Tequila Blanco
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Montezuma’s Legacy-
Best Premium Blanco Tequila

The Fifty Best Blanco Tequila Tasting 2019

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of eleven 100% blue agave blanco tequilas with fifteen members of The Fifty Best's spirits judging panel. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Strict tasting rules were applied. Each of the tequilas were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded based on a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no bronze medals awarded for this tasting.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The municipalities of origin are identified for each brand.

 



DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNER

Padre Azul Silver Tequila
(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Caramel, cocoa, smores, white toffee, nougat, powdered sugar, vanilla, vanilla egg cream, cream soda, honey, ripe pineapple, banana, ripe cantaloupe, lovely pure agave, bright full agave, heavy agave, green pepper, green beans, cucumber, honeyed herbs, light mint, minty, spearmint, grass, musky, oak, wood notes, cedar, amazing.

Palate: Caramel, creamy, vanilla, snickers, light cocoa, cacao, nougat, cotton candy, cream soda, cola, powdered sugar, papaya, cantaloupe, citrus, green apple, agave, olive, pepper, vegetal, clove, spice, peppery, tobacco, slightly smoky, light sweetness, mouth filling, smooth, gentle, multifaceted.

Finish: Caramel, creamy, praline, vanilla, honey, melon, mint, sweet mint, green bell pepper, basil, peppery, cinnamon, fiery, black pepper, woodsy, cedar, clean, silky, smooth, easy sipper, great, delicious, delightful.

Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal



   Padre Azul Silver Tequila



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Mar Azul Silver Tequila

(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Caramel, sweet cream, vanilla, sweet vanilla, oatmeal cookies melon, blueberries, hint of berry, lime, citrus, raisins, plantain, agave, nice roasted agave, green pepper, rose stems, chopped leafy greens, grassy, floral, herbs, olive, pickle, jalapeño, earthy, oak.

Palate: Chocolate mousse, cocoa, cacao, mocha, toffee, creamy, vanilla, flaming crêpes suzette, grilled pineapple, balanced agave, citrus, strawberry, licorice, nutty, cloves, grass, light pepper, jalapeno, wood, light smoke, balanced, clean, smooth, classic, delicious.

Finish: High quality toffee, chocolate, ripe plantains, coffee, fresh mint, cloves, spice, toasted white pepper, lack pepper, sweet fire, tannic, woody, oak, balanced, smooth.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Mar Azul Silver Tequila



Lovely Rita Silver Tequila
(Tequila, Jalisco)

Aroma: Vanilla, smooth vanilla, cream, praline, toffee, biscotti, poached pears, agave, raw pineapple, raw strawberries, green apple, lime, citrus, green bean, floral, fennel, basil, wet stone, soft, lovely.

Palate: Vanilla, vanilla cupcakes, very creamy, mocha, cane sugar, pineapple, starfruit, citrus, light agave, washed red pepper, Thai basil, wintergreen, mint, cardamom, white pepper, peppery, hot pepper, smooth, bright.

Finish: Nougat, poached apple, agave, mild wintergreen, pepper, light peppery, wet stones, minerality, clean, soft, smooth, amazing.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



   Lovely Rita Silver Tequila



Señor Rio Tequila Blanco
(Tequila, Jalisco)

Aroma: Bright pineapple, raw jackfruit, cooked plantains, dried figs, dates, mixed dried fruits, agave, light bright agave, minty, jasmine, green beans, green pepper, vegetal, pickled peppers, salty & sweet brine, olive, green olive, grassy, wet grass, moss, old leather, musky, woody.

Palate: Cherry cola, dark burnt sugar, oatmeal raisin cookies, cream, caramelized apple, dried figs, agave, pineapple, pear, grapefruit, spearmint, minty, sage, olive, vegetal, herbs, jalapeño, earthy, wood, soft.

Finish: Vanilla cream, clotted cream, creamy, date sugar, banana peel, ruby red grapefruit, Andes mints, light spice, good in a Bloody Mary, smooth, yummy, delicious.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



   Señor Rio Tequila Blanco



Herradura Silver Tequila
(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Vanilla, cream soda, cream, caramel, sweet nougat, mixed berry compote, lime, citrus, olive, dried herbs, green tea, minty, spearmint, light anise, lemongrass, grassy, roasted pepper, hint of pepper, tarragon, fresh leather, earthy, wet stones, slight oak.

Palate: Spicy vanilla cream, creamy, cacao, honey, honeyed papaya, pineapple, ripe pears, apple, green apple, lime, agave, olive, herbs, minty, spearmint, licorice, bay leaf, cinnamon, canella, clove, tobacco, layers of flavor, nicely balanced, clean, smooth.

Finish: Caramel, creamy, honey, lemon/lime soda, agave, floral, spearmint, canella, light spice, white pepper, honeyed pepper, Sichuan pepper, nice balance, crisp, insanely smooth, great.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



   Herradura Silver Tequila



Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila
Organic

(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Red apple, pineapple, cooked pineapple, agave, roasted agave, roasted chestnuts, green beans, boiled green beans, vegetal, lime, jasmine, sandalwood incense, basil, pepper, spicy, dew, cut grass, tomato leaf, sunflower leaves, a garden, earthy.

Palate: Vanilla, cacao, dark sugars, pineapple, citrus, agave, green beans, green peppers, peppers, vegetal, mint, Japanese mint, menthol, fresh cut grass, cardamom, spicy, earthy, smoky, nicely balanced, soft, smooth.

Finish: Vanilla, spiced cream soda, brown sugar, honey, canella, cardamom, spiced, light spice, vegetal undertones, grassy, wet stones, mesquite, smoky, great in a Bloody Mary, clean, mouthwatering.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Rock N Roll Platinum Silver Tequila
(Los Altos, Jalisco)

Aroma: Butterscotch, caramel, apple, poached apple, orchard fruit, fresh cut honeydew, fig, dried berries, honeyed toast, horchata, coffee, rich agave, cucumber, olive, green olives, green beans, vegetal, anise, menthol, floral, herbal, rosemary, sandalwood, pink peppercorns, hint of grass, wet leaves, pine, smoke.

Palate: Vanilla, cream soda, creamy, chocolate, almond syrup, pear, green apple, agave, anise, toasted lime leaf, grassy, spearmint, light bay leaf, cinnamon, peppery, black pepper, hot pepper, nutty, mineral oil, sandalwood, cedar, ash, smoky wood, rich.

Finish: Chocolate, creamy, mocha, fennel, bay leaf, light cardamom, fauna, spearmint, wintergreen, peppery, mineral, smoky, clean, well balanced.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



   Rock N Roll Platinum Silver Tequila



Aldez Blanco Tequila
Certified Organic

(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)


Aroma: Cocoa, cream soda, jelly bean, Fig Newtons, papaya, date, agave, pepper, vegetal, cut hay, floral, lilac, perfume, sandalwood, mineral, wet stone, earthy, light smoke.

Palate: Sweet cream, very creamy, vanilla, mango, agave, citrus, mild bitter lime, green pepper, fennel, anise, minty, grass, herbs, dried herbs, floral, hazelnuts, nutty, potpourri, spice, balanced spice, tarragon, sweet peppercorn, pepper, roasted peppers, hot peppers, earthy, cedar.

Finish: Banana, plantain, figs, tropical fruit, bitter lime, peppery, herbaceous, grassy, pine, mineral, approachable.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



   Aldez Blanco Tequila



David Reyes Silver Tequila
(San Agustin, Tototlan, Jalisco)

Aroma: Caramel, chocolate, Starburst, honey, raw papaya, cut green apples, fresh picked apples, light citrus, clementine, dried raisins, hint of dates, agave, sugar snap peas, green beans, vegetal, herbal, light mint, grass, pink peppercorn, mineral, wet stones, earth, musty, bright.

Palate: Milk chocolate, spicy chocolate, creamy, cacao, sugar cane, raisin, sweet melon, red apple, orange, agave, plantain, banana leaf, anise, green grass, roasted herbs, light coffee, cinnamon, peppered talcum powder, mineral, wet moss, earthy.

Finish: Deep/dark cacao, honey, raisins, Jolly Rancher, watermelon, tropical fruit, red apple, herbaceous, mild sage, fennel, cut grass, slight minty tang, smoke, woodiness, flavorful, smooth, mellow, delicious, a winner.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



   David Reyes Silver Tequila



El Jimador Silver Tequila
(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Honey cream soda, toasted coconut, spicy raisins, papaya, fig, lemon, Meyer lemon citrus peel, citrus, cucumber, floral, light mint, spearmint, anise, aloe, grass, clean, clean laundry, cotton, slightly smoky, clean, crisp.

Palate: Pineapple, poached apples, citrus, verbena, lime leaves, licorice, anise, star anise, elder flower, herbal, wintergreen, cut grass, vegetal, green olive, basil, tarragon, burnt canella, paprika, pepper, wet moss, mossy, earthy, complex.

Finish: Pineapple, canella, floral, licorice, fennel, basil, anise, mint, menthol, clove, peppercorn hints, lightly peppered, pepper, wet dirt, earthy, cool, refreshing, perfect.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



   El Jimador Silver Tequila



Hotel California Blanco Tequila
(Zapotanejo, Jalisco)

Aroma: Vanilla, sweet cream, cream soda, cherry cola, Turkish delight, rosewater candy, licorice, lavender, flower, perfume, sandalwood, lemongrass, mint, peppermint, pepper, white pepper, jalapeño, tobacco, leather, earth, cedar, bright.

Palate: Vanilla, creamy vanilla, creamy, cream soda, bubble gum, green apple candies, very light mint, thin agave, delicately floral, cinnamon stick, white pepper, talc, smoke, wood, extremely smooth.

Finish: Vanilla, cream, creamy, cola, soft rose, bubble gum, agave, anisette biscotti, hints of cinnamon, spice, light pepper, clean, smooth.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Hotel California Blanco Tequila

 

 


 

Tequila History:
Like Mexican culture itself, Tequila is the result of a creative encounter between two worlds, although it is likely that Mexicans would not be inclined to refer to it as creative as much as confrontational, an imposition and, reluctantly, a conquering. The ancient indigenous peoples of this romantic country drank the fermented juice of the agave in the same way that Europeans drank beer or wine. In colonial times, the Spanish came, they saw, and they introduced the distillation process to obtain the liquor now known as Tequila. It may be referred to in some circles as Montezuma's Legacy, but the fact of the matter is that it was crafted and refined by the Spanish who, while spreading their culture, were intent upon maintaining their love of intemperance and serious drinking.

 

AgaveHow Tequila is Made: Tequila is a spirit made by fermenting and distilling the juice of the Blue Weber Agave plant. If you are getting ready for that next tasting party at your home or simply are desirous of furthering your education about Tequila, know that it takes 8 to 10 years for a blue agave plant to reach maturity. It is grown in an officially delimited region of west-central Mexico in the five states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Tamaulipas, Guanajuato, and Michoacán. The blue agave, contrary to what many are led to believe, is not part of the cactus family, so stop looking around the deserts of Arizona to impress those traveling with you. Mezcal, interestingly enough, is the Aztec word for the agave plant but it is not a Tequila, although Mezcal comes from the agave plant it is from outside the delimited area. All Tequila is mezcal, but not all Mezcal is Tequila.


The juice-filled cores are then harvested, trimmed, cut in quarters, baked in steam ovens until their starch converts to sugar, at which point they are pumped into fermentation tanks and combined with cane sugar and yeast. So much for the calorie count. The more sugar that is added (up to 49% of the mixture) the less pungent the Tequila will be. Sugar is never added to the fermentation of 100% blue agave tequilas. If it doesn't say 100% agave, it can still be called “tequila”, but it’s considered a “mixto”.

All Tequilas are double distilled in pot stills (a few utilize a triple distillation, and several use a continuous still), and the second distillation converts the liquor into clean, white high-proof spirit. This Tequila is filtered and its alcohol strength adjusted with demineralized water that brings it to its bottling proof, (usually 80). The end product must be - make that should be – at least 51% derived from that plant, although most bottles will be labeled 100%.

 

tequila shot
Types of Tequila:
– Blanco, (also referred to as White, Silver, and Plata) is colorless, with little or no aging. Blancos are usually bottled right after distillation, and are a great choice for mixed drinks. Blanco Tequila comprises about 86% of the Mexican market.
– Joven (or Suave or Gold) is un-aged Tequila to which select cane sugar or caramels have been added for that tawny color you occasionally see (mixtos). Jovens can also be a blend of blanco and reposado Tequilas, and allowed to settle in the tanks for a few weeks before bottling. They are also perfect for mixed drinks and tend to taste a little sweeter than Blanco.
Reposado is aged in wood tanks or barrels for at least two months, but no longer than one year, as required by the Mexican government. Many reposados average six months.
Añejo must have at least one year in wood. Each distillery has its own preference for the type of barrel used in aging. Most are made from French oak or white oak. It is proper to order an Añejo straight up, and sip it slowly so it can best be enjoyed.
– The newest classification is Extra-Añejo, which are aged for more than 3 years.
– All tequilas start out as Blanco, with portions set aside for aging.

 

The word "tequila" is owned by the Mexican government. Tequila labels usually bear the letters- NOM (Norma Official Mexicana) which are the initials of the Mexican government agency and serves as a quality seal to verify that the Tequila conforms to the laws and standards governing tequila production. Examine the bottle's label for it. In general, 100% agave means better quality, flavour, taste & purity, with no additives. In 1995, 100% agave represented only 15% of the entire production of tequilas. Today, 100% agave tequilas represent more than 50% of the total production. So you can see were the trend is going.

 

The Art of Tasting Tequila: The Tequila Shake – Don’t swirl, place your hand over the mouth of the glass and shake the liquid to release its aroma. Drink at room temperature to judge the products properly.

 

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Please drink responsibly!

Comments or questions welcome, please e-mail to: editor@thefiftybest.com

 



 
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