EZdrinking

Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary.

Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary. EZdrinking is a drinks blog by Eric Zandona that focuses on distilled spirits, wine, craft beer and specialty coffee. Here you can find reviews of drinks, drink books, articles about current & historical trends, as well as how to make liqueurs, bitters, and other spirit based drinks at home.

Filtering by Tag: Blanco

Review: Santo Cuviso Bacanora Blanco

AT A GLANCE

  • Owned by: Casa TresAmigos

  • Distilled by: Manuel “El Toro” Chacón in Bacanora, Sonora

  • Agave: Angustifolia

  • Cooking: Horno (earthen pit oven)

  • Crush: Mechanical Mill

  • Fermentation: Natural fermentation

  • Still Type: Copper Pot

  • Spirit Type: Bacanora

  • Strength: 45% ABV

  • Price: $88

The agave spirit known as bacanora is named after the town of Bacanora in the northern Mexican state of Sonora. Like many other indigenous spirits, bacanora went though a period of prohibition. But, even after prohibition ended, bacanora was almost exclusively consumed locally. However in 2000, the Mexican government gave bacanora its own denomination of origin to protect its production and name like they did with tequila and mezcal.

Santo Cuviso is made in the town of Bacanora by maestro Manuel “El Toro” Chacón, a third generation bacanoro. El Toro, harvest mature cultivated agave angustifolia, also know as espadin in Oaxaca, and cooks them in a conical earthen pit oven. Once the agaves are cooked, they are milled and ferment naturally by wild yeast for up to 12 days. After fermentation, the must is double distilled in copper pot stills. Post-distillation, the spirit is allowed to rest in 5 liter glass jugs between 10 and 14 days. This rest period allows the spirit to settle which is a well know practice for making unaged spirits more refined. After the rest period the spirit is bottled at 45% ABV.

In April 2019, Santo Cuvios Bacanora Blanco earned a Gold medal and named Agave Spirit of the Year from the American Distilling Institute’s Judging of Craft Spirits.

TASTING NOTES

Nose: The nose has a fantastic aromas of fruit, citrus and a bright green vegetal note. As the spirit warms, the aroma opens and develop into notes of hard aged cheese or even a salty Oaxacan cheese.

Palate: On the palate the spirit is smooth and elegant with just a touch of sweetness. Then the flavors explode with wonderful notes of fruit and green agave.

Finish: On the finish, the bright fruitiness lingers with a somewhat dry ashy character the serves as a nice counterpoint to the fruit. Again, as the spirit warms in the glass, the finish transforms into chocolate caramel!

Conclusion: Santo Cuviso Bacanora Blanco is simply outstanding and if you are a fan of artisanal mezcal or you have tried other bacanoras then do yourself a favor and go find a bottle or ask your local liquor store to order one for you. The spirit is packed with flavor, complexity and it is extremely well balanced. Words alone cannot do this justice so go tastes some fast.

Santo Cuviso Bacanora Blanco Review | Tequila Aficionado Sipping off the Cuff

Review: Aguamiel Tequila Blanco

AT A GLANCE

  • Owned by: Stewart Group Inc.

  • Distilled by: Destiladora del Valle de Tequila (NOM 1438) in Tequila, Mexico

  • Cooking: Brick Ovens

  • Crush: Roller Mills

  • Fermentation: Stainless Steel

  • Still Type: Copper Pot Still

  • Spirit Type: 100% Agave Blanco Tequila

  • Strength: 40% ABV

  • Price: $30

Aguamiel Tequila Blanco is a 100% agave tequila from Destiladora del Valle de Tequila NOM 1438. According to the brand, the tequila is produced from 8 year old blue agave, roasted in brick ovens for two days, crushed using a roller mill, fermented, double distilled in copper pots, and then proofed to 40% ABV.

Tasting Notes

Nose: On the nose the tequila has great bright aromas of tropical fruit, ripe mango, and lime leaf, supported by notes of honey and cooked agave.

Palate: At first sip the flavor starts strong, and then fades somewhat in the middle. Overall the flavor has a nice balance between cooked agave and a nice mineral character.

Finish: The finish is light with pleasant aromas of pineapple, lime leaves and a little minerality.

Conclusion: Aguamiel Tequila Blanco is a pleasant 100% agave tequila that is equally enjoyable to drink neat or use in a cocktail like a margarita or paloma.

For more information watch my review with Mike Morales on Tequila Aficionado’s Sipping off the Cuff.

Aguamiel Tequila Blanco Review | Tequila Aficionado Sipping off the Cuff.

Sipping off the Cuff Cimarron Blanco with Tequila Aficionado

In October, Tequila Aficionado had an open casting call for new "Sipping Superstars" for their video tasting series called Sipping off the Cuff. I applied and Mike Morales was kind enough to give me a shot. For our episode of Sipping off the Cuff I reviewed Tequila Cimarron Blanco. He recorded our skype conversation and if enough people give my tryout video the thumbs up then Mike and Lisa will have me back next year to do some more. The audio has an odd echo effect from the recording process so hopefully next time we can work that out.

Please enjoy! 

Review: Tequila Cimarron Blanco

Tequila Cimarron Blanco is distilled by Tequilena S.A. de C.V. NOM 1146 and bottled at 40% ABV.

Price: $17-22 per 1 liter

The Tequilena distillery is located in the city of Tequila and run by Enrique Fonseca, a fourth generation agave grower. The distillery is capable of producing up to 15,000 liters of 100% Blue Agave Tequila per day and according to K&L Spirit Buyer, David Driscoll, their aging warehouse has about 20,000 barrels of tequila quietly maturing in the highlands of Jalisco. Along with Tequila Cimarron, Fonseca produces tequila for eight other brands, including T1, Fuenteseca, and ArteNom 1146. 

Fonseca purchased the Tequilena distillery from Bacardi in the 1980s and it has five pot stills and one large column still. According to an interview between Driscoll and Fonseca, their agave is harvested from a number of different altitudes and soil types which lend different flavor characteristics. The pinas are cut with about 2-3 inches of the leaves remaining which gives the resulting distillate a stronger vegetal character. Fonseca cooks his pinas for about 24 hours in large autoclaves at less than 1 atmosphere of pressure and then allows them to slowly cool down for another 24 hours. The roasted pinas are then put into a large screw press which squeezes the juice out of the agave rather than shredding or mashing them. The juice is fermented slowly in large temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, which results in wash around 15% ABV. The wash is sent to both the column and pot stills for distillation. Once distillation is complete the pot and column distillates will be mixed in varying ratios depending on the brand characteristics. After the mixes are made the blanco tequila goes into a tank to rest for a few weeks before proofing and bottling. Since Cimarron is such a clean spirit, my guess that it contains slightly more tequila from the column vs. the pot stills. 

Tasting Notes

Nose: The nose is light and pleasant with notes mineral water, pepper and green agave. The nose is simultaneously earthy and fruity with notes of ripe pineapple carried upwards by the alcohol.

Palate: The tequila has a light body with a light acidity and in the mouth it is smooth and round. Cimarron blanco is spicy with notes of pepper and cumin, an earthy sweetness like slightly charred vegetables from the grill.

Finish: The flavor has a short finish but the tequila has a very pleasant warmth that lingers without any burn out harshness. Lightly sweet notes of green agave hold on at the back of the palate waiting for the next sip.

Conclusion: Tequila Cimarron Blanco is an excellent tequila, a great value and fantastic for parties. Cimarron has been made for the bar and cocktail market which fits perfectly because it is very straightforward and clean. The blanco makes an great margarita and even though it is not the most complex blanco on the market the tequila shines through with it's natural fruitiness. Also, Cimarron Blanco would make an excellent tequila for shots if that's your thing. While the simplicity of Tequila Cimarron Blanco does not make it a great sipping tequila, it is incredibly well executed, affordable and fantastic for mixing.