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Siempre (Plata) Tequila

Review: Siempre (Plata) Tequila  87.5/100
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published July 17, 2017

Siempre is a new tequila brand owned by Monica Sanita and Alex Lecroix. The spirit they created has been available in the Ontario market for about 6 months and after gaining some recognition they are beginning to expand into Alberta, Quebec, California and Nevada (this coming September).

According to my correspondence with Alex, this is an ultra premium tequila produced in Tequila, Mexico from 100% Blue Weber agave. Interestingly this Plata spirit is a product of both highland agave, and lowland agave (in equal measure). In the production of tequila, highland agave brings strong fruity citrus notes and a little hot pepper into both the delivery and in the finish. Lowland tequila brings firm earthy flavours of the agave fruit into the flavour profile. Siempre Tequila, it would seem, attempts to bring the best of both agave worlds to the tequila aficionado.

The information I was given by Alex was expanded upon on the Siempre Website where I learned the harvested agave pinas are shredded by a roller machine before being cooked in brick/stone ovens. The collected agave juice is then fermented in open air fermenters, after which it is double distilled and brought to 40 percent alcohol by volume bottling proof with volcanic spring water. Although some  blanco tequila spirits are aged a very short time in oak the Siempre Tequila is unaged bringing the full flavour of the distillate to the glass.

Although the company website does not specify the exact distillery which produces this agave spirit, I did notice that the identified NOM on the bottom of the label is 1438. This NOM identifier is required by the Mexican Government to be placed on the label of each bottle of tequila to verify that it is produced legally from agave sourced in the Tequila region of Mexico. Each distillery has its own NOM, and thus we can trace the distillery of origin. In this case it is Destiladora del Valle de Tequila, S.A. de C.V. located in Tequila Mexico.

In the Bottle 4/5

To the left is a photo of my sample bottle of Siempre Tequila. The spirit arrives in a squat medium necked bottle sealed with a wood topped synthetic cork. The label is bold with a metallic colour scheme which features patterned designs, flowers and agave pinas. However what caught my attention the most when I received my sample bottle was the lower ‘NOM’ label which rather than being centered below the main label was set askew such that it was below the left side of that label only. At first I thought that perhaps my sample bottle had been mislabeled, but when I looked at the producers website, I saw that the bottle shot their featured the same askew ‘NOM’ Label.

While the placement of this label certainly caught my eye, it also left me with a negative first impression. Not knowing that the label was supposed to be askew, I initially had the impression that the producer just didn’t care enough to see that the labels on their bottles were properly affixed. Although this was a faulty first impression, I wonder to myself how many of their potential consumers have the same initial reaction that I did. If so, this askew label could be costing Siempre sales at the retail level.

In the Glass 8.5/10

When I pour Siempre Plata into my glass, my nose is greeted with a firm agave aroma.  I sense a duality in the glass as the earthy qualities of the lowland agave seems to be roughened by black pepper and hints of orange peel. The breezes above the glass hint at additional impressions grilled pineapple, mushy banana and green pepper corns. As I am enjoying the aroma, I begin to notice light herbal impressions as well, a hint of heather and light green grass and a dab of mint or menthol. Everything is quite nice with the lowland characteristics dominating in the breezes.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out across the palate and in cocktails; but for now I am very optimistic.

In the Mouth 53/60

When I took my first sip of the Plata tequila I immediately noticed that the spirit was quite smooth and approachable despite being completely unaged. Earthy agave fruit flavours of baked squash, grilled pineapple and banana are at the forefront flavour as indeed the lowland agave seems to be taking the lead. Some coarse black pepper accents the fruit, but settles in as a background flavour as do hints of lime and orange zest. Nested between are light impressions of black licorice root and angelica, as well as just a hint of salt brine. The Siempre Tequila appears to have a complex and  interesting flavour profile with the highland squeal of spice held largely in check allowing the lowland characteristics to play a larger role than I was expecting.

I decided to mix a few cocktails to see how the more dominant lowland character of the tequila worked in some of my favourite summertime mixed drinks. I began with a classic Margarita, and followed that up with a tall Paloma. Both cocktails were satisfactory, but I felt the spirit could be elevated by different ingredients. So I went through my previous reviews and noticed that when I was mixing a particular lowland tequila (Heradurra), I found the lowland character of that particular tequila was well suited to a particular classic cocktail which combined its lowland agave with lemon and apricot brandy. When I mixed a Toreador (see recipe below) with Siempre Plata I found what I was looking for. I love it when a cocktail that partners this well with a particular spirit!

In the Throat 13.5/15

This is a very approachable, smooth agave spirit. In the finish, I notice that the black pepper seems to find just a little more headway than it had in the delivery, and the light flavours of black licorice root, angelica, and that of brine are elevated just a little as well.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

My tasting sessions with the Siempre (Plata) Tequila took me on a bit of tangled journey. I ended up tasting the spirit three times and mixed three different cocktails before I had the spirit figured out. It was the Toredor that fully converted me, and my scoring jumped after I tasted that particular mixed drink. It appears the lowland characteristics within the spirit beg to be mixed with lemon citrus. The additional flavour of apricot brandy is icing on the cake. Other lemon based cocktails like the Picador should work equally well.

My final score of 87.5/100 recognizes that the Siempre (Plata) Tequila is not only a decent sipping tequila, it is a great bar tequila for mixing classic lemon based cocktails.

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

Toreador

1 1/2 oz Siempre (Plata) Tequila
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 lemon slice (optional)

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!

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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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