Doug and I have recently made it our mission to bring some new and unusual tequilas in to the store, so we went into Boston a few days ago to taste a few. Life can be so hard sometimes!
We tasted seven tequilas in total. Seven may sound like a lot for tequila, but please bear in mind a) they were all small pours; b) we were taking public transportation. Our focus was on reposados and anejos, the two "rested" versions of of tequila. "Rested" just means that they've been aged in oak barrels for a certain amount of time, reposados from 2 to 11 months, anejos a year or more. This mellows the tequila out and makes it easier to sip without the strong "burn" silver tequilas can have.
Here are some of our discoveries from the tasting:
- The best tequila of the night: Corralejo Reposado. I didn't know tequila could be so good! It was delicate, seamless and complex. Creamy, with a touch of sweetness, it has aromas of white flowers, cracked pepper, and butterscotch, and goes down extremely easily. Our first case just came in. It's a tacky bottle (pictured here), but it's what's inside that counts! An interesting side note: they apparently use three different types of oak to age their tequilas: American, French, and White oak. It's an unorthodox approach, but they seem to be on to something.
- Overall, there was a surprising range of flavors, textures and styles, especially given how small a tasting it was. I always thought that all tequilas taste pretty much the same--shame on me! Floral, peppery, creamy, butterscotch, orange peel, and wild herbs are just a few highlights from our tasting notes that evening.
- While anejos are typically more prestigious, since they've been aged longer, we actually enjoyed the reposados more as a group. They were mellow enough to sip on, but still retained that unmistakable pepper-and-herbs tequila flavor, while the anejos in some cases tasted more like oak barrels than tequila. (As a bonus, they also tend to be cheaper!)