Tuesday, May 4, 2010

1921 Tequila - Tuesday, May 4th

I...I cannot tell a lie, readers. I'm not really a tequila man. My limited experiences involving Jose Cuervo have sullied the name of tequila for me. While I was tasked with the review of the Vermont vodka series, the same PR company that offered me those samples plied me with samples of tequila as well. Being a Scotsman and a drinker, I naturally accepted the free booze. No, no, I kid. I've heard people extol the wonders of a nice tequila on the rocks or neat and I really, really wanted to believe them. I figured that if I accepted the samples, I'd have to try the tequila and maybe I'd like them. It was just the impetus that I needed to try to destroy my utter loathing of tequila. And...well...

It worked.

The 1921 line is looking like a premium line of 100% blue agave tequilas. The samples sent to me were the Blanco (unaged), Reposado (light aging, typically 6 months~ish), Reserva Especial (aged 9 months), and the Tequila Cream. Here we go:

Blanco - Nose is a delicious dichotomy. It has a nice fruity quality to it with a smokey, mesquite like baseline. Quite nice. Tastes of HOLY SHIT. It starts smooth and sweet then quickly morphs into a spicy/peppery and smokey behemoth. It's almost like sweet and sour peppered beef jerky, which isn't terrible because that sounds delicious to me. It's viscous and rich. The finish is terrible though, like a punch in the throat. It rasped my tongue and made me go "Whoo". Considering I have no problem drinking cask strength scotch neat, not a ringing endorsement. The flavors are nice, if a strange comparison to what I normally drink but the finish breaks the deal. The finish is what I can only describe as "a forest fire in your mouth". Smoke and an odd slow burn that coats your mouth and esophagus. Hopefully the older ones are more mellow.

I forgot to get a picture of it in the glass. Sorry
Reposado - Smell is similar to the blanco but far more muted on the smoke. Its rich and heady, full of sweet honeysuckle and clover honey notes with a slight toffee as well. The smoke is either hidden by it or gone. The taste follows the nose and is very nice: sweet and buttery with a slight seabreeze like taste in it as well. The fire on the finish is still there but not as severe as the blanco. Still makes my throat tighten and my tongue numb out a bit but in this case it's lessened enough that I can work through it. Can't believe something that's only 40% carries this much throat-clenching power.

Reserva Especial / Anejo - Very, very nice nose. That butterscotch/floral quality of the blanco and reposado with a nice dose of oak to it. Almost....ALMOST...smells like a blended scotch. There's just a hint of "peat reek" like smoke to it. That killer finish has tamed significantly from a leonine roar to a content purr making it very drinkable. The smoke on this one is more prominent than the reposado, giving it back that duality that I liked from the blanco with a soothing of the savage beast of a finish.

Crema de Tequila (Tequila Cream) - This stuff scares the everloving bejesus out of me. Thin for a "cream", it smells distinctly like...well...gas station cappuccino. Y'know, the ones that come out of the machine with only three buttons on it and a huge cup of cappuccino proudly displayed on the front. Smells like that. Taste is...uhh....interesting. Thick and heavy, it tastes like a room temp melted coffee shake. The only thing that hints at the fact that it has 1921 Tequila in it is the fact that, well, it has that burn to it. But very slightly. I really don't know what to make of it. It's not bad but it's not great either. I also have no clue what to use it for.

Overall, here's how I'd treat them:
Blanco - mix, perhaps with a fruit-based drink to accentuate its sweetness but give a smokey balance to an overall sweet drink (Tequila Sunrise would be good)
Reposado - on the rocks or with a simple mixer. I'd go with some lemon-lime soda (Tequila Slammer) or club soda with agave syrup.
Reserva Especial / Anejo - Neat or with a touch of water.
Crema de Tequila (Tequila Cream) - ???

Wait, no, scratch that. I have a cocktail to make with the Crema. I call it: The Gringo The Trotsky.

1 portion of Vermont White Vodka
1 portion of Tequila Cream
top with heavy cream

There we have it. The Gringo The Trotsky; the south-of-the border White Russian. Should look a little something like this:

Tastes pretty good. The tequila burn makes it a more roughshod version of the White Russian. But not bad.

So yeah. An interesting adventure into the world of tequila. I like the flavors but the finish is almost staggering. It even pulls through on the White Russian, which had about 5 oz. of whole milk in it. I dunno if it's just me or what but I could see myself buying the anejo/reposado frequently if the end wasn't like burping flaming Sterno. Take it as you will. Flavors are damn tasty though.


  1. 1921 looks solid. I too wasn't sold on drinking tequila neat until I got my hands on some crazy-expensive anejo. Found myself drinking glass after glass.

  2. Dude, a Russian from south of the border? You should name it the Trotsky!

  3. I thought the reposado had a faint smell of Big Red chewing gum.

  4. Oscar: Yeah, I could get behind that. It has a fiery cinnamon quality to it but it was pretty light.