you ever stopped to wonder why there are so many
different distillers of what should essentially be the same
spirit? I mean, there are over a thousand brands of vodka,
hundreds of scotch's and gins and whiskeys, etc. Part of the
reason is that the definition and consequential regulation
of certain spirits is rather loose, allowing for substantial
variations, while remaining true to the core definition of
the spirit. On the other hand, some spirits are very tightly
defined and regulated like Cognac and Tequila, and yet, there
are hundreds of distillers of both of these spirits, and yet,
each one ends up being unique unto itself.
can only be distilled in the state of Jalisco, Mexico and
made only from blue agave, but from there, it gets very interesting.
Over 300 million agave plants are harvested each year and
depending on where in that region they were grown, they have
unique flavor profiles. Then there are various methods of
baking the pinas (the succulent core of the plant), which
are then shredded or mashed and then poured into either wooden
or stainless steel vats for several days to ferment and then
distilled in either a column still or a pot still and then
either not aged or aged in oak barrels that are either charred
or not charred. As you can see, the slight variations and
the distillers' preferences and skill all add up to very individual
and nuanced differences in each brands taste profile. That
would certainly explain why there are currently nearly 1,000
that now brings us to Alacran Cristal Tequila.
The brand launched in the U.S. in 2011. It is distilled in
a column still, but that's about the only information I could
find other than it is produced from blue agave, which of course,
was expected. On the web site, they indicate it comes in a
black bottle yet before me sits a bottle that is transparent
in color. The bottle is reminiscent of a tall flask, and if
you can understand Spanish, you can read the small label at
the bottom of the bottle. Okay, so let's give this tequila
a taste run.
being aged, this tequila is as transparent and colorless as
water. The nose is heavy with roasted agave and a touch of
pineapple and a hint of coconut but hardly any alcohol vapors
- very nice. On the palate, it is warm and smooth with the
roasted agave again coming in front and center, followed by
the coconut and then the pineapple.
is a minor tingle at the back of the mouth but it is pleasant
and not at all distracting. The finish is warm and smooth
and features the agave and leaves a slight warmth and fruit
flavor behind for a short time. This is very flavorful and
fruity and warm, and yes, smooth tequila that is very nicely
made. At over $40.00 per bottle, it had a lot to live up to,
and I do believe it accomplished just that. This is truly
a super-premium tequila that absolutely does not sting like
the scorpion depicted on the bottle.
Cristal Tequila is 40% ABV, that's 80 proof and can
be purchased for an average $42.00 per 750ML bottle.
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