Saturday, August 6, 2016

Tequila Galán Blanco and Reposado NOM 1137 (40% Abv.)

Currently Tequila Galán is being produced at La Cofradia (The Brotherhood) NOM 1137 in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico. We won't go into great detail on the process at this distillery since we have already covered this distillery in a past blog post. But we will try to point out the small differences that sets this brand apart from the others produced at La Cofradia. Founded in 2014, this maquila is a 100% agave tequila. Currently this brand only has a blanco and reposado offering - no idea if other expressions are in the works. Perhaps an añejo? It's no secret that we are fans of some other brands coming from this distillery. Even-though, it has been mentioned autoclaves have found their way onto the property. There has even been a suggestion that a tahona will eventually find its way into the distillery, but we shall see. The distillery is still on our 'please, we would really like to visit' list.

Will assume the mature blue agave is sourced from somewhere within the valley region (lowlands) of Mexico's Jalisco state - no clue if the agave is sourced from La Cofradia's estate fields. The halved agaves are slowly cooked by steam in the distillery's traditional stone-walled hornos. The cooked agave is put through a wood chipper and extractor-like press device. The mosto is placed in large stainless vats to allow natural open-air fermentation (not sure if Galán adds yeast(s)). After the fermentation process the juice is double distilled with La Cofradia's Alembic stainless steel pot stills - keep in mind some brands are triple distilled at this distillery. After distillations the tequila meant for the Blanco is placed in stainless steel vats. According to Tequila Galán's website tequila destined to become a reposado product is placed in "brand new medium-roasted American white oak barrels" (180 litres) for approximately four months. Let's go with brand new toasted white oak barrels with a medium char? The blanco tequila enters the barrels for aging somewhere around 55% Abv. (110-proof). The blanco is rested/stored in steel tanks at the same alcohol gradation 55% Abv. (110-proof). Assume the aged tequila is eventually tanked and mingled in steel vats at some point. Then prior to bottling the aged and unaged tequila would then be activated-carbon filtered and diluted to the desired alcohol gradation - in this case 40% Abv. (80-proof).


Appearance: Colorless and crystal clear. Long uniform slow legs in my Riedel glass. Aroma: cooked agave, faint floral/herbal (more a peppermint?),  pepper, citrus (lime?), subtle hint of alcohol, smokiness and candied cinnamon?. Flavour: cooked agave, mild spice,  some citrus notes (lime?), hint of sweetness (fresh honey?), and brininess. Semi-oily upon entry, mild numbness on the gums and roof, nicely coating the mouth and then a mild spice (jalapeno?) and a hint of mint in the back palate. Nothing too overpowering. Finish: Medium soft finish with that enjoyable Cofradia-esque cooked agave, spice, herbal (peppermint?) and  mild sweetness that lingers for minutes. Worthy sipper. MILDLY RECOMMENDED


Appearance: Light blonde - with gold hues. Medium length - slow legs that coat the sides of my Riedel glass. Aroma: mild cooked agave, caramelized honey, vanilla, spice (pepper), subtle mint and faint alcohol. Hint of fruit (citrus?). Flavour: mild cooked agave, candied caramel, vanilla, nutty, mild brininess, and spice (jalapeno?). Semi-oily upon entry, very mild numbness on the gums and roof, a nice caramelized vanilla candy thing that coats the mouth just enough, some mild spice (jalapeno?) and a hint of chocolate peppermint in the back palate. Finish: Medium finish with mild cooked agave, subtle candied caramel treat with pinch of chocolate and nutella?, that mild spice and mintiness that lingers for minutes. Nice accompanying flavours influenced by the barrel and char level for only four months. Some of the blanco flavours seem dialed down just a tad. Curious about the source and origin of the barrels used. Would definitely like to try this at barrel-strength. And definitely interested about their possible añejo. Could pair well with a Maduro cigar. RECOMMENDED

At first the packaging really jumped out at us, the first thing that came to mind was La Calavera Catrina. Perhaps a first where a calavera has graced a bottle of tequila? No. Espolón Tequila has adopted a sort of Jose Guadalupe Posada design for its bottles' labels for the last few years. But we really dig the packaging and what is inside the bottle. We have yet to be disappointed with a product hailing from NOM 1137. Saludos.

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