Category: Tequila Reviews

Don’t you just love change? Let’s face it, most of us don’t, which is why it can be downright scary when theres a change to your favorite tequila. When the bottle changes you can’t help but worry if the tequila has changed as well. One such case is the mega-popular Don Julio 1942, which saw a change to its bottle AND recipe a few years ago.
Don Julio 1942 Tequila Bottles Old and New
I first tasted Don Julio 1942 back around 2006. It came in a cool wooden “coffin” box and the bottle was tall and slightly rounded with an agave leaf shape blown into the glass. It had a blue label and a screw top. I drank this like a mad man for several years.

When they changed the bottle to the taller, darker brown design of today, I smelled it and realized it was different! To be honest, I got angry, and I childishly refused to drink it ever again!

I thought to myself: “Why did they mess with such a good thing?!”

Years go by, and after we launched the Tequila Matchmaker, we saw Don Julio 1942 shoot right up the charts to become the most popular tequila according to our users. All these people can’t be wrong, so we decided to give it another try. We wanted it to be absolutely fair, so we used the “blind rating” tool within the Tequila Matchmaker. This is a cool feature built into the app that makes it possible to rate a tequila without any biases.

We were shocked to discover that Scarlet and I both liked the NEW version better!

This was totally unexpected. When a tequila brand changes a bottle or recipe, it’s usually because they are trying to save some money at the expense of quality. But this was clearly not the case here.

The new Don Julio 1942 has a little more vanilla, and slightly more caramelized baked agave to the aroma. The older formula smells great, but the new stuff smells even better. The flavor is deeper, richer, rounder, and has a slightly cleaner finish.

We were so surprised by this that we had to get other people involved. So over the course of several months, we invited 12 different tequila enthusiasts to our house and gave them 2 glasses marked “A”, and “B”. We didn’t tell them what it was, and asked them to tell us “which do you like better?”

Only 8% said they liked both equally, while 25% said they liked the old stuff, and 67% said the new Don Julio 1942 was better. Validation!

Don Julio 1942 - Taste Test Results

Afterward, we told them what they had just tasted, and almost everyone was surprised.

So, the next time your favorite tequila changes something, don’t panic! Just remain calm, do your own blind taste test, because you may be pleasantly surprised.

We’d love to know what you think, too. Log into the Tequila Matchmaker and share your ratings with us!

– Grover

The Don Fulano brand of tequilas are created at the La Tequileña distillery (NOM 1146), which is located right in the center of the town of Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico. It has a very large aging room with a variety of different types of barrels, so maybe that’s part of the reason why the Don Fulano 5-year Añejo is so good.

[Disclaimer: My statement in the video that the 1146 aging room is the largest in "the world" may not be entirely accurate, but the place is giant, and is definitely one of the largest in the tequila industry.]

Although the label say’s it’s an “añejo”, it’s actually an “extra añejo” because it has been aged longer than 3 years. There’s something in the official tequila labeling rules that prevents brands from using the term “extra añejo” if they include the length of time it has been aged on the label. Weird and confusing? Yes, but let’s move on… :-)

The Don Fulano 5-year Añejo is aged in new French oak barrels, which is what gives it the bitter chocolate aromas we detected right away. It’s loaded with earthy notes (like peat), and honey.

The bitter chocolate lives on in the flavor, too, and it kind of creeps up on you as it opens up. The flavor is surprising because it isn’t what you would initially expect from the aroma. We experienced a sweet caramel flavor and a finish that was silky going down. There were also some spices, with a touch of anise; the flavor overall was very pleasant.

Grover’s Tasting Notes via the Tequila Matchmaker mobile app:

“This tequila has bright peat, cinnamon and earthy aromas, and a delightful almost fruity flavor. The finish seems to bring a few surprises as it delivers waves of delicious complexity. This is a real treat.”

This bottle retails for about $129., and we bought ours online. If you really like aged tequilas, you may be used to paying premium prices. As far as value for what you’re getting, this is certainly worth the money.

If you are into aged tequilas, this is a great one because it’s still holding onto its agave source, and delivers a surprisingly delicious taste.

Living in Mexico for 2 years, you would have thought we would have had ready access to every tequila ever created, but this is not the case. Although 100% of all tequila in the world is created in Mexico, the vast majority of it is made for export only. In the past 2 years several really great tequilas made their way to market, and we weren’t able to try them until now.

One such example is Excellia Tequila, a product created by two masters in the wine and spirits world, Jean-Sébastien Robicquet, founder of EWG Spirits & Wine, Carlos Camarena the maker of El Tesoro de Don Felipe and Tapatio tequilas.

What these two men have created is an example of master craftsmanship, creativity, and a fearless passion for innovation. The Excellia lineup has been a great “welcome home” for us.

The Excellia Blanco was our favorite of the three. It has a beautiful oily mouth feel, with aromas of citrus and vanilla. This tequila has been delicately rested for a few weeks in wine casks and cognac barrels, which is what gives it that slight hint of wood.

It has a very unique aroma, it tastes delicious, is smooth and silky, with a pleasant finish that lingers on for a while. You could easily drink this all night long and not get bored with it.

The Excellia Reposado (aged 9 months in wine casks and cognac barrels) is great right out of the bottle, but let it open up in the glass for a while, and it gets even better. Over time, we noticed that it developed beautiful floral aromas like violet and lavender, and even olive and leather. It has a nice spicy finish at the end.

The Excellia Añejo is aged longer than the reposado (18 months in wine casks and cognac barrels), so it naturally brings with it some additional wood properties – including some bitterness that many añejo drinkers love. It has some dried fruit and desert aromas as well. The finish was similar to a dry white wine, and is very warm and comforting.

This tequila has earned a permanent place on our bar at home. Give it a try and let us know if you feel the same way.

Clayton Szczech of Experience Tequila is a frequent house guest of ours in Mexico City. On one recent visit we decided to put him to work – blind tasting three different expressions of Espolon reposado. (The old version in the original tall bottle; the new version commonly found in the USA; and a version that’s only found in Mexico that’s aged in bourbon barrels.)

Within the last few years, this well-known tequila brand has gone through some changes. The brand was purchased by Campari/Skyy, the bottle design was changed, and the tequila inside is slightly different.

So which is better? Watch the video to find out!

But I am pleased to say that after the blind taste test, Clayton and I agreed.

- Grover

A while back we did a review of a tequila with an odd name and a cool bottle: Alien blanco. We can still remember enjoying its gentle fruity aromas. So, when we heard that the brand was producing a new extra añejo, we were anxious to get our hands on it. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait long – they sent us a bottle before it was even released to the general public.

(You can buy it at Liquid Experience in San Francisco: (415) 255-6718, and they will ship it upon request.)

Again, we loved the presentation of its iridescent alien-head shaped bottle, but don’t worry, this tequila has substance in addition to style.

The extra añejo is a pleasant surprise because it retains a nice agave nose that mixes well with butterscotch and vanilla aromas. The smell of it alone invites you to dive in for a taste. The taste does not disappoint either – it hasn’t gone too far in the aging process like some extra añejos, and it has a very nice mouth feel and a gentle finish with hints of agave and anise.

We always get excited about small brands that are doing it right, and it certainly seems like Alien tequila owner George Harris has done a good job at turning his passion into a quality product. We got a chance to speak with George when he was in Mexico City recently, meeting with his bottle maker. He dropped by our bar with his business partner Irma Aguirre, and we shared a few drinks, and of course, plenty of tequila talk.

Alien is distributed in a handful of states including, Nevada, Ohio, and Michigan, and they are looking to “abduct” people in more states soon.

If you get a chance to get your hands on a bottle, try it and enjoy.

-Scarlet

P.S. In the video, we forgot the name of George and Irma’s restaurant in Las Vegas (sorry!). It’s called “Mundo” and it’s worth a visit.

Alien Tequila owners, George and Irma with Grover

Alien Tequila partners, George (left) and Irma with Grover (right)

With so many new tequila brands making their way to the market, experienced tequila drinkers often look for clues that indicate if a particular brand is worthy of a try. Clues can take the form of a particular process or distillery, as well as the people behind the brand. For us, it means a lot when a new brand has a well-seasoned and reputable master distiller who carefully crafts the flavor profile, and watches over the process.

Fortunately, Gran Dovejo has just such a master distiller in Leopoldo Solis Tinoco. Solis also had a hand in Don Pilar and Siembra Azul, among other well-known tequilas. Based on this alone, we were anxious to give this tequila a try – and recently, we did.

Gran Dovejo is made in the highlands of Jalisco using many of our favorite techniques: the use of very ripe single-estate agave, cooked in clay ovens, distilled in copper pots, and created in small batches. (In other words even more “clues.”)

Its blanco has a strong agave nose with aromas of citrus, olive, and pepper. In the mouth it has a nice oiliness with a gentle, minty finish. The reposado has aromas of butter and vanilla, with an added touch of cinnamon to its flavor profile. The reposado is aged for 6 to 9 months in American oak barrels.

The añejo has intensified vanilla and oak flavors, as well as a lighter finish. It is aged up to 3 years, or whenever Solis says it’s ready. The entire line is balanced and pleasant, and it’s nice to see the continuation of aromas and flavors from blanco to añejo. There is a slight bit of astringency throughout the line, and it is most prominent in the añejo, but is not a deal killer.

One thing we like to do when tasting a tequila is to leave our tasting glasses out overnight so we can see how the aromas have changed or intensified after the alcohol has evaporated. During the tasting Grover said that he was picking up on a cherry aroma in the añejo, and the next day it was confirmed with a very strong cherry and cinnamon aromas in the near-empty glass.

If you are already a fan of Solis’ other products, we’re certain that Gran Dovejo will not disappoint you. If you’re not, we recommend that you give this one a try.

Because we’re living in Mexico City during a huge mezcal revival, we’ve tried very hard to like this traditional Mexican spirit. Not only are there three mezcalerias within a stone’s throw of our house, but there’s also something very interesting going on culturally with mezcal. Simply put – it is everywhere, while tequila is not.

Unfortunately, our trail of tears with mezcal (and mezcal lovers’ anger and disbelief) has been amply recorded on the site. What can we say? It’s just too smoky for us.

I was talking about this conundrum with my friend John Hecht, a veteran Mexico City reporter and mezcal lover himself who has watched the spirit gain steam in the city over the last five years.

“Maybe you should try a mezcal that’s just not that smoky,” he said. And then he said he might have the perfect one.

So, Grover and I went over to John’s house the other night to sample this special not-so-smoky mezcal. John got it from a well-known producer in Oaxaca.

The bottle had no label or name on it, because apparently you can go to most small mezcal producers in Oaxaca with an empty bottle and ask them to fill it with their special juice. Ahh, Mexico!

The mezcal in question was un-aged of a type called “tobaciche”, which means it is made from wild agaves. Some think that wild agaves produce a stronger agave flavor compared to cultured agaves.

(Still, we were concerned that even this highly recommended mezcal might be too smoky for us, so we brought a flask filled with Fortaleza blanco in case we found ourselves in a drinking emergency.)

John poured us each a shot (you can see the first taste, and my honest reaction on the video, above) and I had to admit that the smell was not as smoky as usual. Underneath I could detect some minerals and faint mint.

On the first sip I discovered it had a nice mouth feel with a tingly finish of mint.

Grover, who was busy behind the camera during the initial tasting, tried the mezcal when we finished filming. His opinion was similar to mine in that it was better than any other mezcal we’ve tried thus far, and did have something more to offer than just a high octane proof point and smoke. There were some agave flavors still detectable in this one.

“Tequila is like a nice clear and pleasant conversation where you can hear every word being said by the other person,” Grover said. “On the other hand, mezcal is like a trying to have a conversation in a loud and crowded party where there is a ton of activity going on, and it’s hard to hear any single voice.”

“Some say that mezcal is ‘more complex’, but I find it to be more confusing,” he said.

Would we rather sip on a nice tequila? The truthful answer is yes, but while out with friends drinking mezcal at least we found something we could appreciate, and that’s progress.

(And for the record: We’ve tried dozens of different mezcals since we’ve been living in Mexico. We’ve sought out the opinions of mezcal experts and have tasted what many mezcal fans considered “the best,” and in the end, we prefer tequila. It’s a personal choice, so mezcal lovers, don’t be offended. We just don’t like the smoke, and that’s why we don’t drink smoky whiskey either. Our experiment with mezcal has now reached its end, and (hopefully) you won’t see any more stories about mezcal on this blog. Viva tequila!)

- Scarlet

All around Mexico City, tucked among the usual tequila fare, we’ve seen a new contender – Alacrán tequila. The brand is based here, which explains its ubiquity, but it has been making its way far and wide, and we were curious to find out what was in its mysterious matte black bottle.

The brand only offers a blanco, so we picked up a bottle and eagerly opened its screw top. It has a mild alcohol aroma when you first pour it, but it opens up nicely over time. That’s when you start to smell its faint coconut, raw agave and butter aromas.

In the glass, its legs are thin and that plays out as a somewhat watery mouth feel. There isn’t a lot of oils in this tequila presumably because of the fast cooking process the makers chose by using a column still (also called a continuous still). Slow cooking retains more oils from the agave, and the oils carry aromas and flavors.

But the proof is in the mouth, and once we tried it we had a draw: I didn’t like it and Grover thought it was “okay.”

Alacrán, which means “scorpion” in Spanish, is made at the Tierra de Agaves distillery in Tequila, Jalisco, where they also make Luna Azul and La Certeza. They promote the brand as an “authentic” tequila for independent people.

Whether it is considered authentic or not, my real problem with the scorpion was its sting. It left me with a strange bitterness at the top of my palette/back of my throat that lingers unpleasantly. As it turns out, the sting was the one element that Grover didn’t mind, especially compared to the typical tequila found here in Mexico City. Go figure.

So, what you think?

-Scarlet

About a month ago, liquor stores in Guadalajara started prominently displaying a new innovation in tequila presentations – tequila in a can! Actually, a half can, like the new mini Cokes. Of course, we’ve already seen mixed drinks such as palomas in a (full-sized) can, but we’ve never seen straight 100% agave tequila artfully siphoned into an aluminum receptacle with a pop top for our drinking enjoyment. But this is just what the brand La Gavilana did, offering up its canned reposado for about $5 bucks. Needless to say, we had to give it a try.

I’ll be honest – I had my hesitations. Tinny tequila did not sound appetizing. However, the company’s website assured me that a can was the perfect presentation for this tequila because it was easy to chill, easy to transport and recyclable. It also said that this repo is aged 6 to 8 months in American Oak, and is not only double distilled, but filtered!

Despite these assurances, I felt that my evaluation would be tainted by the can factor so I asked my brother Matt Pruitt, who is a member of the punk rock band The Have Nots, to help me assess it. Perhaps it wouldn’t meet my standards, but what about the standards of a touring, hard drinking, hard partying punk who can’t afford to spend $60 (or $30) on a nice bottle of tequila. At 5 shots for $5, maybe it would suffice.

You can see us tasting it for the first time (and our honest reactions) in this video:

We popped the top and I pour the fizzy beverage into my brandy sifter. The color, of a light golden beer, or “piss” as Matt said, was not exactly pleasing. Also, it was very cloudy due to the fizz.

It had a raw agave, mineral nose. The taste was astringent, alcohol, and not much else since we served it ice cold, as recommended on the side of the can.

The verdict: a definite thumbs down from me, a “well, maybe, if I was really desperate,” from Matt, who will drink just about anything.

So, punks, there you have it. If you ever find yourself touring Mexico and need a cheap, easy, tinny tequila option, La Gavilana may be for you. Or not.

-Scarlet

The other day we visited David Yan, Marketing Director for Casa Noble tequila in Mexico, at his house in Guadalajara. Part of David’s job is to bring guests to the Casa Noble distillery, conduct tastings and delve into the fine points of how to really taste and enjoy tequila. When it comes to tequila tastings, David really knows his stuff.

During our visit, David showed us how to warm up our mouths for tastings. Yes! You need to warm up so don’t sprain anything. Okay, it’s actually to activate your taste sensors. (See the video on how to warm up your mouth.)

Once we were done with the warm up, he tapped into his collection of treasure bottles and let us sample a 11-12 year old Casa Noble Crystal, second release. This is Casa Noble blanco from another era entirely, and given how much I enjoy their current blanco I couldn’t wait to try it.

The beautiful, iridescent bottle of Crystal did not disappoint. Upon smell, it had fresh agave, herbal and citrus aromas and not a lot of alcohol. Once we dove in, the taste was a bit sweeter than I expected, but balanced and completely pleasant, with a slight tingle at the back.

During our tasting, David pointed out what to look for as you smell the aromas of a tequila, and where you can find certain aromas in the glass. For example, when you smell with your nose at the bottom of the glass, you usually find agave and alcohol aromas. In the middle of the glass is where you’ll get more herbals and citrus. At the top of the glass you’ll be able to detect secondary aromas produced during the distillation process, such as florals and chemicals.

Of course, you don’t need a treasure bottle to start practicing your tasting skills, so grab a bottle of tequila, warm up your mouth and conduct a formal at-home tequila tasting. You might discover something entirely new!

-Scarlet

Tequileño Gran Reserva - our personal favorite - is a reposado aged 11 1/2 months - that's 2 weeks shy of becoming an añejo, and is one of the reasons that it's a super smooth reposado.

Tequila lovers in the U.S. should think about clearing some space on their bars this month because El Tequileño is bringing their excellent — and affordable — 100% agave line to the United States.

The brand has been a staple in the Mexican market for over 50 years, but they just recently created a line aimed for export: Platino blanco, Gran Reserva reposado and Especial 50 Aniversario añejo.

El Tequileño Platino is a well-rounded sipper with herbal and floral notes and a medium mouth-coating body sure to please many blanco lovers. (In fact, it was unanimously admired in a blind tasting in my recent tequila tasting course.)

The Gran Reserva reposado (my personal favorite) is a force to be reckoned with. Aged 11 and a half months, it is nearly an añejo and carries all the rich caramel and vanilla flavors you’d expect from a well aged tequila while still retaining the agave. Both the Platino and the Gran Reserva are viscous and linger pleasantly in the mouth. And, at $25 for the blanco and $30 for the repo, you can’t beat the price.

It’s been a while since I’ve tried the Especial 50 Aniversario, but I remember it as a smoothed out version of the Gran Reserva with a deep barrel color. It’s also a pleaser and went rather quickly at several tequila events we held. It’s priced at $40 a bottle.

We always have the Platino and Gran Reserva stocked on our bar in Mexico because they are great everyday tequilas that you don’t have to save for special occasions.

El Tequileño is also an interesting brand in that they put a lot of environmentally friendly efforts into the making of their tequila. The manufacturing process creates a large amount of waste water and they’ve come up with a way to deal with it. By taking the dry agave fibers from the process, they pump all of their wastewater into the fibers, and treat the mixture as compost. As the sun evaporates the water, the rest of the material stays with the fibers and creates excellent fertilizer. They then use those nutrient-rich pellets in their agave fields – and no production waste water is ever released into the agave landscape.

Grover recently visited their distillery, camera in-hand, and gives the lowdown on their process in our video review, filmed at the Qunita Don Jose Boutique Hotel in Tlaquepaque, Mexico:

So, if you’re looking for a tasty and affordable everyday tequila, give Tequileño a try and let us know what you think. Here’s a list of the states where the line while be available: CA, TX, NV, CO, TN, IL, GA, NC, SC, FL, MD, ID, IA, MI, WI, AL, MO, PA, and HI.

-Scarlet

The other day our good friend Mark Alberto Holt, creator of the SFT Tequila Bar in Sayulita, Mexico, stopped by with a very special gift. He had managed to obtain a rare and much-coveted bottle of El Tesoro de Don Felipe 70th Anniversario extra añejo. This baby is aged 7 years in American white oak bourbon barrels and only 2007 cases were made. The Camarena family released it in 2007 to celebrate 70 years of tequila making.

After hearing Mark talk about the special properties of this tequila—including the fact that it contains juice from especially sweet agave that survived a freeze—we just had to try it.

This tequila has a pleasant nose of sweet agave, vanilla and cherry with a distinct note of molasses. Once it hits the mouth it is soft and smooth with hints of cherry, and honey. The agave “bite” at the back is extremely subtle, making this a great choice for drinkers who prefer rich, subtle flavors over more traditional tequila qualities.

In short, this is a must have extra añejo, if you can find it. Thanks, Mark!

-Scarlet

For two full months I had been mentally preparing myself for Mark’s visit to our new apartment in Tlaquepaque. Mark Alberto Holt is the mastermind behind the SFT Tequila Bar in Sayulita, Mexico. He’s a great friend, and Scarlet and I were really excited to have him at our house for a few days.

In a previous entry, Mark and Gabbi Villarrubia mentioned that Don Fernando’s TKO tequila is the best tequila to drink when you’re hang out with your buddies, so I made sure we had a bottle in the house in plenty of time for his arrival.

It was a good call.

Don Fernando TKO Silver is a special edition double-distilled 100-proof, 100% agave tequila that comes in a red bottle shaped like a boxing glove. The 50% alcohol volume makes it a strong contender as a fun party guest. It’s a really nice tequila to drink because it’s got a slightly pleasant, spicy sensation to it, yet it feels smooth at the same time. Even though it’s got some really high alcohol content, it’s still easy to drink.

I thing the TKO is the perfect tequila to break out when you’re ready to have a fun night. The TKO gets things off to a great start – filling you with energy and enthusiasm, anxious to celebrate life’s adventures. In this respect, the TKO did not disappoint, and the night was a fun adventurous way to welcome Mark into town.

This tequila is made for men. It is certainly strong stuff, and if you’re not careful, you could end up getting drunk really fast. Scarlet decided to leave the TKO for us, while she happily sipped on Tequileño Reposado.

Mark and I ended up killed 3/4 of the bottle that night, thinking that we were just going to hang out in the apartment all night – talking and catching up. But plans changed when we got a text message from our friend Clayton:

“At the Quinta Don Jose with Guillermo Sauza”

WHAT! The maker of one of our favorite tequilas in the world is hanging out inside of one of our favorite hotels in the world?!

We dropped everything and ran over to the hotel, and there was a nice happy crowd sitting in the back courtyard of the hotel – right where Scarlet and I were married. This is like sentimental ground zero for us. There were bottles of Los Abuelos (It’s available under the “Fortaleza” brand in the USA) all over the table, and people were busy chatting and drinking.

Guillermo Sauza is a modern day tequila rock star with huge family roots in the tequila world. He does his own thing, his own way, and – like the tequila he produces – is 100% unique and authentic. There’s nobody like Guillermo, and there’s no tequila like Fortaleza.

Hanging out with him is always a pleasure, and hours can slip by without notice as you listen to his stories. He is a fifth-generation descendant of the Sauza family – a family that has done really great things for the tequila industry.

It was a very fun night, and a fantastic way to welcome Mark into town. We barely slept at all.

The next day, as we were exhausted laying on the couch talking about the night, we decided to flip on the video camera and record our conversation. It was most definitely a great evening, and it all started with good friends and a bottle of TKO.

- Grover

There’s something about Siete Leguas blanco that serious tequila drinkers really love. It has a pleasant nose of agave and earth aromas and the taste is strong and traditional, yet smooth. Many think it is what a blanco should be — it carries a true agave flavor, with a medium spicy finish at the back that is memorable.

So imagine our surprise when we visited the Corrido distillery last week and some people in our group started comparing Corrido blanco with Siete Leguas blanco. Corrido has its differences, for sure. The nose is a little more pungent and fruitier, but it too is packed with agave flavor. The Corrido coats your mouth in a more viscous way than Siete Leguas and is smoother overall.

There was an obvious moral dilemma going on with a few of members of our group — they absolutely loved Siete Leguas blanco but now they were thinking that they may have found something better. However, at the distillery it was hard to say because we only had the Corrido and our fuzzy memories of Siete Leguas. So, we decided that we would compare them at home head-to-head.

We asked fellow Corrido tour members Ryan Kelley, The Tequila Examiner, and Clayton Szczech of Experience Tequila, to sit down with a glass of each of the blancos and tell us which they liked best.

See them, sitting on our porch, tasting the two blancos in this video:

As they repeatedly smelled and tasted each blanco we could tell it was a tough challenge. But when they came to their final decisions, a new standard in blancos was made. The winner: newcomer Corrido blanco!

The love of long-time favorite Siete Leguas was still present, as they qualified their choices – saying both were  exceptional blancos and could actually be enjoyed together.

“It’s a meal,” Ryan said. “Start off with Siete Leguas and finish it up with the punch of the Corrido.”

So although Siete Leguas still has a warm place in our hearts, it just goes to show that with a variety of tequila is that exist today it’s possible to find a new favorite, even if you’re not looking for one.

(See our review of Corrido’s full line.)

-Taste Tequila

It’s unusual for us to visit a distillery that makes a brand of tequila we’ve never heard of before, that turns out to be a real must-have. But that’s exactly what happened last week when we visited the PRASA distillery, which makes both Sol de Mexico (which we already reviewed) and a new line called Corrido.

Corrido (which takes it name from the narrative ballads typical in Mexico) is a bright and crisp line of tequila with solid agave taste and spice that tails off at the back, in true traditional style. But it is also packed with subtle and well-balanced flavors.

The blanco tastes of slightly sweet agave, citrus and a hint of grass. It has been medium nose of earth and agave flavors that preps the mouth for a similar taste.

The reposado, aged a little over eight months, has a delicious, floral and fruity bouquet with a hint of butter. Just the smell of it is enough to make you fall for this tequila.

The añejo, which spent 18 months in a barrel, resembles the reposado but with intensified flavors of vanilla and caramel. They also make an extra añejo, which we did not get a chance to try, but can only imagine is a real pleasure.

(All aging times are approximate since workers at the plant try the tequila over and over again to determine when it tastes just right. “The tequila tells us when it is ready,” said Operations Director Cesar Gonzalez.)

The PRASA distillery is located in the highlands of Jalisco, where the soil is fertile and red and the temperature is slightly cooler than is in the lowlands. This is also where the company grows the agave it uses in its tequila. This may account for the brightness of Corrido’s agave flavor.

With Corrido, the company uses a single barrel process, meaning that the tequila rests in one barrel at a time and there is no mixing of barrels. Corrido reposado and añejo are first rested in old bourbon barrels and then are switched to old whiskey barrels, giving them a rich flavor base.

As good as the aged tequilas are, some in our group immediately fell in love with the blanco, noting that it shares some characteristics with Siete Leguas blanco, another crisp and traditional tequila favorite. (This is the inspiration for our next video – “A Tale of Two Blancos,” where Corrido and Siete Leguas go head-to-head. )

Corrido is just starting out but we think it carries a catchy tune. If you live in California or Arizona, look for it on the shelves — replete with a guitar pick tied at the neck of the bottle.

Corrido is a must-have for any tequila bar. It’s that good.

-Scarlet y Grover

Something about the Sol de Mexico bottles gripped our imaginations and we couldn’t wait to try the golden spirits inside. The bottles have an artisan feel that made us think that the tequila was produced using a traditional process that rendered a classic product.

When we finally got a chance to sample their contents we discovered that we weren’t far off. That’s probably because this line of tequila has been produced in Mexico for decades and has just recently come to the States.

The blanco tastes of slight vanilla, cucumber and spice with a flair of a finish that is common in traditional tequilas. The repo was an intensification of the blanco but with butterscotch flavor added to the front. The añejo takes it one step further with more caramel and a long peppery finished.

The most remarkable thing about this line is that the flavors connect and build as the tequila is aged to create a distinctive family.

Each tequila is full of flavor that stays with you long after you’ve swallowed. It would be interesting to see how they pair with food—the añejo with dessert and the repo with something savory.

As far as we know, Sol de Mexico is only available in Arizona and California (at BevMo and select other locations) at this time, but if you see it on the shelves give it a try. It makes for an interesting sip and will certainly give you and your friends something to talk about.

-Taste Tequila

People often ask us which tequilas they should pickup in Mexico that they can’t get here in the states. Of course, there are scores of tequilas that never make it across the border but we have a few Mexico-only favorites that we often recommend. And the good news is that at least two of our three favorites are due to come out in the states very soon.

We recently discovered a gem of a tequila called El Tequileño, which is reposado aged for close to one year (11 months and 2 weeks to be exact), giving it a rich, full-bodied flavor. It is extremely affordable considering it is of añejo quality. Given that it’s priced around $25, we crammed our luggage with several bottles the last time we went to Mexico.

Our next pick is Siete Leguas D’Antaño extra añejo. Many consider the Siete Leguas line as the cream of the crop of traditional Mexican tequilas. If you appreciate the clean agave kick of their blanco, you’ve got to taste how the line progresses all the way to the extra añejo.

Both El Tequileno and the D’Antaño are due out in the states soon. We will let you know as soon as they hit the shelves.

Finally, our last pick is Maestro Tequilero tequila añejo classico, a smooth and rich tequila that carries all the oaky flavors that you expect from an aged spirit.

So far, we’ve only seen this in duty free, although we suspect you might be able to get it in other retail outlets in Mexico. But even if you can’t, duty free is a quick and easy way to get your hands on it. (That’s where we got the bottle we’re showing in the video.)

So, if you’re going to Mexico or have a friend who’s going, you may want to send them this list. Otherwise, wait a little while and they just may come to you.

-Taste Tequila

Maybe you’ve been there—you’re out on the town with friends or you’re hosting a party and everyone looks to you to pick the tequila because you’re the “tequila expert.”

The problem is that you don’t know what everyone will like. They may or may not like what you like, or they may not have any experience with tequila at all so what you pick better be good or else it could turn them off on the spirit altogether.

Have no fear—we have a solution for you! Here’s our list of tried and tested tequila crowd pleasers. All of the tequilas mentioned in this video have a special place in our hearts and have won over even the most stubborn cosmo drinkers with their agave charms.

Drum roll, please … Our list of crowd pleasers includes the full line of tequilas from Dos Lunas, the full line from Partida, Cielo (again, blanco, repo and añejo) and Don Julio 1942. We honestly feel that you can’t go wrong with these choices.

You may have to ask a few questions to determine which type of tequila your friends will like best. For instance, do they prefer strong spirits or something smoother and mellower? If they enjoy a drink to pack a bit of a punch, a blanco might be a great choice, but if they like cognac and whiskeys, go with the añejos. For the best of both worlds, choose one of the reposados.

For something really special, go with the Don Julio 1942 extra añejo.

So go out there and order with confidence! These picks will assure your place as the “tequila expert.”

-Taste Tequila

It’s always nice to have an Extra Añejo around the house, for special occasions or to give to friends who don’t know how far tequila has come. As you may know, “extra añejos” are aged over 3 years and usually have a complex, cognac-like flavor.

We have been collecting some really nice extra añejos on our bar but we had never tried them back-to-back, so we decided to have an Extra Añejo Smackdown!

The contenders: Herradura’s Seleccion Suprema, Gran Centenarrio’s Leyenda, and Cabo Wabo’s Cabo Uno.

There wasn’t a clear “winner,” but a tie for first between Seleccion Suprema and Leyenda. Both are excellent choices but, according to Grover, depending on your company, you might want to bring out Leyenda as a sure-fire winner “for the ladies,” since it is smooth and refined and can be sipped pleasurably all evening.

We found the Cabo Uno to be very intense and spicy – something that you would drink before going out to a dance club or an active party, which is very in-line with their rock-and-roll image. Grover said that this tequila would be good for “a group of guys who wanted to go out and get into to some trouble.”

Seleccion Suprema, the most expensive of the three with a price tag around $350/bottle in the U.S., was smooth like the Leyenda, and had some hints of spice as well a flavorful back, like the Cabo Uno. We felt that the Seleccion Suprema would be a good tequila for an evenly mixed crowd of males and females looking to celebrate a special occasion, or to serve as a great dessert tequila.

A few days ago we got our hands on the full line of El Gran Jubileo tequilas and we sat down with them over a couple of nights to sip and see what we would discover.

What we found is that overall it is a smooth and consistent line that is pleasant to drink.

The blanco is distilled three times so it’s mellow to drink but still retains a crisp agave flavor with notes of citrus. The reposado was my personal favorite because it is just as smooth as the blanco but carries more spice, thanks the 10 months it spends in American white oak barrels.

Their añejo is actually an extra añejo since it is aged for five years in American white oak barrels with a slightly heavier char than the repo barrels. The añejo is full of caramel and vanilla flavors. It is a complex, cognac-like tequila that would please drinkers who are looking for that distinct, aged flavor.

The line is currently available in Texas and Florida but is coming to San Francisco soon. If you get a chance, pick up a bottle and invite a few friends over for a pleasant evening of conversation and smooth sipping.

-Scarlet