My Wandering Eye is a series reacting to the crazy rising prices in the bourbon world. We’ve reached a place where even average products have hit the range where they compete price-wise with other types of aged spirits. If I’m going be asked to drop $40 to $70 on a mid-range bourbon, I might as well see what else I can get for that money. My hope is to see if another spirits category offers something that is downright tasty in that price range. The goal isn’t to find cheap spirits, but to maximize the quality, I’m getting at a particular price point. And please remember, these will all be from the perspective of someone who basically only drinks bourbon.
I wanted to buy my wife something for Christmas that would be just hers. I’ve always felt just a little like Homer buying Marge a bowling ball when I get her bourbon as a gift. I mean it’s for her, but we both know it’s really for both of us. So this summer, based on an uptick in tequila based cocktails that were requested, I asked her if she had ever thought about buying one that she would sip neat. She said she had not and I let the matter sit.
See that’s what 21 years of marriage has taught me. You might go buy it on Christmas Eve, but you start planning early for what you’ll buy.
So, I did what any category novice would do. I went to the Total Wine website, sorted by price (highest first) and worked my way down while cross referencing it with random reviews online since I was unable to find anyone conveniently writing a “TequilaGuy'“ site out there.
Ultimately I ended up going with a Reposado Tequila from Clase Azul. The reviews made it sound good. The company website said it was designed to be consumed neat. And it came in a very pretty ceramic bottle that was hand sculpted and hand painted.
I mean it was a gift after all.
Tequila Clase Azul Reposado
Purchase Info: $71.99 for a 750 mL bottle at Total Wine, Burnsville, MN.
Details: 40% ABV. Aged 8 months in oak barrels.
Nose: Creamy and sweet with vanilla bean and delicate caramel. This smells like an amazing ice cream or shortbread cookie.
Mouth: Nice mouthfeel. Follows the nose. Sweet with vanilla and delicate caramel. There is a fruity undertone.
Finish: Delicate and syrupy. Lingering notes of milk chocolate and caramel.
Thoughts: Folks, I am here to tell you that I done good. My wife was very happy with this gift. She already has plans for what I am going to be doing with the bottle once she empties it. She enjoys drinking it on the occasions that she wants something a bit more smooth and gentle than her typical glass of bourbon. On more than one occasion, I walked into the room only to find her smelling the nose of the bottle. And I don’t blame her for that. This has an amazing nose. She has in her notes: “I could sit and smell this all day.” She really likes this
Now I am not usually a tequila fan, but then I’ve really only ever had inexpensive tequila in cocktails. I’ve never found one that I could make it past the first sip of much less sit down to enjoy a glass. This, however, is missing all the things that I used to identify as “tequila flavor” and is something I would happily accept a glass of. I’m not exactly a fan. It is something that I can appreciate more than it is something I like. It just doesn’t quite align with my tastes. But it does show me that I need to do a little more exploring in this category before writing it off completely.
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