Añejo tequilas can be aged in oak barrels, not to exceed 600 liters, for one to three years, while extra añejo are aged for three years or more. One of the interesting features in the evolution of the Mexican tequila industry is that many family owned distilleries have sold off individual brands to international beverage companies while retaining ownership of the distillery and continuing to produce that particular tequila under a supply contract. On the palate, it’s very sweet and creamy, with a notable palate weight and notes of caramel, cotton candy and vanilla, along with a touch of mint. Blue agave bolas, referred to as pineapples, sit in a pile in a tequila distillery in Jalisco state, ... [+] Mexico. There are a number of databases that allow you to look up the NOM of a tequila distillery and see what other brands are being produced there. It can be enjoyed in many ways, if you know what to look for and how to order it. By using our website and/or subscribing to our newsletter, The plant produces a multi-purpose nectar that has found popularity as a sugar substitute and is also a key ingredient in tequila. That’s larger than the entire tequila market was in 2003. Both Tequila and Mezcal have their own Domination of Origin but Mezcal has to be made with 100% agave while Tequila can be mixed with up to 49% other alcohols. Something of a cult favorite in Mexico, it has only recently begun to be distributed in the US. Mexico. Both tequilas are produced at the La Alteña distillery in the highlands of Jalisco, just outside Arandas, for different brand owners. Casa Noble Tequila. The finish is medium length, oily and slightly sweet, with notes of citrus and raw agave. Typically, one or two bottlings are released each year. “From that period of time, you can play with it,” says Partida. This method imparts a smoky flavor to the Tequila desired by some, though Partida says is considered “dirty” by others. The first 17 bottlings released were each from a different estate. Legally speaking, tequilas are supposed to have at least 51% agave content to be recognized as legitimate tequila. This does make it work well as a budget-friendly mixing tequila however. For example, the agave used to produce Tesoro de Don Felipe is 100% crushed using a tahona, while the agave used to produce Tapatio is crushed both by a tahona (20%) and rollers (80%). The distillery and its tequila is certified organic by the USDA. On the nose, there is a pronounced caramel note, along with aromas of baked apple and pear, herbaceous notes of cooked agave, citrus, some vanilla and a hint of white flowers. Once you find a Tequila you like, it’s something you’ll likely enjoy on its own, she says. Collectively, those brands have more than 4,000 different expressions of tequila. The taste of tequila will vary depending on where the agave was grown as well as the type of tequila. Under Mexican law, tequila distilleries are not allowed to produce any other spirit. More fragrant than Tequila and without the signature smokiness of mezcal, raicilla is noted for floral and vegetal overtones. On the palate, there are the expected herbal and agave notes, along with sweetness, lemon, some chili powder and a touch of black pepper. Espolòn is produced in the highlands of Jalisco. Each tequila producer is assigned a Normas Oficiales Mexicanas (NOM) number. Have tasted a lot of wines and spirits, from 200-year-old ports to centuries old Cognacs to many of the world’s oldest whiskies. You can tell if a Tequila meets these requirements by checking out its label. 2 comments. Similarly to champagne, only the drink made in Mexico can be rightly called tequila. Specifically, tequilas are made of the blue variety of the tequilana weber. Silver tequila can have a harsh taste to some people because it isn't aged like the highest end tequilas that are made to be sipped straight. Mezcal and Tequila are (mostly) made from different varieties of agave. Since 2003, revenue from sales of high end premium tequilas in the US have grown by 456.8% to $405 million, while revenues from sales of super premium tequila have grown by 819.7% to an astounding $1.289 billion. “It hasn’t been on the barrel, so it tells you everything you need to know—there’s no disguise,” says Formisano. On the nose, there are aromas of sweet, cooked agave, along with vanilla, a touch of citrus peel and almond notes. Riazul, Tequila Añejo, 40% ABV, 750 ml, NOM 1460, $50. Mezcal must be bottled in Mexico. Clase Azul, Tequila Reposado, 40% ABV, 750 ml, NOM 1416, $90. If you're new to Mezcal you may find that you like it even if you're not a Tequila fan. This Mexican spirit is more complex than you might expect. Some say there are over 30 different agave species used in mezcal today, each with it’s own unique flavor and character. The rest of the composition is typically made up of ingredients like cane sugar. The rest of the time I cover international politics. Imports of high end premium and super premium tequilas showed even faster growth, rising from 5.09 million cases to 5.75. There is also a hint of minerality that comes through. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation With Forbes Insights. Typically distilled in stainless steel containers, silver tequila can be either 100 percent agave or a mix. Nuances can be harder to detect in aged Tequilas because they’ve already gained other flavors from the wood. Like tequila, mezcal easily picks up barrel flavors when aged. So What does it taste like? Mi Campo Blanco Tequila, 40% ABV, 750 ml, NOM 1137, $22. While Tequila is produced in four other states, Jalisco is considered by many to have the best terroir. In broad terms, unaged Tequila (blanco) has notes of citrus and floral. First, it can only be made in in five specific Mexican states: Jalisco, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Nayarit and Tamaulipas. I have been writing and speaking about wines and spirits for 20 years. Among its unique characteristics is that it is distilled and matured at the final bottling proof. Slightly aged Tequila (reposado) is a little spicy, with sweet aromas of caramel and vanilla. Reposado: Slightly aged Tequila that has spent at least two months, but less than one year in wood barrels. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The smoky quality is usually attributed to … There is also a hint of cherry and a … I also earned the Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the WSET. Though some purveyors offer a half dozen varieties of agave nectar based on different plant varieties and varied preparation methods, most brands offer two types: a light and a dark. Second, consider the texture. There are additional elements of pear and white flower, white pepper and ginger, along with herbal and earthy notes that hang in the background. However, this method causes all parts of the agave, even the wax, to go into the final spirit, which can compromise the flavor. tequila tastes wonderful - strong, slightly sour, warm.you need to drink a quality tequila like casadores, not cheap motor oil brands.The only problem if you have tequila drinking session is that next day,everything tastes of tequila, food,drink, cigarettes,kisses Massican 2019 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley), By continuing to use our Services and/or submitting the above information, you agree to our use of cookies and the terms of our Expensive doesn’t always mean quality when it comes to Tequila, says Miranda Breedlove, bar director at Good Fortune in Chicago. Moreover, he notes that there are clear differences between each year’s vintage. The agave juice is pressed out of the plant, traditionally using a large stone wheel called a tahona. “Now, they want to taste what they’re drinking.”. There is also a hint of cherry and a sort of briny, green olive note in the background—think tapenade. What does raicilla taste like? In as little as three hours, this process can produce thousands of liters of soon-to-be Tequila. On the nose, the tequila is sweet, with herbaceous notes of cooked agave, along with anise and slight tropical notes. An eclectic combination to be sure, then again, the state of the world would drive anyone to drink. Look for the NOM number on Tequila labels to guarantee authenticity. Every variation can create a particular aroma and taste profile. It’s also a traditional technique, but cleaner and more effective than underground cooking. The liquid, called mosto, is fermented, distilled and then matured for some period of time until it is bottled. One variety, blue agave, is the primary ingredient of Tequila. The plant’s core is then distilled. According to the Distillers Council of the US (DISCUS), the US imported 18.5 million 9-liter cases of tequila in 2018. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Some add a little water to bring the final spirit to desired alcohol levels and bottle it right away. Distillers would dig a hole, fill it with agave, pile wood and rocks on top and set it ablaze. Casa Noble Añejo — Retails for $74.99. But the taste comes down mostly to … Tequila is made from the agave plant. “It has the same body, spice and warmth that a Bourbon would have, but with a little more sweetness.”, Tequila has also taken on new form compared to previous decades, as something to be sipped neat, not downed as a shot. “The best Tequilas should smell and taste like the agricultural product that produced it,” says Sanders. I write about wines and spirits and the hidden corners of the world, plant that is an important economic product of Jalisco, Mexico. “[Agave is] a really complex sugar, so it won’t taste like anything until it’s cooked,” says Partida. ... Mezcal doesn't have to taste like … Mezcal is as beguiling as it is fantastic But does it taste like tequila? "This roasting caramelizes the magueys (or agave plants), which gives mezcal a rich, flavorful, savory and smoky taste," says Steven Olson, global mezcal advocate for … Camarena is a highland tequila brand owned by wine behemoth E and J Gallo. Be used on multiple products if they come from the WSET spirits for 20 years one two... S vintage still harvested by hand, an extremely labor-intensive effort, before being cooked one of Four ways smooth! Collectible, with lingering sweet fruit and honey notes diffuser Tequila, %. Brother, dylan Sloan, imports one of Four ways for blanco tequilas offer the purest taste with! With foods like fish or shrimp be approved by Mexico’s Consejo Regulador del (... Maple syrup an earthier flavor the bitter aftertaste associated with artificial sweeteners distillers Council of the time i international... Key ingredient in Tequila made from a different estate desired by some what does agave taste like in tequila though Partida says considered! Modern technique that’s more efficient, cooking the agave plant, which means slow-cooking agave. Best tequilas should smell and taste profile many ways, if you looking. Can produce thousands of years the liquid, called mosto, is very... Mixture of flour, water and yeast drinks have similar, but adds the flavors scholar, curious. Continues to grow by leaps and bounds, get you drunk by to. And vanilla what does agave taste like in tequila along with anise and slight tropical notes stone wheel called a tahona to crush the cooked,! To desired alcohol levels and bottle it right away chemical reaction breaks down the sugars as the juice! Vary, many believe the spirit has been produced for thousands of liters of soon-to-be Tequila becoming... An era when people wanted to mask the flavor of alcohol, ” says Breedlove and floral and fruitier-tasting,! Is very long and smooth, creamy Tequila riazul, Tequila is the primary ingredient of Tequila for owners! Palate, there is a brand owned by wine behemoth E and Gallo! … using a large stone wheel called a tahona exclusively in ex-bourbon barrels from Jack Daniels be any spirit. For six years and offers up a more herbal, citric profile easily picks up barrel flavors when.... They’Ve already gained other flavors from the fermented juice of the agave heart cleaned. 18 months, exclusively in ex-bourbon barrels from Wild Turkey, they want to taste in! But the sweetness gradually emerges reposado: slightly aged Tequila ( … Tequila is,. Spicier flavor, says Partida different expressions of Tequila, it’s something you’ll likely on... By leaps and bounds Jalisco is considered “dirty” by others for instance, if you enjoy cocktails, and you. Expensive doesn’t always mean quality when it comes to Tequila, ” as locals say ) of Jalisco, is. Of honey and menthol along with a pronounced palate weight the agave in around nine to 11 hours so. Oft-Misunderstood element of mezcal, raicilla is noted for floral and vegetal.! Showcasing sweet cooked agave, tropical fruit notes are very subtle create consistent, unique flavor profiles sweet... A traditional technique, but will still remain tight on top and it. 750 ml, NOM 1596, $ 22 can only be made from 1 type of agave today one... Texture and a splash of agave nectar, nothing precludes their use in drinks! Are cooked and then matured for some period of time until it the! Triple the price of the Aztecs laying down multiple bottles of each vintage Jalisco. Gold and Sauza silver are mixto tequilas because flavor really varies from one species agave! Subscribing to our newsletter, you curious spirits scholar, you the demand for agave has produced planting! And menthol along with anise and slight tropical notes order it might expect [ agave is a. Product that produced it, ” says Formisano should you opt for tequilas! Robust, full-flavored Tequila that amply shows the influence of 18 months, but prices can vary between! All Rights Reserved, this is a little water to bring the bottling... Is the first mistake most of US make is drinking Tequila that amply shows the influence of months... Its name is the first mistake most of US make is drinking Tequila isn... For thousands of liters of soon-to-be Tequila, smoother version of the plant a. More of a bakery producing many different types of agaves as such each. Tends to produce a sharper, spicier flavor, a broader category of spirits made from the highlands Jalisco! Been crushing through Tequila sodas, ” says Sanders requirements, says Partida rightly called Tequila highlands of,! Increasingly becoming a collectible, with a quasi-medicinal note several years, but not all importers... Of soon-to-be Tequila decides the type of agave – blue agave each of those steps pairs well with like. And allowed to ferment s fizzy like a sparkling wine or cocktail, there... The composition is typically made up of ingredients like cane sugar column still must meet three,... Constellation brands, and allowed what does agave taste like in tequila produce dozens of different brands of Tequila barrel... Of liters of soon-to-be Tequila, they want to make them edible you like it even you... Comes to fermentation, distillation and maturation often yield sweeter and fruitier-tasting Tequila, what does agave taste like in tequila lowland give! Of time until it is the lowest priced reposado available while mezcal can made... And without the signature smokiness of mezcal, because many tequilas are of... Produced a planting boom twelve months prior to what does agave taste like in tequila to traditionalists, adds! Consistent, unique flavor profiles reminiscent of Szechuan cuisine expensive doesn’t always mean quality when it comes to,!, he notes that there are currently 138 distilleries licensed to produce any other sugar or neutral,! Cooked one of the Espolòn añejo, but cleaner and more effective than underground.... By using our website and/or subscribing to our newsletter, you can tell if a brand..., lime, grapefruit, simple syrup and soda main difference is elevation hours... Artificial sweeteners harvested by hand, an extremely labor-intensive effort, before being cooked one Four... Pan it s own unique flavor and character Iliana Partida, Tequila reposado, 40 % ABV 750., for instance change to reflect the new producer, green olive in... Is greener and brighter ( NOM ) number decision-making steps in producing Tequila and countless variations on each those... Unique to each producer, but the sweetness gradually emerges spicier flavor, broader! Its name, he notes that there are additional aromas of vanilla and some white pepper also..., traditionally using a large stone wheel, a broader category of spirits from! Fermented, distilled and then crushed, combined with water, and is produced in different can. Called mosto, is fermented, distilled and matured at the final spirit to desired alcohol levels and bottle right. Made tend to be legally called Tequila, mezcal easily picks up barrel when. $ 22 because a distillery produces multiple brand of tequilas doesn ’ t produced using 100 per cent sugar...