Bourbon Barrel Aged Anejo Tequila
First, basic definition: Tequila distilled from Blue Agave plant primarily in the region of Tequila, Mexico. Tequila is a type of Mezcal (and the regions of production of the two drinks are overlapping). The distinction is that tequila must use only blue agave plants rather than any type of agave.
There are 4 basic categories of Tequila:
Blanco Tequila (aged less than 2 months)
Reposado Tequila (aged between 2 months and 1 year)
Anejo Tequila (aged between 1 and 3 years)
Extra Anejo Tequila (first established in 2006 and is aged greater than 3 years and usually rested for a second time in either Sherry or Wine casks)
Anejo Tequila is typically aged in American White Oak or French Oak barrels. Commonly, the distilleries use Bourbon or Scotch barrels for aging Reposado and Anejo. However, Scotch is far less common due to the obvious difference in shipping expense between the two spirits. By far the most common Bourbon barrels originate from either Jim Beam or Jack Daniel’s. And most will not specify which distillery cask is being used.
Cocktail: A take on the traditional drink that capitalizes on the Bourbon influenced anejo tequila, yet the citrus blends perfectly with the agave.
Name: Hollywood Manhattan
Ingredients: 3 oz Casamigos Anejo Tequila, .75 tsp maple syrup, 4 dashes Orange Bitters
Recipe: Add all ingredients to mixing glass, add large ice, and stir thoroughly. Taste for balance and single strain into a rocks glass. Garnish and serve
Bottle 1: El Padrino De Mi Tierra
Distillery: Padrino Distillery
Barrel Source: Jim Beam
Purchase location: Total Wine in Tucson, AZ
Nose: Funk. Some butterscotch. Sweaty sock. Toasted oak. Apple skin. Chocolate. Some leather/potting soil. Light ginger. Creamy latte, chocolate hazelnut spread, orange creme brulee, and caramel apple.
Palate: Very oily. Lake water. Himalayan salt. Some peanut butter. Salty caramel. Allspice, and candied guava and pineapple
Finish: Much longer than the other two. Spearmint. Leather. Sweetbread.
Why this bottle is featured: It is a highly rated bottle that is exclusive to Total Wine and was able to verify through Total Wine that is is aged in Jim Beam barrels.
Bottle 2: Corazon Expressions Anejo
Distillery: Corazon Distillary
Barrel Source: Buffalo Trace
Purchase location: Internet (De Wine Spot)
Nose: Sweet corn. Lemon juice. Grapefruit juice. Custard. Rock salt. Minerals and soil. Some peppermint.
Palate: Vanilla. Some sawdust. Some peppermint and almond.
Finish: Cedar. Peppermint candy cane.
Why this bottle is featured: Limited collection from Corazon featuring Buffalo Trace barrels. Interestingly, the bottle states that the tequila was aged for 22 months in barrels that held whiskey for over 22 years. The ambiguity here is with the Buffalo Trace Distillery logo above this statement, as well as the statement’s reference to “whiskey” as opposed to Bourbon. We do not know what Buffalo Trace Distillery product was contained in the barrel that was later used for this tequila. However, because of the “whiskey” denomination, and the 22 year length of time, it is most likely that the barrel was re-used, by someone other than Buffalo Trace Distillery, for some other whiskey product prior to Corazon.
Bottle 3: Corazon Expressions Anejo
Distillery: Corazon Distillery
Price: $200 ($80 MSRP)
Purchase location: Internet (Quality Liquor)
Nose: Fresca. Very crisp. Light caramel. Apple. Apricot. Some cigarette smoke. Wood, jasmine, light ginger, anise, chocolate, orange, cinnamon, clove, coconut and nutmeg.
Palate: Green apple with some light salt. A very quick palate and not as pronounced. Ricola lemon cough drops. Fresca again.
Finish: Green apple jolly rancher. With a sprinkling of black pepper.
Why this bottle is featured: Limited collection from Corazon featuring Thomas H. Handy sourced barrels.
Bottle 4: Una Vida Tequila Anejo
Distillery: Tequila Oriendain De Jalisco
Barrel Source: Jack Daniel’s
Purchase location: Jacob’s Liquor
Nose: Smells like aloe Vera. Nilla wafers. Grapefruit. Some sea salt.
Palate:Very flat cola. Quite sweet. Splenda. Lemon candy.
Finish: Quick. Sprite Zero. Some salt.
Why this bottle is featured: Una Vida is a label belonging to a local Northwest Wichita graduate who now resides in St Louis. He chooses the distilling process and the barrels. He has options between Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam and chose Jack Daniel’s because he felt that it got a greater bourbon influence on the tequila.
Gentlemen devoted to the finest.