Anejo Tequila, NAS, 40% ABV, $27 (liter)
Smells of mild smoke, green pepper, black pepper, toffee, straw, overripe plum, dark cocoa. There’s quite a collection here.
The taste is briny apple, lemon drop, honey, ginger, green pepper, turnip. It’s a blend of sweetness, vegetal flavors and spice that works quite well.
The finish is more of the same bit with mild charred wood character: black pepper, ginger, green pepper, turnip. The finish goes on for a while.
I didn’t enjoy this when I first opened it. Initially, I drank it cold and complained of a strong wood character. I’ve learned to give aged distillates some time to open up and this one definitely benefited from this as well as my room temperature sampling. It’s much better now than I initially thought. Still, I prefer the Toro de Lidia Extra Añejo, which is a bit more complex and still available at a reasonable price. This Costco product is not available where I live, so its not really an option anyway.
Tequila (NOM 1139), Blanco, 40% ABV, $30
I’ve been drinking El Tesoro Añejo Tequila for a while and enjoying it quite a bit… mostly in margaritas. Recently, I opened a bottle of their Platinum offering and am comparing it to Fina Estampa Blanco tonight.
The aroma is spicy, woody and vegetal with little sweetness. I still detect straw, olive and a bit of toffee, but the sweetness is very mild in comparison to the notable spice. There’s no hint of smoke or wood. The taste is somewhat briny, vegetal, tangy and spicy. The sweetness is most notable as it balances out the tart flavors. Up front, there’s lemon, sweet pepper, ginger, plum, pear, black pepper and tart cherry. The finish is leathery and spicy with a bitter wood that persists for a good while as the spice gently fades long after the fruits are gone. This is an easy tequila to drink with more of the vegetal flavors of agave, while avoiding the typical agave “bite” that is prominent in cheap tequila. It does all of this while offering a good amount of spice, which I like. The additional fruits and mildly sweet flavors blend well resulting in a well balanced tequila. It’s easy to see why people like this one. I highly recommend this one too along with the Añejo offering as well (I’ll get around to tasting notes for that one eventually).
Tequila (NOM1531), Extra Añejo, 40% ABV, $32
My nose is greeted by buttery smoke, toffee, sweet peppers, black pepper, straw, plum and sweet ginger. My tongue is bathed in vegetal green peppers, mildly spicy black pepper, sweet ginger, straw, honey, tart cherry and lemon drop. The palate is light and the finish is sweet, mildly spicy and faintly bitter. The flavors are bold at first, but nicely balanced. The light spiciness that follows is a nice transition to the finish that highlights the smoky agave with a leathery sweetness and spice. The wood is very much under control for an extra aged tequila, but the mellowing influence is apparent. This is great stuff; however, I’d hesitate to use these flavors (or waste them) in a margarita. Instead, this is a great way to get to know agave distillate and an excellent tequila to prepare you for the flavors of non-Tequila Mezcal (distillate not from Weber Blue Agave grown in the Tequila region).
Tequila (NOM 1436), Blanco, 40% ABV, $29
This smells creamy and buttery, but there’s still the vegetal agave. There are notes of straw, smoke and toffee as well. The taste is sweet bell pepper, white pepper, lemon, persimmon, vanilla, light smoke, ginger and a hint of sulphur. On the palate its mildly chewy as it transitions to a peppery finish with a bit of leathery dry wood. I’m used to tequila having an agave “bite,” but this one avoids that with a somewhat creamy texture on the palate. The balance of vegetal, sweet and spicy flavors are great with an added dimension of wood and char, but its subtle. I highly recommend this one even along side El Tesoro Blanco as it offers a creamy profile as opposed to the salty, spicy profile of the El Tesoro.