Tequila Blanco
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Montezuma’s Legacy-
Best Premium Blanco Tequila

According to the Distilled Spirits Council's sales data, Tequila is one of the fastest growing spirits categories in the U.S., having grown at an average rate of 5.5% a year since 2002 with 12.3 million cases of Tequila sold last year. There are well over 750 different tequila brands currently being produced in Mexico.

How popular is tequila in the U.S.? We consume twice as much tequila as Mexico each year. And the most popular cocktail in the country is the Margarita.

 

The Fifty Best Blanco Tequila Tasting 2014

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 25 blanco tequilas with 16 pre-qualified judges. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the blanco tequilas were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water, unflavored unsalted crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate. The judges tasted through 3 flights of 7 tequilas plus 1 flight of 4 tequilas.

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 based on a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no bronze medals awarded for this tasting. The tasting notes are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated.

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.

 

TASTING RESULTS (Blanco/ Plata/Silver):



Amor Mío Blanco



DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Amor Mío

Nose: Caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, root beer extract, herbal, citrus, sandalwood, gardenia, grassy, agave.
Palate: Tropical fruit, papaya, pineapple, vanilla, honeyed herbs, minty, herbal, biscuit, earthy.
Finish: Sweet cream, cocoa, minty, light spice, peppery, clean, slight wood notes.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Amate

Nose: Lemons, lime, apple, grassy, apricot, roasted agave.
Palate: Cream, vanilla, café au lait, cocoa, dates, sweet apple, pineapple, plantain, dried fruits, herbs, grassy, agave, pepper.
Finish: Creamy, light pepper, spicy, sweet, rich, wood.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Amate



Mar Azul Blanco



Mar Azul

Nose: Rosewater, herbal, agave, citrus, vanilla.
Palate: Caramel, creamy, vanilla cream, hint of chocolate, roasted, peppercorn, floral, herbal, rosemary, agave, grass, spicy, well balanced, nice.
Finish: Creamy, caramel, spicy, smooth.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Number JUAN

Nose: Mint, herbal, apple, tropical flowers, agave, clean, crisp.
Palate: Roasted pepper, citrus, apple, dried fruit, berry, honey, herbs, cinnamon, mint, anise, licorice, floral, agave, well balanced.
Finish: Anise, vegetal, smooth, clean, crisp, fresh.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Number JUAN



Semental Silver



Semental

Nose: Lemongrass, herbal, sage, herb de Provence, white pepper, sea salt, plantains, nougat.
Palate: Banana, tropical fruits, vanilla, caramel, toffee, buckwheat honey, peppercorns, cinnamon, clove, spicy.
Finish: Dried herbs, clove, creamy, clean.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Peñasco

Nose: Citrus, lemon, lemongrass, lime, apple, herbal, vegetal.
Palate: Creamy vanilla, caramel, toast, anise, mint, lemon, green apple, agave, light cinnamon, peppery.
Finish: Pepper, peppercorns, white pepper, spice, citrus, lingering.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Peñasco Plata



Grand Mayan





Grand Mayan

Nose: Roasted corn, pine nuts, faint cocoa, agave, floral.
Palate: Cocoa, caramel, creamy, nougat, spearmint, eucalyptus, toasted herbs, roasted agave, nutty, black pepper, well balanced.
Finish: Toffee, nutty, agave.


Gold Medal
Gold medal





Herradura

Nose: Cherry, apple, lemon, fruity, cotton candy, cola, musk.
Palate: Mint, spearmint, citrus, dried herbs, honey, papaya, dates, floral, ultra-smooth.
Finish: Peppery, spicy, spearmint, clean, fresh.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Herradura Silver





512

Nose: Mint, rose, anise, clove, fresh cut grass, sandalwood, herbal.
Palate: Pineapple, toffee, caramel, nougat, buckwheat sugar, agave, sandalwood, herbs, spice.
Finish: Light pepper, spice, vanilla, bamboo, mineral, rich, smooth.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



512 Blanco


Suerte Blanco



Suerte

Nose: Caramel. creamy vanilla, toffee, citrus, resin, herb, floral, white flowers, plantain, agave.
Palate: Floral, honey, apple, figs, white toffee, sweet cream, licorice, minty, allspice, thyme, agave, very elegant.
Finish: Peppercorns, light pepper, spicy, praline, creamy, rich, soft.

Gold Medal
Gold medal


Bracero

Nose: Citrus, praline, vanilla, molasses, coconut, floral, agave.
Palate: Papaya, coconut, figs, grape, apple, vanilla, sweet cream, creamy vanilla, cane, brown sugar, dried herbs, roasted agave, peppery, mineral, silky.
Finish: Caramel, vanilla, creamy, citrus, pepper, spice, rich.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Bracero


Capote Silver



Capote

Nose: Violets, floral, fruity, cream soda, vanilla, cream, grassy, agave, herbs.
Palate: Lime/lemon, papaya, hibiscus, honeyed herbs, herbal, fennel, agave, sandalwood, tobacco, white pepper, spicy.
Finish: Roasted agave, herbs, honey, crisp, short.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Los Arango

Nose: Fruity, lemon, bright agave, cocoa, herb, toast.
Palate: Citrus, lemon, agave, herbaceous notes, grassy, mint, peppery, crisp.
Finish: Soft citrus, herbal, grassy.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Los Arango


SilverCoin Silver



SilverCoin

Nose: Caramel, coconut, toasted coconut, pineapple, wild flowers, herbal, vegetal.
Palate: Sweet cream, creamy, vanilla, cola, molasses, fig, dates, coconut, papaya, pineapple, tropical fruit, cola, floral, herbal, tarragon, fennel, vegetal.
Finish: Spicy, peppery, herbal, butterscotch, very clean, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Dos Artes

Nose: Papaya, apple cider, spiced apple, fresh cut flowers, herbal, tangy, cinnamon, chocolatey, woody.
Palate: Minty, herbal, cinnamon, dried fruit, apple, baked apple, fruit juice, cherry lollipops, citrus.
Finish:
Spearmint, light mint, fruit juice, pepper, spicy.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Dos Artes


Muerto Plata



Muerto

Nose: Agave, floral, light rose, jasmine, herbal.
Palate: Champagne truffles, caramel, honeysuckle, papaya, apple cider, dried fruit, herbal, dusty.
Finish: Mint, spicy, bright, easy, elegant.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Talero
Organic

Nose: Spearmint, mint, herbal, floral, olives.
Palate: Mint, dried herbs, licorice, cocoa, mango, grassy, full agave, white, pepper, spicy.
Finish: Caramel, light pepper, rich, soft.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Talero


Los Azulejos



Los Azulejos

Nose: Coconut, citrus, agave, mint, herb, spicy, crisp.
Palate: Coconut, cinnamon, lime, Sprite, fruity, herbal, eucalyptus, mint, juniper, spicy, pepper.
Finish: Spearmint, leafy, spicy, toasted agave, soft.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Titanium

Nose: Cotton candy, vanilla ice cream, pear, coconut, plantain, fennel, crisp.
Palate: Honey, nougat, cream soda, creamy vanilla, fig, green tea, herbs, tarragon, plantain, light toast, white pepper, peppery, wood, very smooth.
Finish: Spicy, earthy, roasted agave, honeysuckle, creamy, rich, elegant.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Titanium Blanco


El Jimador Blanco



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS:

El Jimador

Nose: Nuts, toasty, fruity, crisp apple, apple juice, citrus, fresh cut grass, very distinctive.
Palate: Coconut, apple, sour apple, grape leaf, floral notes, fruity, cream soda, cream, herbal, pepper, clean, elegant.
Finish: Creamy, vanilla, spicy, soft, gentle.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Calavera

Nose: Spearmint, agave, watermelon, vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, earthy.
Palate: Mint, citrus, melon, peppercorn, pepper, grass, herbal, sandalwood, tobacco, vegetal, creamy, vanilla.
Finish: Crisp, dry, pepper, spicy, agave.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Calavera Blanco


Baron Platinum



Baron

Nose: Vegetal, herbal, vanilla, farm-cut wheat, white pepper, sage, sandalwood.
Palate: Floral, herbal, pepper, white pepper, vanilla, caramel, light banana, mineral, musty, earthy, woodsy notes, wine barrel, oaky.
Finish: Spicy, pepper, wood, agave.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Arette

Nose: Agave, herbal, sage, citrus, light lemon, vanilla, bitter chocolate.
Palate: Chocolate, very creamy, dried fruits, herbs, sage, mint, grassy, roasted agave, clove, frankincense, spice, tobacco, wood.
Finish: Creamy, soft, pepper, roasted agave.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Arette


Diva



Diva

Nose: Citrus, orange, grapefruit, Sprite, 7up, fruity, very bright.
Palate: Orange peel, orange, grapefruit, citrus, floral notes, toasted agave.
Finish: Citrus, lingering.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Dos Lunas

Nose: Dried figs, light lime, grassy, herbal.
Palate: Cinnamon, sweet cream, vanilla, caramel, toasty elements, pear, grassy, agave, spice.
Finish: Vanilla, herbal, clean.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Dos Lunas

 

 

 

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