Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Espolon Tequila Reposado - Tequila Review

Skeletons of a bottle of Espolon Tequila Reposado
Espolon Tequila Reposado keeps with the skeleton
Theme of the Blanco bottle.  Really nice artwork!
A few posts ago I was writing about a tasty liquor that I had re-discovered - Espolon Tequila Blanco.  Espolon is a brand I used to enjoy many years ago, but it is now back with a new label, new packaging, and for some reason a much lower price.  Back in the day, Espolon used to cost around $30-40$ a bottle; these days, you can get a bottle of it for around $23 and change.  I'm not sure why anything would ever go down in price, but it just goes to show that price does not always correlate with quality - one can still find amazing deals if one looks hard enough.

Nice cold Espolon Blue Agave Tequila
Cold and refreshing
Espolon Reposado Tequila

So here in front of us, we have Espolon Reposado.  Reposado means "rested" and it means that the tequila has been rested (i.e. stored) in wooden barrels for a time before being brought to market.  Specifically, the Tequila is aged from between 2 to 11 months.  If it is aged a year or more, the Tequila is then called Anejo which means "aged."  The barrels used to store the Tequila during this time are usually American or French Oak.  Often bottles that were used for other types of spirits, like wine or whiskey are used, imparting their own flavors to the Tequila as it sits.  During this time, the normally Blanco or "clear" tequila mellows in flavor, picks up any number of other flavors, and absorbs a beautiful color from the aging process.  The result is a beverage that's arguably more complex than Blanco tequilas.

Espolon Tequila Reposado has a beautiful color
The resting of the Tequila
adds a beautiful color!
Personally, I like Blanco tequila.. I like the fresh agave taste with all of its' cactus goodness, and I really see no need (generally) for the aging process.  But I'm just a recreational drinker - people who take their Tequila much more seriously acclaim the aged ones.  Typically, people will use a  Reposado Tequila in the preparation of their margaritas, although me and the lady personally like to use the Blanco.  It's all about trying different combinations and figuring out what your palette enjoys - like all things that are matters of taste, once there are a few standards established, the final result is really up to the taster.  Any brand of tequila will taste like agave cactus of course - this is what it's made of, and this is why we only buy brands of tequila that are 100% agave - why mess around with some junk if you're trying to enjoy yourself?  Better to spend a little bit more and get something nice than try to cut corners and get something that's made of poor quality.  The differences between the brands once you get up to a certain quality level is the nuances in the liquor, the milder tasting notes above and beyond the straightforward agave.

Label of Espolon Reposado Tequila
They have their bread - I wonder if they will go and
purchase some agave from the Jimadors
in order to make some more Tequila Espolon!
So now.. just how does Espolon Tequila Reposado TASTE?  Well, first off there are the same notes there as the regular Espolon Tequla Blanco - you can read about the basic flavor profile of Espolon in a previous blog post.  But along with your standard agave, there's a sweet oak flavor and fragrance, and.. not much else.  I think I detect some vanilla aromas, and there might be some fruitiness - or it might just be my imagination and the power of suggestion that I am drinking tequila and this is what to expect :)  The vanilla is most definitely there and of course one can discern the various oak flavors from the barrel, but really I'd be hard pressed to say that I definitely smell much of anything else, at least that I can define.  I mean, we need to be objective here :)  Perhaps if I sipped a few more shots, it would become more clear to me...

Unopened bottle of Reposado Tequila
I finally caught a picture
before I'd started to drink it!
In reality, Espolon has a nice agave taste but isn't terribly complex in my opinion - this opinion stands for both the Blanco and Reposado.  While the Reposado has the added layers of the woody flavors from the oak, there still just isn't a whole lot going on with - not that this is necessarily a bad thing.  The liquor is smooth, has a very straightforward flavor profile, and honestly still makes a damn good margarita.  
Pure Agave Tequila
100% Puro Agave
The real deal.

As stated earlier, despite the apparent lack of complexity, this is still a well made Tequila - and for the price, I think you'd be very hard pressed to find a better Reposado Tequila than this one.  Of course, I'll have to keep trying, you know, for journalism's sake.

Reposado Tequila for Margaritas
Just seeing this bottle,
I want a margarita :)
Espolon is of course 100% Agave.  For the price and value point, I would absolutely recommend Espolon Tequila Reposado (as well as Espolon Tequila Blanco) for anyone looking for an easy to enjoy pure agave tequila that's easy on your wallet and your taste buds.  There are more expensive tequilas out there but values like this one are few and far between.  

Go grab a bottle.  It's delicious to sip - leave the salt and limes behind :)

Ok, time to bring this bottle inside.
Going to make some margaritas!
Espolon Tequila Reposado
Espolon Tequila Reposado
is a great value, and delicious!
To your health!


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