Bringing our brief foray into tequila to an almost close….as if we hadn’t already been spoiled after our four flights of great tequilas…..Chris had a couple of surprises in store; a couple of rare and special bottles! The first of these two unique tequilas was a Jose Cuervo…… Yes, you read that right……Jose Cuervo…….except this is Jose Cuervo quite possibly unlike any other tequila you have tasted. What Chris poured was a sample of the Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia 1997.
From the website: The Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo tequila is aged for an average of 3 years, but is a blend that includes tequila from reserves aged over 30 years. Only the estate’s finest 10-year-old agaves are hand-selected. Only the most flavorful inner portion of the agave’s piña (heart) is used. Vibrant, with a full, mellow flavor combines floral, agave, vanilla and Cognac-like flavors.
The José Cuervo Reserva de la Familia is an annual, limited release first introduced in 1995 to celebrate the 200-year anniversary as the world’s leading producer of tequila. Each bottle is handmade, numbered, dated and sold in unique collectors boxes designed by different Mexican artists. The box for this 1997 Collection release has artwork by renowned Mexican contemporary artist Artemio Rodriguez. (see some of his works here)
Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia 1997
An annual, limited release of 17,000 bottles and bottled at 40% abv. Retail price, if you can find it, is in the neighborhood of $120.
Color: Amber gold
Nose: The nose is very rich, closer to a scotch or an armagnac in its depth of aromas – quite full and vibrant. Deep fruit notes: ripe red plums, berries. A creamy vanilla, a touch of orange marmalade, hints of lemon-lime zest, and a soft touch of fresh and baked agave, slightly mineral and delicately herbal.
Palate: Rich, dense arrival. Vanilla, quite a lot of herbal and baking spices, baked agave, caramel, boldly fruity, honey, fresh agave juice.
Finish: Richly fruity, a dose of citrus, vanilla, a hint of tannins adding just a slight dryness, more spices.
Overall: What an awesome, eye-opening surprise of a tequila! This is completely different to almost any tequila I’ve tasted, including the ones tonight – and far and away the best Jose Cuervo I’ve ever tasted! The cask maturation has really made its mark here and created something that is so much more than the sum of the individual parts. The balance between the nose and the palate is spot on and even though it is bottled at just 40%, this has great body, bold and vivid flavors, and a breadth of flavors that makes this wonderfully engaging. The agave notes are part of the overall picture, but serve as a foundation with the cask-influence aromas and flavors bringing greater complexity. Truly an enjoyable and spectacularly delicious alternative to single malts! This one is a definite Must Try if you ever get the opportunity.