Maybe we’re been watching too much the Food Network lately, but on a recent island vacation a “Tequila Smackdown” sounded like a great idea. So, we assembled a bunch of friends  (basically almost everyone on the island) for a formally informal tequila tasting. All of these people are known to regularly enjoy a good adult beverage, yet none had much experience with tequila.

Our  Tequila Smackdown involved three different tequilas, all in the same price range and category. We wanted our friends to try each one and decide which they liked best.  Here were the contenders: Don Julio Añejo, Cazadores Añejo, and Gran Centenario Añejo.

Since most people tend to believe that all tequila is the same, and should be consumed quickly with salt and lime, we invited our group to slow down and actually taste the differences between three different brands of tequilas. We encouraged them to treat the tequilas much like they would treat wines.

They agreed to our methods, and we videotaped the entire process.

The full video, which you can see here, is over 20 minutes long. It contains their comments and reactions to the various tequilas, and if you’re a hardcore tequila fan, you may enjoy it. (If you’re doing tequila marketing research, this video may be extremely valuable.)

We found the whole process to be really interesting, and the group thought the experience was fun. So, feel free to use our non-scientific tasting method and conduct your own “Tequila Smack-down” at home with your friends. (Then let us know how it went!)

In this particular contest there was one interesting theme that ran throughout all of the different brands. None of the participants had ever tasted or smelled agave before, so when describing the taste, they had no frame of reference. They came up with all kinds of different adjectives and comparisons (including “earthy” and “peety”) for the agave taste.

In the end, Gran Centenario Añejo was the winner, but only received one vote more than Cazadores Añejo. Both were credited with having a very smooth, pleasant and rich overall tasting experience. Don Julio Añejo, however, was considered somewhat harsh in comparison to the others, and as a result came in a very distant third place.

Of course, we realize that opinions will differ according to who is doing the tasting, but we thought it was a fun event overall. We are planning future “Tequila Smackdowns” and will list the result here. Send us your ideas – which brands would you like to see battling it out?

-Grover & Scarlet