Monday, June 25, 2012
Bienvenido a Tequila Week: The Blancos
Sure this is a whiskey blog, but every once in a while I like to try a little something different. Years ago, I did a series of mezcal reviews, but I've never done much with tequila which I tend to think of as mezcal's flavorless cousin, though technically, tequila is a type of mezcal.
From a relative's recent trip to Mexico, I find myself with a number of samples of obscure (to me anyway) tequilas, some which appear to be very difficult to find north of the border, and all of which are, naturally, 100% agave. What better excuse for a massive tequila tasting.
I don't know tequila like I know whiskey. Tequila geeks speak of NOMs and extraction methods, but I don't know what those are, and I'm not about to attempt to become a ten minute expert. There's a certain freedom that comes with trying a spirit I don't know anything about. I can free myself of all of the externalities and just taste the liquid and give my impressions. I don't know anything about the distilleries, bottlers, sources or production methods. I'm just drinking and writing, blissful in my ignorance.
In an effort to tackle these with some reason, I'm dividing these by age. I'll start with a couple of blancos today, move on to reposados over the next few days and close out with a few añejos.
Today I'll start with the blancos. This is unaged tequila, the equivalent of new make or white dog, though this used to be the way they all were made.
Tequila Los Tres Toños Blanco, 40% abv ($33)
The nose on this is actually more like mezcal than many tequilas I've had, with some ash and a sweet earthy note. On the palate it is decidedly smooth and a bit salty with some sweet notes. Smooth is not usually a quality I appreciate but this a really well balanced and pleasant drink.
Don Eduardo Blanco, 38% abv ($38)
The nose on this is very mild with some floral notes. The palate is also quite bland, watery with some vague agave notes, some lavender and some dirt. Not much to this one.
Well, of these two blancos, the Tres Toños (three tones) wins handily over the relatively flavorless Don Eduardo.
Stay tuned for more tequila fun.