Tequila Blanco Side X Side Blind Spring 2016 Taste-Off
We decided to do another blind taste testing of two randomly picked groups on separate days. We will not being doing a breakdown of all the minutiae of each individual distillery (ie. whether an autoclave or horno is used to cook the agave; shredder, roller-mill, press, or tahona; fermentation methods; distillation methods). Besides researching for such information is half the fun. Two of these brands are marketed with the intent and hope of illustrating the acceptance of the LGBT community and its movement in Mexico. Something which the federal government of Mexico has been dragging its feet on for years. Riedel tequila glasses and Glencairn whisky glasses were used.
Brand "7" - Appearance: clear, colourless, forming medium, slow legs on the side of the glass. Aroma: baked agave, grassy, honey caramel?, herbal (peppermint tea?), spicy pepper (jalapeño?), fruit (citrus), some pungent earthiness. Flavour: baked agave, some mild sweetness and spiciness (jalapeño?) - the vegetal notes seem to compete with the earthy notes (in a good way). Slightly oily upon entry that pleasantly coats the mouth - some numbness on the lips, gums and mouth. A peppermint herbal - citrus note lingers in the back with some alcohol burn. Finish: nice - medium-long - with some lingering baked agave, grassiness, peppermint and spice. Reminded us of older Partida (in case you don't know this is a good thing).
Brand "2" - Appearance: clear, colourless with a faint bluish hue, forming medium, slow legs on the side of the glass. Aroma: abundance of roasted agave, earthy (wet rocks?), fruity (green apple?), citrus zest (lime?), peppery, some alcohol. Flavour: roasted agave is matched with spiciness (black pepper), definitely some minerality, a mild sweetness that turns slightly stringent and dry. Semi-oily upon entry - chewy and creamy (buttery?) - numbness on the lips, gums and mouth - some alcohol and pepper notes felt in the nasal passage - zesty citrus note lingers mid palate - bold heat in the mouth with that black pepper note in the back. Finish: long and very well balanced - all the above flavours layered just right - with a bold spicy black pepper and some heat. Great sipper. Could shine in a cocktail. Reminds us of a dialed up Siete Leguas blanco (a favourite).
Brand "6" - Appearance: clear, colourless, forming skinny, slow legs on the side of the glass. Aroma: fresh roasted agave, earthy, spice (black pepper?), smoke, old leather, raw honey, dried herbs (spearmint?), hint of citrus (lemon?), nutty?. Flavour: roasted agave, earthy, mild sweetness (raw honey?), get a hint of smoke?, spiciness (black pepper?) starts mid-palate moves the back of the throat, hint of citrus, some alcohol, roasted peanuts?. Semi-oily upon entry - almost creamy butter - intense numbness on the lips, gums and mouth - alcohol in the nasal passage - accompanied with some bitterness, mild alcohol heat and brininess in the back. Finish: medium to long - there is a lot of intense flavours going on with this one, that will keep you guessing in a good way - like that roasted peanut thing. Nicely done.
Brand "5" - Appearance: clear, colourless, forming medium, fast legs on the side of the glass. Aroma: cooked agave, vegetal (sauerkraut?), some citrus (lime), hint of mint, definitely a punch of alcohol. Flavour: loads of cooked agave, very vegetal, some bitterness, alcohol bite (very hot). Thick and oily mouth feel upon entry - accompanied with a lot of numbness on the lips, gums and mouth - felt some tingling in the nasal passage - lots of heat in the back. Finish: long - creamy - lingering cooked agave and vegetal flavours. Definitely slaps you in the face but leaves you with a nice warm feeling.
Brand "1" - Appearance: clear, colourless, forming medium, slow legs on the side of the glass. Aroma: roasted agave, green pepper, earthy - minerality (wet rocks?), light smoke?, mushroomy?. Flavour: roasted agave, spicy (black pepper), slightly briny and that mineral note, hint of citrus (orange?), hint of black licorice?. Semi-oily upon entry - mild numbness on the lips, gums and mouth - some heat, smokiness? and peppery note in the back. Finish: Medium to long - with a very strong earthy and pepper note that goes well with the lingering agave sweetness. Just a great balance of flavours that coats the mouth and throat - lasting a long time.
Brand "4" - Appearance: clear, colourless, with a silver hue. forming skinny, slow legs on the side of the glass. Aroma: cooked agave, citrus tart?, vegetal, some earthiness (wet stones?), Flavour: fresh roasted agave, very vegetal, subtle sweetness (honey?), mild spice (pepper?), slighly tannic and briny, citrus (lime peel?). Semi-oily upon entry - slightly creamy - subtle numbness on the lips, gums and mouth - hint of smoke and fennel? in the back. Finish: medium - crisp, clean roasted agave, mild earthiness and spiciness. Great balance. Reminiscent of an Arenal brand that we are very fond of.
Brand "3" - Appearance: clear, colourless, forming skinny, slow legs on the side of the glass. Aroma: baked agave, grassy, cracked black pepper, floral and vanilla?, hint of fruit (ripe banana?), some alcohol. Flavour: cooked agave, some earthiness, spice (black pepper), honey-roasted beets?, smokey?. Semi-oily upon entry - some tingling numbness on the lips, gums and in the mouth - hint of cinnamon? in the back. Finish: short to medium - some earthy and grassiness - crisp roasted agave - black pepper - hint of alcohol. Very consistent flavours. Nice sipper.
We can definitely recommend picking up any of these brands mentioned here without the fear of disappointment. The higher proof tequilas could be a tad overwhelmingly for the casual beginner, but worth it in our opinion. Glad to see we picked up on the one that sort of resembled another brand from the same distillery, Cascahuin. And remember, tasting can be very subjective, everybody's palates are different, if you find a tequila that you enjoy, enjoy it.