I would like a cleaner agave finish with perhaps a bit more peppery spice.
The Afterburn 7/10
When I tally up my scores, I have arrived at a final total of 71/100. I am somewhat unsatisfied with that score, as this seems (I hesitate to say it) perhaps a little too high of a score for a spirit which I will probably reserve for those persons who show up uninvited expecting me to cater to their cocktail and spirit whims on my dime. (We all have those unfortunate acquaintances don’t we.)
Olmeca Blanco Clasico Tequila is unfortunately, an uninspired spirit.
You may read some of my other Tequila Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
A Tequila Sunrise is a simple bar drink made in an ice filled glass with orange juice, silver tequila and grenadine.
1 3/4 oz Olmeca Tequila
1 3/4 oz Fresh Orange Juice
3/4 oz Grenadine
Build over ice in an Old-Fashioned Glass
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)