There are a number of thousand tequila manufacturers (actually) and seemingly extra every week. And no surprise: the agave spirit has handed whiskey in retail gross sales, and the class grew 11.5% from 2021 to 2022 and reveals completely zero indicators of slowing down. However together with progress comes the nagging query — what are these newer manufacturers really bringing to the desk?
Certain, Cristalinos had been enjoyable for a second. And there are many attention-grabbing barrel maturation ideas on the market. However looking down newer tequilas that provide extra than simply “100% Blue Weber agave” and have bottles past the usual blanco, reposado, añejo and further añejo expressions took a little bit of (enjoyable) work. Under, 10 tequilas (and tequila liqueurs) that truly present one thing slightly particular in a market saturated with similarity. In the event you’re in search of tequila with a brand new story and an attention-grabbing style profile, we propose shopping for one of many following bottles.
Drink a Margarita, save an endangered species. That’s the thought behind Alma Del Jaguar, new 100% Blue Weber agave blanco and reposado tequilas (each additive-free) that simply launched in Could. The juice was created, partially, by spirits entrepreneur McCauley Williams, who was impressed by his uncle’s dedication to wild jaguar preservation in northern Mexico (a portion of the bottle’s proceeds go to conservation organizations). We tried the blanco, made utilizing Los Altos agave, brick ovens, curler mill extraction, nicely water and copper pot stills. A lot of the tequila is fermented from pure wild yeast, and a portion is fermented from Champagne yeast imported from France. It’s a pleasant melange of citrus, black pepper, grapefruit and orange, with an underlying grassiness and minerality.
Growing older tequila in wine barrels is comparatively unusual, however Inspiro claims to be the primary to take action in rosé barrels (their Rosa Reposado can also be completed in pinot noir wine barrels). Additive-free, this women-owned, woman-distilled, licensed WBENC model even has a uniquely-shaped bottle that’s simpler to carry. Each releases have notes of vanilla, cooked agave and berries, with the repo including some fruitier notes.
This uncommon single property launch hails from Julious Grant at The Model Home Group (OMAGE brandy, TEITESSA Japanese whisky), who was born and raised in Mexico. Every year, the classic will really hail from a brand new and completely different property. We had been in a position to strive the Blanco and Reposado, which had been 2021 vintages; the previous is good, shiny and fruity, and the Reposado has a pleasant contact of butterscotch.
Fermented with a proprietary yeast, this further añejo tequila is distilled twice in copper pot stills after which aged in three kinds of oak barrels — ex-Scotch, sherry and brandy — for 5 years. The cooked agave flavors right here stay intact, with some sweeter butterscotch, chocolate and darkish fruit notes rounding out this distinctive sipper.
An natural, additive-free tequila, this reposado was completed in each ex-bourbon barrels and barrels seasoned with espresso from Chiapas, Mexico. The cooked agave aroma and taste nonetheless stand out right here, with the barrels including hints of vanilla, chocolate, oak and roasted espresso.
Founder Michael Ballantyne is Scottish born and Texas-raised, and — in line with the model — he found Mexico in 2016 when he hung out in his mom’s hometown of San Miguel De Allende. That distinctive heritage might clarify Storywood, that are reposado and añejo tequilas aged in whisky barrels from Speyside, Scotland. The reposado does a advantageous job marrying the 2 worlds of agave and whisky; the agave is highly effective on the nostril with notes of caramel, vanilla and oak on the palate. The añejo has already received a Double Gold on the San Francisco World Spirits Competitors, and it ought to attraction to whisky followers who need the earthiness of tequila with extra pronounced barrel notes, together with hints of toffee, darkish fruit and cocoa.
A sipping blanco tequila? I’d argue all the great ones are sippable, however that’s the said goal of Campari’s new luxurious agave launch, which affords some distinctive maceration and mixing strategies. Earlier than the ultimate distillation, the distillery macerates the roasted piñas within the base distillate “to ask the aromas and taste of caramelized, cooked agave.” And so they mix that with agave miel (an agave honey byproduct) into the bottom distillate. It actually makes for a singular character, one the place candy, cooked agave notes really stand out (together with honey, orange and citrus).
Whereas based greater than 40 years in the past, Cantera Negra is comparatively new to the U.S. market — it was partially acquired by Deutsch Household Wine & Spirits close to the tip of 2022. Accessible in Silver, Reposado, Añejo, Further Añejo and Café expressions, the final one is essentially the most fascinating. Very like the brand new Cafe launch from Cazadores, that is an agave-based espresso liqueur that ought to make up for the shocking discontinuation of Patron XO. As for the tequila itself, the Silver is a bit sweeter than different blancos to steadiness its earthier notes. We haven’t tried their aged tequilas, however they’re rested in customized coal-fired barrels.
Impressed by Mediterranean winemaking and introduced in ceramic bottles, these tequilas are aged in wine barrels and aerated to complete. Accessible in 4 expressions (Reposado Rosa, Añejo Cristalino, Añejo Reserva and Further Añejo), the Further Añejo really scored the primary 100-point rating ever by The Tasting Panel. Our favourite is the Reserva — aged in French oak wine barrels, bourbon barrels and sherry casks, it achieves a beautiful and candy jamminess with hints of cocoa and the earthy agave notes intact.
Can a luxurious tequila conquer the low-alc market? Punta Santos is just 28% ABV and 77 energy per serving, and it’s nonetheless 100% Blue Weber agave and comprises no further flavors, colorants or sweeteners. Accessible completely on-line, this tequila — technically a “tequila liqueur” and featured in a large, beaker-like vessel — encompasses a steadiness of citrus, pepper and cooked agave on the nostril and palate with, as supposed, no burn (it’s mushy and appears splendid as a mixer for a Paloma).
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