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Herradura Reposado Tequila

Review: Herradura Reposado Tequila  83/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Revised May 7, 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..

Herradura is produced from agave grown in the lowlands. This is important to know, because lowland agave will usually bring more earthy fruit flavours through the distillation than highland agave which tends to bring more citrus and spice. 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 Anejo is a true 100% Weber Blue agave tequila.According to the Brown-Forman website:

Herradura Reposado ages in the barrels for eleven months,  far longer than the two months which is required by law for this category. This gives the tequila its deep copper color. The Reposado category was created by Tequila Herradura in 1974.

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

In the Bottle  4.5/5

Herradura Reposado 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  8/10

Just as I discovered with the Silver Tequila from Herradura, once we pour Herradura Reposado, our nose is immediately greeted with an intense, earthy, agave scent. Getting past the intensity of that earthy agave is difficult, but letting the glass rest for a few moments allows us to catch sweeter tones of caramel and to a lesser extent vanilla. The spiciness of red chili peppers and a hint of citrus seem to forward as well.

Swirling my glass I notice small legs trailing down which surprises me, as does the amber tone with orange highlights. This spirit has sat for only 11 months in oak, and it is unusual for a distilled spirit to gain this much colour from such a short stay in wood. I suspect that caramel has been added to the spirit to achieve the colour I see.

In the Mouth  50/60

The oily legs in the glass give this tequila a soft feel in the mouth. The intensity of the earthy agave flavour is very apparent. A light sweetness of caramel and soft earthy fruit round out the dominant flavours in the profile with lighter flavours of lime and green pepper sitting firmly underneath. The earthy agave gives body to the spirit and seems serve a similar function as peat would in a peated whisky. The agave carries its earthiness to the end of the taste experience, with the other flavours carried within this earthiness throughout the taste experience. A spicy accent persists, but it is nestled further down within the Tequila.

Because the Herradura Reposado has such a firm lowland character I forgo my normal Margarita and instead begin my cocktail examination with a Toreador. It was in fact this very spirit (Herradura Reposado) which six years ago led to my discovery that Lowland tequila loves the Toreador. Apricot Brandy mixes wonderfully with earthy agave. The cocktail works out beautifully and it has become one of my more favoured tequila cocktails. Of course, while revisiting the Reposado Herradurra (I reviewed the spirit 6 years ago as well), I could not resist the impulse to experiment a little to see if I could arrive at another signature cocktail. Using the Sidecar (a brandy based cocktail) as my inspiration, I arrived at a new serving mixes both vodka and tequila in the same style as the Sidecar (see recipe below). It turns out that lemon and orange juice work well together with lowland tequila as well.

In the Throat 12.5/15

It is after the spirit is consumed, that the citrus and pepper finally show their true nature. The Herradura Reposado slides down the throat with a moderately spicy burn. Floral tones are left in the back of the palate, and the earthy agave flavours diminish substantially, allowing the other flavours more freedom in the throat than they had in the mouth.

The Afterburn  8/10

After I sampled Herradura Reposado, I felt the spirit was perhaps the best example I have tasted of the full earthy style which is lowland tequila. This is not a crisp, fresh agave spirit filled with hot spicy pepper and lime. It is more a vegetal earthy tequila which feature the full rounded flavour of Lowland agave.

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

El Tranvia
(the Mexican Sidecar)

3/4 oz  Herradura Reposado
3/4 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
3/4 oz fresh Orange Juice
1/2 oz fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Orange Peel

Add the five ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with orange Peel

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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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5 Responses to “Herradura Reposado Tequila”

  1. In my own experience, both the Herradura and the Cabo Wabo give an oakey taste that just seems (to me) out of place in Tequila. The tequila I have consumed where the flavor of the agave steps forward the most is Partida – Reposado, and it’s a favorite for me. The best I have yet encountered is El Tesoro de Don Felipe – Anejo. Like an elderly gentleman dancer who’s light on his feet, it shows the complexity and skill of long experience without bashing you over the head with a strong cask flavor like something that’s trying to prove it really did spend time there.

    • Hi john

      Both the Herradura and the Cabo Wabo are Lowland tequilas which have much more of an earthier quality than the Highland Tequila El Tesoro. I have never tasted Partida but from your description it sounds like it carries the same earthy lowland quality of Herradura except even more so. I never got as much oaky taste from the Cabo or the Herradura as you seem to receive but I appreciate your comments and comparisons.

      Cheers!

  2. aldo tabone said

    Nice review….

    Some words from a Mexican:

    My personal impression is that generally speaking is that Tequila quality has dropped in the last five years in an effort of the companies to please a more international demand…… also, the shortage of agave is a problem that has pushed the companies to look for more “chemical solutions”. This been said, I should add that Herradura is my favorite tequila brand. Herradura Blanco is currently the only tequila I drink. Is the only one that still has that old fashion earthy taste…… I think that to know a tequila you should drink it Blanco, only this will give you the full tequila flavor..

    I drink more mezcal these days. This drink is much more than the bottle with the worm you can purchase in some countries it has many different categories…. Mezcal is tequila’s outlaw older brother……The search of a good mezcal is really a quest, and (sometimes) you have to travel to the most isolated villages to get the best mezcal…….

    • I appreciate your comments, and look forward to more of your thoughts. I will admit that my knowledge of Tequila is not necessarily that of an expert. I speak about what I taste and about how much I enjoy the spirit. The suggestion from yourself that my words have some value to you is most rewarding. Please feel free to share your impressions of my other reviews.

  3. Hubbabub said

    I should test this one.

    Los Tres Toños Reposado
    http://www.tequila.net/tequila-reviews/reposados/los-tres-tonos-tequila-reposado.html

    It has a smokey taste, similar to Islay whisky
    http://www.islaywhiskysociety.com/map.htm

 
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