Tequila Blanco
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Montezuma’s Legacy-
Best Premium Blanco Tequila

The Fifty Best Blanco Tequila Tasting 2015

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 18 100% blue agave blanco tequilas and 2 flavored tequilas with 18 pre-qualified judges. The blanco tequilas and flavored tequilas were judged and scored separately. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. 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 best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded according to 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 WINNERS

Centinela Blanco
(Arandas, Altos Sur, Jalisco)

Aroma: Cream soda, vanilla, honey, caramel, pineapple, poached pear, cinnamon, summer flowers, sandalwood, licorice.

Palate: Honey, molasses, cream, vanilla, pear, tropical flowers, violet, hay, sandalwood, licorice, anise, roasted herbal notes.

Finish: Creamy, sweet, pepper, jalapeño, mineral, silky, smooth, exceptional.


Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal



   Centinela Blanco Tequila



Los Tres Toños Blanco
(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Agave, dried agave, olive, herbaceous, pine, white pepper, peppercorns, earthy.

Palate: Nougat, vanilla, sweet cream, cane sugar, molasses, pear, roasted agave, toast, sandalwood, spearmint, mint taffy, lemongrass, herbaceous, green beans, dried leaves, earthy, well balanced.

Finish: Toffee, honey, sweet cream, butter, apple, spices, slight mint, elegant wood, very smooth, clean, rich, velvety.


Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal



Los Tres Toños Blanco Tequila



Calavera Blanco
(Tequila, Jalisco)

Aroma: Toffee, honey, tropical flowers, fig, herbaceous, cinnamon, roasted pepper, olive, vegetal, cut grass, grassy, smoky.

Palate: Cafe au lait, cream, honey, pear, citrus, bell pepper, roasted pepper, pickled green beans, vegetal, dried herbs, mint, mineral, white pepper, light oak, smoky.

Finish: Toffee, honey, chicory, peppery, wet stone, crisp, dry, very expressive.


Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal



   Calavera Blanco Tequila



Grand Mayan 3D Silver
(Tesistán, Zapopan, Jalisco)

Aroma: Mango, melon, green apple, light vanilla, nougat, spearmint, anise, herbal, vegetal, mineral.

Palate: Toffee, caramel, cream, cafe au lait, sugar cane, roasted piña, roasted anise, fig, apple, vegetal, white pepper, spice, light mint, silky, well done.

Finish: Coffee, cream, vanilla, nougat, vegetal, mint, bitter herbs, soft, fresh.


Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal



Grand Mayan 3D Silver Tequila



Bracero Blanco
(El Arenal, Highlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Tropical fruits, citrus, apple, poached apple, agave notes, honey, vanilla ice cream, flowery, fresh grass, cinnamon.

Palate: Agave, cream soda, honey, nougat, cafe au lait, vegetal, herbal, jasmine, peppery, white pepper, tobacco, mint, menthol, mineral, wet stone, wood barrel, well balanced.

Finish: Licorice, pepper, wet stone, mineral, powder, clean, crisp, woody, complex.


Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal



   Bracero Blanco Tequila



SilverCoin Blanco
(Arandas, Altos Sur, Jalisco)

Aroma: Pineapple, mango, grapefruit, apple, banana peel, mint, grassy notes, herbaceous, herbal, pepper, tarragon, tobacco, earthy.

Palate: White toffee, honey, candied tropical fruit, roasted piña, fig, citrus, allspice, peppercorn, well rounded.

Finish: Lemon-lime, peppery, black pepper, soft, clean, fresh.


Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal



SilverCoin Blanco Tequila



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Santo Azul Silver
(Tamaulipas, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Citrus, pineapple, vanilla, nougat, fruit & herbal blend, mint, agave, vegetal, peanuts, white pepper, earth.

Palate: Coffee, chocolate, creamy, vanilla, pear, orange peel, agave, herbal, roasted pepper, vegetal, fresh cut grass, hot peppers, cinnamon, spicy, well balanced.

Finish: Toffee, honey, toasted bread, mineral, spicy, peppery, wood, smooth, easy.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Santo Azul Silver Tequila



Herradura Silver
(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: White toffee, cream soda, buckwheat honey, candy, pineapple, papaya, crisp apple, citrus, fennel, grassy, wheat, grain, wood.

Palate: Toffee, creamy, cream soda, sweet cream, clover honey, banana notes, berries, fruity, vegetal, anise, pepper, spicy, wood notes, lively.

Finish: Cream, honey, light herbs, spicy jalapeño, clean, fresh, very complex.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Herradura Silver Tequila



Tromba Blanco
(Arandas, Altos Sur, Jalisco)

Aroma: Nougat, melon, lemony, citrus, agave, cucumber, floral, minty, herbaceous, olive, grass, earthy.

Palate: Tropical fruit, dried fruit, citrus, sweet agave, nougat, tropical flowers, fennel, vegetal, pepper, toast, light earthy.

Finish: Smoked pepper, green beans, honey, vanilla, toast, earthy, clean, rich, very smooth, nice, very expressive.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Tromba Blanco Tequila



Tarantula 100 Plata
(Tequila, Jalisco)

Aroma: Apple, pear, banana, tropical fruit, vanilla, nougat, cane sugar, sweet spice, dried herbs, roasted agave, anise, menthol, grass, tobacco.

Palate: Honey, toffee, creamy, papaya, citrus, anise, gum mastic, mint, vegetal, chipotle, sandalwood, peppercorns, white pepper, tobacco, great back palate.

Finish: Citrus, tamarind, berries, pepper, toast, earthy, wood, full, rich, very complex.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Tarantula 100 Plata Tequila



Peñasco Plata
(Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco)

Aroma: Poached apple, light vanilla, green beans, roasted pepper, burnt agave, fennel, herbal, sandalwood, mint, crisp, earthy, smoky.

Palate: Roasted pepper, anise, vegetal, light mint, spearmint, cinnamon, tarragon, spice, white pepper, smoky.

Finish: Toffee, ground coffee, pepper, earthy, mineral, smooth, very refreshing.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Peñasco Plata Tequila



Mar Azul Blanco
(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Citrus, berries, honey, caramel, agave, vegetal, herbal, herbaceous, cut grass, earthy, smoky.

Palate: Vanilla, light honey, spicy agave, herbaceous, anise, minty grass, vegetal, spice, white peppercorn, cotton, wood, smoky, well made.

Finish: Licorice, agave, grassy, peppery, soft, smooth, clean, crisp, fresh, refreshing.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Mar Azul Blanco Tequila



Mamalón Silver
(Tequila, Jalisco)

Aroma: Honey, whipped cream, candied fruit, fig, agave, herbal, touch of green olive, mineral, tobacco.

Palate: Caramel, cream, fruit, apple, roasted agave, anise, fennel, grassy, toast, mineral.

Finish: Peppery, olive, wet stone, mineral, smoky, sweet, viscous, nice, smooth.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Mamalón Silver Tequila



Revolución Silver Organic
(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Cafe au lait, vanilla, cream soda, honey, tropical fruit, lemon, agave, olive, lavender, toasted bread, mineral.

Palate: Vanilla, cream soda, creamy, cocoa, honey, pineapple, herbal, sandalwood, peppercorns.

Finish: Citrus, cooking spices, chili pepper, wood, clean, fresh, soft, gentle.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Revolución Silver Organic Tequila



Amate Silver
(Tesistán, Zapopan, Jalisco)

Aroma: Tropical fruit, durian fruit, agave, green olives, green beans, herbal, must, grassy.

Palate: Tropical, jackfruit, roasted piña, roasted agave, floral elements, violet, vanilla, honeyed herb, herbal, anise, pepper, vegetal, dried leaves, white pepper.

Finish: Honey, vanilla, dried agave, coffee, spicy, mineral, earthy, smooth, rich.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Amate Silver Tequila



El Jimador Blanco
(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Tropical fruit, banana, dried papaya, Cream soda, wet stones, mineral, faint herbal, wood barrel.

Palate: Pineapple, pear, banana, honeysuckle, vanilla, caramel, anise, licorice, minty flowers, faint vegetal, wormwood, sherry barrel, wood notes.

Finish: Cream, honey, sandalwood, anise, mineral, clean, crisp, silky, very soft.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



El Jimador Blanco Tequila



Baluarte Blanco
(Los Altos, Jalisco)

Aroma: Pineapple, citrus, marmalade, vanilla, mint, anise, herbal, green olive, vegetal, crisp, cedar wood.

Palate: Toffee, cafe au lait, creamy, honey, orange peel, citrus, burnt agave, vegetal, anise, eucalyptus, mint, white pepper, fresh wood, gentle.

Finish: Minty, cream, clean, dry, smooth, gentle.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Baluarte Blanco Tequila



FLAVORED TEQUILA TASTING RESULTS:

GOLD MEDAL WINNER

Mar Azul Coffee Flavored
(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Coffee, espresso, Kahlua, cafe au lait, mocha, cocoa, chocolate, praline, caramel, molasses, coconut, buttery.

Palate: Coffee liqueur, coffee, mocha latte, cocoa, chocolate, honey, toffee, praline, toasted hazelnuts, maple syrup, chocolate.

Finish: Chocolate, coffee, praline, voluptuous mouthfeel, very smooth.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Mar Azul Coffee Flavored Tequila



SILVER MEDAL WINNER

Diva - Pink Citrus Infused Silver
(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Grapefruit, pink grapefruit, orange, citrus, pineapple, watermelon, candy.

Palate: Orange, citrus, watermelon, berry, candy, agave notes.

Finish: Orange, sugar, gummy bear, anise notes, cream, soft.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Diva - Pink Citrus Infused Silver 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 Weber Blue 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

Comments and Suggestions:

 
Thu. June 25, 2015 8:25 PM - by: Jaime V. Sauza
There is no "lowlands". It is "tequila valley" Los altos is the name of a region, but some genius translated to "highlands", but a doble genius concluded that if one region was highlands, the other one should be Lowlands. As extra información, the wrongly called "lowlands" is around 3,000 feet over the sea level.
 
 


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