I got a very in depth education on tequila in the past week so I thought I would write up how it came to pass and give the listeners a better understanding of how I go about getting my spirits knowledge. It all started with a bottle that arrived in the mail. Tequila Corralejo had asked Bourbon & Banter to review their reposado tequila for Cinco de Mayo and I was only too happy to take on the challenge. When I opened the box and found a beautiful blue bottle waiting for me I knew I had to do it justice.
I did not consider myself enough of an expert in tequila to do a proper review. I mean certainly I have had enough tequila in cocktails as well as straight to be able to say if I like the taste or not. But without more context, I knew that I would be writing a very boring article. Telling your readers, “yeah it’s pretty good” or “drink only with lots of lime and salt” is not very helpful. So before I even sat down to write a review I had to do a lot of research. I spent two or three days reading tequila articles in my spare time. I ended up doing so much research that I wrote a whole separate article. How Bourbon Compares to Tequila was the result. This article was very much from my point of view. It explains to someone who is a bourbon lover all the ways tequila is different. One of my favorite lessons was that tequila is aged in the plant, not in the barrel. That means that most of the flavor actually comes from distillate, not from the barrel aging. Because of that you don’t want to age tequila too long in a barrel and used barrels are often preferable to new.
Once I felt like I had a better understanding of tequila I was ready to review. First we tried it on The Charlie Tonic Hour #228. Charlie and I drank it neat and were very impressed. But I wanted to take it a step further and see how it worked in a cocktail. Since Cinco de Mayo comes so close to the Kentucky Derby I was inspired to look for a cocktail recipe that used both bourbon and tequila. I found one called And to All a Goodnight on Imbibe’s website that fit the bill perfectly. It was a classic-style cocktail that was heavy on the spirits and bitters but balanced by cherry liquor. I will definitely be making it again.
Finally I sat down with the tequila in a glencairn glass and really tasted it slowly and repeatedly in order to write a more full review for Bourbon & Banter. Describing taste is the most challenging part of my job. Everyone’s palates and impressions are individualized and subjective. What I taste as baked pears and spearmint you might describe as green apples and cinnamon. Everytime I write a review I second guess myself. I just have to hope that by taking my time and writing as carefully as I can that I will be able to communicate useful information to the reader. My final review was a very positive one. The more I drank Tequila Corralejo Reposado, the more I liked it. So in the end I had written two articles and recorded a podcast, gained a huge amount of tequila knowledge, and got a bottle of tequila I can finish at my leisure. Not bad for a week’s worth of work.