Fun and informative, tequila tasting at El Centro may become a regular event!

October 25, 2011

Stay thirsty, my friends.  Ok, I’m not the Dos Equis guy (love him!) and I’m not writing about beer.  This post is about tequila – the sippin’ kind.  When my friend suggested going to a (free!) tequila tasting at El Centro tonight, I jumped at the opportunity.  Naturally.  The scoop is that El Centro is going to make Monday night tequila tastings a regular occurrence, except that they’ll be charging for it in the future.

As they say, the first taste is free . . . At least that’s what I hear.

Tonight’s selections came from Oro Azul (Spanish translation: blue gold).  The flight of three (100% blue agave) tequilas was served with chips, salsa, and kick-ass guacamole.  I’m not a tequila connoisseur.  In fact, I find good tequila intimidating and I associate bad tequila with shots, stories that I do not care to share at this point in our (blogger-reader) relationship, and horribly painful hangovers.  So, I found this tasting informative and definitely something I’d do again if the price were right.  Maybe $10.  I’d pay more only if the tequilas were paired with food other than just chips, salsa, and guacamole.

Azul is a small, family-owned tequila distillery.  According to the distillery’s representative, who made his way to each table to discuss the tequilas and answer any questions, Oro Azul doesn’t sell everything it produces under its own label in order to retain its “artisanal” status under Mexican law.  Instead it sells some of its production to Jose Cuervo and Herradura.  Here’s my take on each tequila I tried:

Blanco: Blanco is stored in steel barrels.  As its name suggests, Blanco has a light golden color.  (“Blanco” means “white” in Spanish).  It was smooth with a peppery finish.  Of the three we tried, this one definitely had a strong alcohol flavor that lingered a bit on the tongue, ensuring that we did not forget what we were drinking.  I’m not sure I’d want to sip this one.  It was too abrasive for me.

Reposado:  This tequila is aged or “rested” in oak barrels for over six months.  According to Mexican law, a tequila must be rested in oak anywhere from six months to two years in order to carry the label “reposado.”  The Reposado was darker in color and smoother than the Blanco.  It was nice, nutty, and silky.

Añejo: Mexican law dictates that any tequila call “Añejo” must be rested for over two years.  Oro Azul’s Añejo had the darkest color of the three.  It was smooth and floral. This one was quite nice actually.  I’d be fine sipping it. In fact, I drank this one the fastest.  I guess that’s not sipping.  Whatever.

Asked what distinguished Oro Azul tequilas from its competitors, the rep said that Oro Azul is known for its more fruit-forward, floral tequilas.  This doesn’t mean that they’re sweet.  (I would definitely not classify them as sweet.)  I guess I’ll have to test out this proposition by tasting more tequila.  Bring it.


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