Category: Tequila Reviews

Just in time for Valentines Day we go back to our wise tequila experts from Sayulita, Mexico: Mark Alberto Holt, and Gabbi Villarrubia. We asked them which tequila would be their choice when the goal is to impress a woman. Of course, they have answers to this.

Mark’s choice was the Suave 35, a tequila that is made by Herradura – designed especially for women. It is relatively new, and may not be available in all areas of the United States yet. We actually had the opportunity to try this last year when we were visiting the Herradura distillery.

Scarlet, who herself is a lady, wasn’t impressed. Doh! Oh well.

Gabbi’s suggestion was La Cofradia. He said that his wife “fell in love” with it, and as such, makes is a great tequila for women.

Any woman who enjoys any tequila is A+ in my book.

— Grover

We really love to taste tequila. So when we spot something on a menu or at a bar that we’ve never tried before, we get excited, and can’t wait to give it a try. Sometimes you find a great new tequila that’s destined to become a regular go-to bottle, and sometimes you don’t.

Don Modesto is a new tequila. We learned about it a few months ago through the TasteTequila Facebook page. It was founded in February, 2009 by Carmelo J. Ayala IV, and it will be available for sale in New Jersey this April. In May, people in Illinois will be able to find it in retail stores. Florida and New York are currently scheduled for June/July.

Their full line of tequila (blanco, reposado, and añejo) came in the mail the other day, and we didn’t waste any time. Within a few days we cracked open the bottles, which are hand-blown in Tonala, Mexico, and gave it a taste.

We actually enjoyed the whole line, but of them all, we thought the blanco was the best.

The blanco smells really delicious, with a very pleasant agave scent with a bit of fruit. There was a little bit of bite in the back, but not too much.

The reposado is aged 7 months, and has a vanilla nose. We felt it was smooth, yet contained a bit of spice – nicely done. It’s not over-aged, and contains all of the properties of a well balanced reposado with the agave flavor still present.

The añejo, aged 14 months, has more caramel added to the nose, and it retains all of the spice that the reposado has. The reposado and the añejo both have their own individual personalities, yet you can really taste that they came from the same family.

The only negative we found was that it’s not yet available in California. Hurry up guys!

-Taste Tequila

The cool folks at PaQuí actually sent us a bottle of their Silvera tequila in the mail, so we happily gave it a try. Our first impression: great bottle! Up until this point, we had never heard of this tequila – but since we love to try new things, especially tequila, we gave it a go.

The taste is spicy and fruity, but consistent and smooth, and overall very pleasant. It is made in small batches in the town of Tequila and there is also a reposado and an añejo in this line. I would definitely recommend that people give the Silvera a try. In the video you can see me searching for a good time/place to pull this out, and what popped into my head was “hanging out with the guys.” Scarlet also thought the Silvera would make a mean base for a margarita.

It’s a really flavorful, spicy tequila that retains its agave core, yet brings its own character to the table. We gave it a thumbs-up.

— Grover

We love tequila, but not all tequila. Case in point: Chaya Añejo. Both Scarlet and I found it rather unpleasant, although the bottle has a cool design. Unfortunately, a unique bottle doesn’t correct its unpleasant taste.

(This video of us tasting it should speak for itself.)

Chaya Añejo is said to have “earthy tones,” and I suppose that’s true. We smelled and tasted “cut grass” and “peat moss,” and not any agave at all. Honestly, we don’t want those kinds of tastes in our tequila.

We must assume that there are people in the world that like this stuff for the simple fact that BevMo makes it available on their store shelves. The bottle caught my attention, so I thought I would bring it home to Scarlet as a gift, since neither of us had ever tried it. I would love to hear from people who like this stuff – so leave a comment on this post if you do.

But, as for us, we won’t be buying this again.

— Grover

We recently got our hands on a bottle of Alien tequila, a relatively new brand brought to us by Alien Tequila Spirits, headquartered in Area 51, Hiko, Nevada.

These guys certainly know how to market – the bottle is shaped like an iridescent alien head and all their marketing materials fit in with the extraterrestrial theme.

Their tagline is “Be Abducted” so we had to see what would happen when we uncorked a bottle of their silver tequila. (See exactly what happened by watching the video below.)

I usually prefer aged tequilas but this one went down smooth with a gentle fruity flavor. If you are considering sharing this bottle with a few friends, I’d say go right ahead and try some of the specialty cocktails that they suggest, including ones with names such as “Alien Tequila Sex With An Alien,” “Alien Tequila Red Planet” and “Alien Tequila Encounter.”

Of course, since both their añejo and extra añejo won a gold medal in last year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition, I’d love to get my hands on a bottle of their aged spirits as well, but they not available in San Francisco yet (Update: You can buy it at Liquid Experience in San Francisco (415) 255-6718.) If you’ve given the añejos a try, let us know what you think.

-Scarlet

The most common question we’re asked is almost impossible to answer without additional info.

“What’s the best tequila?”

We will always ask, “What’s your budget?”

So we decided to take this question to Mark Alberto Holt, of the SFT Tequila Bar in Sayulita, Mexico, and Gabbi Villarrubia of the Sayulita Tequila Journal. Specifically, we asked them to tell us their favorite tequila for the money. Under $50, and under $100.

Gabbi’s choice is just about anything from the Corralejo family of tequilas. He shows the camera a bottle of triple-distilled Corralejo Reposado, which sells for under $50 in most places.

Mark’s choice was the very smooth and popular Don Julio 1942, which we’ve seen for sale for $99 in various retail stores in California, and some online liquor stores.

Calling all tequila lovers — we are holding a tasting event next Tuesday, January 12th at 8pm at Cava22, a tequila lounge in the Mission District of San Francisco.

This should be a really interesting event because we are tasting a tequila that cannot legally be called “tequila”. The brand is Los Osuna, and they have to call it an “agave spirit.” Although it’s made in Mexico exactly like tequila (it really is tequila) the brand can’t legally call it that because it’s made in Sinaloa, which is outside of the officially recognized tequila-producing region.

Of course, it wasn’t always that way. Los Osuna had to stop using the word “tequila” to describe their product in the early 1970s, when drama, politics, and bloodshed over tequila taxes resulted in the state of Jalisco being the only region permitted to create “tequila.”

This tasting event is a great opportunity to learn more about the history of tequila, since Los Osuna has been made for generations using traditional methods.

We will be sampling the Los Osuna Blanco, Reposado (although they can’t legally call it that, either) and the Añejo.

The blanco has a nice citrus flavor, and the reposado is aged 10 months, giving it an oaky edge. The añejo is aged a full 18 months and has a deep cognac-like flavor from the whiskey barrels used to age it.

We had Jesus Padilla, a member of the Los Osuna family, over to our house the other day. Padilla is in charge of distribution and marketing for Los Osuna in the United States. We pointed a video camera at him as he told us a little more about the rich history of the brand, the fascinating history of tequila, and his plans for conquering the U.S. market with this interesting product.

Padilla will be available for in-person questions at the tasting event on January 12th.

Those interested in attending must register because space is limited.

Each and every activity seems to have it’s own distinct tequila pairings. When we were in Sayulita, Mexico, in November, we took the opportunity to ask buddies and drinking partners Mark and Gabbi to tell us their tequila-of-choice when they’re just hanging out together, or with a few buddies.

Tequila for the guys! They had an immediate favorite.

Tequila Don Fernando TKO Silver is their choice. Mark is awesome – he gave us a bottle of it to take back home to San Francisco, where we immediately met up with a few tequila-loving friends and gave it a whirl.

You can’t buy this stuff in the USA – and I sure hope that changes. I really liked it- very potent in terms of alcohol levels, but the taste is really awesome. Smooth, lots of pleasing agave notes, a hint of spice and none of the harshness that you might expect.

Just a few shots of TKO and we were all feeling particularly awesome. The next time we go to Mexico, I will be picking up another bottle for sure.

We’re back at the SFT Tequila Bar in Sayulita, Mexico with another question. What type of tequila goes good with food? Mark Alberto Holt and Gabbi Villarrubia talk about this from behind Mark’s extensive tequila bar.

(Ever notice how a person standing behind a bar seems to be taken more seriously than just about anyone else? Why is that?)

Both Mark and Gabbi agree that a reposado tequila, like El Tequileño, would be a great match with most food. Unfortunately, you can’t get your hands on El Tequileño in the USA (yet), but a similar substitute would be the reposados from Gran Centennario, Cazadores or Casa Noble.

One reason why El Tequileño reposado is so good – and the reason we make sure to pack our suitcases full of it each time we visit Mexico – is that it is aged just a few weeks shy of an añejo. By law, a reposado cannot be aged in barrels longer than a year (otherwise it becomes an añejo).

The smart folks at El Tequileño age their tequila for about 11 months and 2 weeks, which is what makes it such a smooth and delightful reposado.