produces 4 tequilas and today we get to sample a taste of
each. This is not to say that they produce 4 totally different
tequilas because they all start off with the superb Tequila
Blanco (which I have previously tasted and reviewed and raved
about). They then take that blanco and age it for 2-11 months
to get Tequila Reposado, or they take it and age it for 12
months to make their Tequila Anejo and finally they take that
Blanco and age it for 3 years to get their Tequila Extra Anejo.
took founder Jose Maria almost 50 years to get these formulas
right. He began making his tequila in secret back in 1922
and finally began marketing it in 1973. The brand name Cazadores
means Hunters which made me jump to the conclusion that it
relates to the picture of the stag on the bottle in a rather
bloody fashion. However, it actually symbolizes Jose Maria's
pursuit (hunt) to create the finest tequila he could. Although
I bet that if you were cooped up in a hunter's blind for several
days a bottle of this tequila would come in mighty handy.
blanco is extracted from pure blue agave with a shredder-roller
and double distilled in a stainless steel pot. The bottle
is clear and displays the transparent spirit within. The nose
is filled with the subtle but clear notes of roasted agave,
just the way I like it. It is flowery and citrusy with a touch
of pineapple and pepper but all that takes a back seat to
the wonderful aroma of the agave. On the palate I immediately
get more of the agave followed by the citrus and pepper. It
is quite smooth and quite tasty. The finish is short and sweet
leaving a lingering taste of agave.
really have to tell you that this is a splendid tequila that
can hold its own with tequilas costing 3 to 4 times as much.
It is a delicate sipper and yet delivers a full measure of
that agave flavor I look for. It is in no way bitter or harsh
and will not make you jump up and down in pain like a cheap
tequila will. This is not a cheap tequila but an inexpensive
one. I simply can't believe you can get a full bottle of it
for just over $20.00! Oh, and you really don't need those
ice cubes with it, it's really just that tasty all by itself.
Tequila Reposado takes that blanco and rests it in
virgin American oak barrels for 2-11 months which takes the
color from that of clear water to an extremely pale yellow.
I still get a nose full of flower and citrus but the agave
aroma has become more subtle and is now accompanied by hints
of vanilla and oak. On the palate, that straight forward wonderful
agave flavor I experienced previously in the Tequila Blanco
has melded more evenly with the other flavors and even become
a bit smoother overall. I can appreciate the start of something
more complex here but I am also beginning to miss the unadulterated
taste of that pure agave. The finish is smooth and citrusy
leaving the barest hints of agave and oak that lasts a short
amount of time.
Tequila Anejo is aged in American oak barrels for
at least 12 months which gives it a very pale amber color.
The nose ramps up a bit with all the aromas integrating even
further than in the Reposado. This is a nose that is coming
into its own now. The aromas of fruit and cinnamon followed
by a hint of oak seem to have replaced the previous more citrus
like aromas and the agave now seems to be an equal partner
rather than a leader. The palate actually presents more agave
than the nose does but it does so in a very delicate and restrained
manner while picking up more notes of wood. The taste is now
leaning more towards a pale scotch or even a light whiskey
but thankfully I can still taste some of that wonderful agave.
The finish is fruity and oaky and generally flavorful while
smooth. You can just tell that a lot of care went into producing
this light yet flavorful tequila.
Tequila Extra Anejo is aged in American oak barrels
for at least 3 years which gives it a lightly golden color
not unlike pale amber.The nose has again moved closer into
the direction of a blended scotch or light whiskey except
for that undeniable hint of agave which has now taken an equal
part to that of the nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla and oak aromas.
On the palate, the agave taste now plays like an instrument
in an orchestra; a wonderful and harmonic blend of tastes
with none really playing lead but all contributing to a grand
symphony. Granted the agave is still forward but now has more
closely blended into the other tastes which have grown more
complex yet more subtle. The finish is smooth, featuring nutmeg
and oak underneath that now very subtle agave and lasts a
short but sweet amount of time.
is truly amazing what oak ageing will do for a tequila, especially
in the production of a smoother tequila but it all seems to
come at the cost of a diminishing of the agave flavor rather
than the enhancement of that agave flavor. Yes, it gets smoother,
it gets more complex, it gets a world of wonderful flavors
but it also steps further and further from the incredible
flavor of pure agave. Now, don't get me wrong, I like all
that complexity and ageing and blending of flavors but I really,
really like the flavor of roasted agave. I appreciate the
effort and time it takes to produce an Anejo much less an
extra Anejo but I also appreciate the effort it takes to grow
and harvest and process a decent agave plant.
for my finale I have poured myself a snifter of Cazadores
Blanco and come full circle back to that roasted
agave flavor that drew me to this Tequila in the first place
and made me fall in love with it. As much as I appreciate
all the effort and time and energy that went into creating
all those aged incarnations of the this tequila, the blanco
is still my favorite.
Tequila Blanco is 40% ABV or 80 proof, is not aged,
and can be found in 750 ML bottles for $21.99 to $24.00.
Tequila Reposado is 40% ABV or 80 proof, is rested
in virgin American oak barrels for 2-11 months, and can be
found in 750 ML bottles for $25.99 to $33.99.
Tequila Anejo is 40% ABV or 80 proof, is aged in
American oak barrels for at least 12 months, and can be found
in 750 ML bottles for $39.99 to $41.99.
Tequila Extra Anejo is 40% ABV or 80 proof, is aged
in American oak barrels for at least 3 years, and can be found
in 750 ML bottles for $63.99
By George Brozowski
more Rants & Raves click