Tequila Blanco
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Montezuma’s Legacy-
Best Premium Blanco Tequila

The Fifty Best Blanco Tequila Tasting 2016

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of fifteen 100% blue agave blanco tequilas with 14 pre-qualified judges. 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 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 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

Bohica Blanco

Aroma: Caramel, vanilla, lemon-lime, fruity, agave, floral, jasmine, root vegetables, green olive, herbs, anise, mint, grassy, peppery, peppercorn, faint cocoa, earthy, smoky Mezcal-like.

Palate: Pralines, vanilla, citrus, lemon peel, smoky agave, green olive, green beans, dried herbs, minced herbs, peppery, peppercorn, anise, minty, clean, crisp, creamy, smooth, silky, velvety, rich.

Finish: Cream soda, creamy, citrus, mint, lemongrass, fennel, sweet pepper, roasted pepper, peppery, black pepper, spice, mineral oil, easy, smooth, soft, elegant, great.

Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal



   Bohica Blanco Tequila



Peñasco Plata
(Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco)

Aroma: Vanilla egg cream, nougat, malt syrup, light citrus, lemon-lime, tropical fruit, fig, sweet corn, agave, olive, floral bouquet, dried herbs, roasted herbs, spearmint, grassy, leather, light sandalwood.

Palate: Honey, nougat, praline, creamy, vanilla, lemon-lime, orange, papaya, agave, floral, rose petal, dried herbs, spearmint, grassy, spicy, peppery, mineral, bacon, bourbon wood barrel, smooth, extremely mellow.

Finish: Lemon peel, raisin, buttery, creamy, sweet floral notes, pleasing vegetal, herbal, smooth, nice, balanced.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Peñasco Plata Tequila



Bracero Blanco
(El Arenal, Highlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Buckwheat honey, honey, toffee, roasted agave, sweet citrus, roasted vegetables, flowers, floral, light pink roses, green tea, herbal, mint, grass, malt, light leather, mineral oil, clean.

Palate: Caramelized sugars, vanilla, creamy, honey, apple, pear, orange, roasted agave, earthy agave, flowers, vegetal, grassy, sandalwood, pepper, tarragon, wet stones, clean, smooth, nicely balanced, great mouthfeel.

Finish: Caramel, toffee, toast, moderately sweet cocoa powder, a kiss of sweet, papaya, citrus, lemon peel, peppery, grass, mineral, clean, smooth, great finish.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



   Bracero Blanco Tequila



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Mar Azul Blanco
(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Cane sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla, sweet dairy cream, cream soda, buttered popcorn, agave, citrus, lemon-lime, dates, grassy, dried herb, nutmeg, olive brine, tobacco, faint coffee, ash wood.

Palate: Honey, vanilla, buttery, cream, baked apple, apple, pear, lemon-lime, agave, fig, flowers, herbs, coffee, white spice, peppercorn, peppery, earthy, clean, crisp, smooth.

Finish: Toffee, buttery, dried fruit, violet candy, flowers, cactus, olive, coffee, leather, brine, peppery, earthy, smooth, soft.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



   Mar Azul Blanco Tequila



Calavera Blanco
(Tequila, Jalisco)

Aroma: Vanilla, freshly-cut fruit, pineapple, banana, lemon-lime, agave, cactus, dried apple, raisin, floral, grassy, olive, dried herb, parsley, hay, plantains, fresh cut grass, grassy, leather, ash, earthy.

Palate: Buckwheat honey, buttery, whipped cream, vanilla, pear, papaya, pineapple, citrus, lime, tarragon, dried herbs, herbaceous, white pepper, peppery, spicy, anise, spearmint, earthy.

Finish: Nice hint of sweetness, sweet corn, herbal, minty, spearmint, spice, peppery, spicy, a touch grassy, tobacco, crisp, smooth.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Calavera Blanco Tequila



Campeón Silver
(East Highlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Honey, caramel, fresh whipped cream, baked apple, apple, lemon-lime, banana, plantain, sweet agave, floral, rose, anise, mint, spearmint, sandalwood, hazelnuts, raw pine, tobacco, rested.

Palate: Caramel, toffee, cream soda, powdered sugar, honey, vanilla, green apple, lemon-lime, pineapple, tropical fruit, roasted agave, floral, violet, spearmint, fennel, dried herbs, perfumed, bourbon barrel, drinks like a reposado, smooth, very nice.

Finish: Apple, smooth pear, floral, mint, peppery, tobacco, wet stone, clean, smooth.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



   Campeón Silver Tequila



Maracame Plata
(Arandas, Jalisco)

Aroma: Lime, lemon, citrus, agave, durian, tropical flowers, vegetal, green beans, anise, licorice, peppery, juniper, cedar, charred wood, white birch, wet stone, saline, musty, earthy.

Palate: Caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, sweet cream, cream soda, corn, lemon, peach, floral, herbal, wintergreen, cinnamon, tarragon, basil, anise, cloves, peppery, pink peppercorn, woody followed by earthy, clean, crisp.

Finish: Honey, crème brulee, agave, flowers, anise, mint, cinnamon, lemongrass, tarragon, spicy, peppery, smooth.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Maracame Plata Tequila



Familia Camarena Silver
(Arandas, Jalisco)

Aroma: Toffee, powdered sugar, sweet cream, Juicy Fruit, poached apple, pear, banana, lemon-lime, orange, lightly roasted agave, floral, olive, peppery, anise, mint, grass, wet stone.

Palate: White toffee, bubble gum, whipped cream, creamy vanilla, powdered sugar, rice, very light banana, roasted agave, hot pepper, herbaceous, dried herbs, mossy, wet grass, seaweed, brine, peppery, cinnamon, mint, basil, wet stone.

Finish: Green apple, pear, agave, herbaceous, grassy, peppery, peppermint, black pepper, Sandalwood, ash, nice light pepper, clean, silky, smoothly sweet, lingering mint.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Familia Camarena Silver Tequila



Real Maya Plata
(Tepatitlan de Morelos, Jalisco)

Aroma: Honey, vanilla, café-au-lait, light pear, citrus, lemon, banana, pineapple, subtle agave, spring flowers, fennel, tarragon, anise, very light mint, very light cocoa, smoky, light wood, dusty.

Palate: Praline, toffee, whipped cream, café-au-lait, cream apple, apple, pear, berries, fig, dates, lemon peel, agave, herbs, cinnamon, sweet mint, grassy, spicy, mellow.

Finish: Honey, creamy vanilla, toffee, Juicy Fruit, dried orange, slight peppery, oak, earthy, clean, smooth, flavorful, easy, approachable.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Real Maya Plata Tequila



Dos Armadillos Plata
(Agave: Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco / Distillery: Mazamitla, Jal.)

Aroma: Honey, burnt sugar, toffee, cream, banana cream pie, sweet apple, black cherries, lime, lemon, grapefruit peel, plantain, light grassy, sweet grass, mint, peppery.

Palate: Vanilla bean, creamy, banana, berries, peppery fruit, agave, grassy, herbs, mint, spice, jalapeno, peppercorn, clean, crisp, smooth.

Finish: Honey, vanilla, burnt cream, dates, fig, fruity, cocoa, toast, nutty, herbal, cinnamon, slightly spicy, pepper, woody, nice, delicious.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Dos Armadillos Plata Tequila



Baluarte Blanco
(Los Altos, Jalisco)

Aroma: Toffee, milk chocolate, bitter chocolate, cream, café-au-lait, powdered sugar, cream soda, lime, fig, sweet agave, light vegetal, grassy, light fennel, cinnamon, licorice, sandalwood, delicate, fresh, clean, crisp.

Palate: White toffee, caramel, pear, papaya, green apple, lemon, flowers, lavender, olive, grassy, dried herbs, sage, herbaceous, anise, fennel, mint, nutmeg, cinnamon, Graham cracker, peppery, peppercorn. white pepper, mineral, very smooth.

Finish: Buckwheat honey, buttery, apple, pineapple, earthy agave, sandalwood, herbal, spicy, peppery, leather, smooth, complex.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Baluarte Blanco Tequila



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Pasote Blanco
(Jesus Maria, Jalisco)

Aroma: Lemon-lime, fresh cut grass, dried herbs, green beans, red pepper, green pepper, vegetal, sandalwood, licorice, fennel seeds, fresh herbs, birch wood, wet moss, earthy, ash, tobacco smoke.

Palate: Honey, cane sugar, cream soda, apple, green apple, orange peel, dried potato, green beans, green pepper, vegetal, green olive, cut grass, spinach, dried herbs, licorice, fennel, clove, peppercorns, wet stones, moss, woody.

Finish: Light citrus, herbaceous, wintergreen, licorice, vegetal, nutty, peppery, spicy, light toast, earthy, oak, smooth, rich.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Pasote Blanco Tequila



Excellia Blanco
(Highlands, Los Altos)

Aroma: Papaya, banana, honeydew, green apple, lemon, Juicy Fruit gum, grassy, floral, rose petals, green olive, red pepper, nutmeg, mint, cola.

Palate: White toffee, caramel, praline, nougat, pear, banana, tropical fruit, lemongrass, flower, herb, tarragon, black olive, light anise, pepper, white pepper, mint, spearmint, tarragon, new wood, woodsy.

Finish: Citrus, peppery, herb, herbaceous, fennel, grassy, white pepper, leather, oak, clean, complex, smooth, very silky finish.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Excellia Blanco Tequila



Azuñia Blanco
(Amatitán, Lowlands, Jalisco)

Aroma: Candied fruits, papaya, pineapple, lime, citrus, agave, herb, vegetal, cumin, peppery, subtle coffee.

Palate: Creamy, sweet dried fruit, citrus, flowers, herbs, spearmint, grassy fennel, grass, green olive, green pepper, pepper, jalapeno, tree pine, wormwood, stone.

Finish: Lemon peel, bitter herbal, anise, licorice, spicy, peppery, peppercorn, leather, clean, long, smooth.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Azuñia Blanco Tequila



Hacienda Vieja Blanco
(Arandas, Jalisco)

Aroma: Vanilla, citrus, lemon-lime, fig, almond, spearmint, corn, roasted rice, Japanese rice tea, creamy, stone, musty, earthy, wood barrel.

Palate: Lemon peel, citrus, sour apple, pear, flower, herb, anise, pine nuts, cereal grains, roasted rice, buckwheat, wet grains, mineral, pepper, peppercorn, spicy, teakwood, oak.

Finish: Honey, raisin, surprisingly spicy, peppery, woody, wet moss, oak, soft, smooth.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Hacienda Vieja Blanco 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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