16 July, 2010

Tequila! Thoughts from a wine-lover...

In my world of spirits Tequila is just for fun. Unlike wine, I drink it to get a buzz on and don't think much about how it tastes. I love to start the party with a couple of shots of tequila blanco, or maybe a classic Margarita. But as I just learned from the good folks at Herradura, Tequila can be a more serious spirit and is made just like any other spirit, and has varied aromas and flavors.

The more i learned about it the more comparisons I made between Tequila and wine. By now I'm sure we all know Tequila comes from the Agave plant of Mexico. There are tequila producers in Northern Mexico and Southern Mexico and the agave cultivated by Herradura is located in Jalisco a state in Central Mexico. Each region has its own climate and soil types which affect certain characteristics of the agave. Hmmmm, sounds just like the concept of "terroir", or the importance of where the grapes actually come from...




Herradura's tequilas blancas (known as "silver")are
distilled, filtered and aerated. The aeration process is what makes them so smooth. No ageing except for the "Herradura Blanca" which is aged for 45 days in oak before bottling, lending it a light straw color. Wow, this tequila is fruity and has some floral and woodsy notes. Really smooth. These are all 80 proof but they make some that are 92 proof. Yikes! I would do shots of these or use them in a Margarita, but I was very happy sipping my shot-glass of Herradura Blanco. I feel these ones give a very pure expression of the agave. Which is quite pleasant.

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These are the darker tequilas as they are aged anywhere from two to 48 months. They are distilled and filtered but not aerated. The oak barrels used for aging are made of new American oak, and they taste like it with very woody, spicy and nutty notes on the nose and palate. These are what I call "sipping" tequilas and make fine digestives.


The oldest of the lot: The "Anejo" or "aged" is barrelled for two years before bottling. It is a medium amber color. And, yes, there are notes of wood but there are some spicier notes such as coconut and vanilla. The agave had a roasted or cooked quality. Very smooth. 80 proof.


Luis Guy Ricaud, a Market Brand Manager for Herradura, explained that Herradura is making some more premium tequilas to keep up with the competitive tequila market. You can find Herradura at Bevmo.

Brix Chicks picks: El Jimador Blanco and the Herradura Blanco. I personally don't liked the aged tequilas as much but I think everyone at the tasting was loving the Anejo!

And don't forget: July 24th is National Tequila Day! A great excuse to have a shot or two of your favorite tequila.
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