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1921 Blanco, Cenote Reposado and Herradura Reposado...
#1
So, I finally got a chance to pick up my order at my local liquor store. We have a provincially run liquor store which will ship anything you want in the system as long as it cost $50 CDN or more.

I ordered up 1921 Blanco and Cenote Reposado. While I was in the store I also picked up a bottle of Herradur Reposado. I ended up with a bit of a deal on the Herradura. It is usually $75 CDN but the hand tag was $69.75. The price on the shelf was inaccurate but they gave me the lower price anyways so I chose to pick up the Herradura as well.

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Frankly, I never understood people drinking Blancos outside of a cocktail. The Herradura is allegedly the "first" Repo (at least Herradura claims that) and was launched in 1974. I did a tasting along with my wife to try out the Blancos. We tasted the 1921, Herradura, Patron, Trombo, Don Julio, Patron, Espolon, and Omecca Altos. 

The results and my impressions were a bit of a revalation. 

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I was assuming that I was going to love the Cenote and the 1921 would be just another Blanco I would like in a cocktail but would not want to drink neat. I was so wrong! My wife and I found a vegetal flavor and also "banana"? The 1921 has a sweet aroma. The tasting has that initiaily, then that earthy flavor mid palate, plus a sweet fruity taste and a smooth and fruity finish. The Tromba Blanco had a similar fruity "banana" like aroma and had a similar initial taste. However, where the 1921 continued that softer and interesting flavor mid palate the Tromba went to the harsher alcohol flavor. So, for the extra $10 the 1921 costs my wife and both agreed that it was worth the extra expense over the Trombo.

The second best in this comparo depended on who was tasting (and it was a subtle difference). For my wife the Patron was second best whereas I preferred the Don Julio by a tiny bit. After that it was El Espolon and then Omecca Altos.

The 1921 Blanco was a revelation to me. It is the first Blanco I have ever had that I enjoy neat. Until now I have never understood why someone would want to drink Blanco neat. I just didn't get it. The 1921 had made me understand why people like Blancos. So much flavor and complexity but not a ton of burn.  I will be very curious what I think once I come back from my roadtrip later this week with the Arette, Tapatio, and Pasote Blanco.

As for the Repo... The Herradura and Cenote are new to me.
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When all was said and done I felt that (with my current collection) the Don Julio was my best Repo, followed by Cenote, then Espolon, then Herradura and trailed by the crappy Antiguo Herradura (Crappy Diffuser Mexico variant).

Again, more new blood coming into my collection later this week.

Now I am curious if the Arette, Tapatio, or Pasote Blanco can blow my socks off. Until now I was not a Blanco guy at all. Too much burn for the amount of flavor I got. The 1921 just opened up my eyes. From the Long Island Lou write ups I have read the 1921 falls into his second tier of Blancos. Based on that I think I am in for a treat with the products I have planned to purchase on my upcoming road trip. 

It is unfortunate that I only have access to the 1921 Blanco and not the Repo or Anejo. I imagine the other products would give my Don Julio a run for their money in those expressions as well. 

I was curious about the Herradura since (like the Anejo) they tend to age their expressions longer than average and most marques. Apparently age in barrels is not the be all and end all. 

Right now 1921 is my favorite Blanco by far and for Repo it is Don Julio followed by Cenote.

After my upcoming road trip to Quebec this may not be the case. For Blanco Pasote, Arette, and Tapatio are coming in. For Repo I have Roca Patron, Pasote, Azunia, and Omecca Altos are coming in. Will be very interesting to see how disruptive these are to my perceptions.

From a cost/value perspective here is my perspective on my current Blancos.

In our store the Olmecca Altos is 37.95. Cazadores (diffuser stuff) is $34.95 as is Jose Cuervo Especial. So, for $3 which is less than 2 cups of coffee you can go from a mixto or Diffuser 100% agave product to a "real" tequila. Espolon is $39.95 CDN which is $2 more than the Omecca Altos.

Tromba is a much nicer product than the Espolon or Omeca Altos but that require going from essentially $40 CDN to $50. Know what? Worth the difference in price. However, for an additional $11 you can buy 1921 which takes the Tromba to another level. If you want Don Julio it is another $22 in price over the 1921 and cost $83 CDN and the Patron (which is still a competent product) is $20 more than the 1921 and costs $81.

So, at present the 1921 is a great product. In my view it is better than products that cost $20 more. So, going forward if I only had access to these products I would likely utilize Espolon as a taster for and cocktails for casual use and 1921 for drinking/sipping neat and for cocktails for my wife and I. Espolon would be for making cocktails for a party. Again. I will be curious to see how my perceptions will change later this week.

In terms of Repo Don Julio is still my fav followed by Cenote. Don Julio is $88 CDN and Cenote is $81. The Espolon has a lot less "complexity" and is a different product. However, Espolon is $41 CDN here. For cocktails and introducing tequila the Espolon is a great product. I suspect that the plainer flavor profile of Espolon could be because they use a column still instead of a usual stainless steel steel with copper tubing or copper still. At this price point I think it is a great product and good value for money. I find Cabo Wabo too similar (made at the same distillery) and not a good value at that price point.

So, at this point I have learned that the less mainstream brand seem to offer a great experience for less money than the mainstream brands. I am also learning that I am not really a Herradura guy. It seems that more time in the barrel is not the end all and be all (for me anyways).

I am very interested in seeing what I think of Pasote as not only are they utilizing tradition methods, and utilizing different waters in their blends, but their Anejo is aged one year versus the 25 months that Herradura does. Interesting...
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#2
Okay some more thoughts. I think the "banana" I am raving about is really agave. Don Julio hides this flavor somewhat ( to me at least) and the Tromba and 1921 get it out right in front. The difference is the Tromba rolls off of the agave and kind of just becomes burn and alcohol. Somehow in the 1921 the agave rolls from the front to the mid palate and then rolls off. Sure, there is a bit of burn but this is an agave party compared to what I have been used to.

As for the Cenote Repo I need to revisit again. I used a different glass to the other Repos which would have an effect on the perception. After my road trip I will revisit it (and Don Julio) versus the newbies joining the collection.

Either way both are worthy purchases. I am still not sure what to make of Herradura.
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#3
I started my Agave journey with 1800, Don Julio and in my opinion it’s a brilliant gateway in to Tequila. Before I wouldn’t have classed myself as a spirit drinker but now 5 years later my world has changed for the better. After tasting many tequilas, especially at Tequila Festivals, i had the chance to taste many brands showcasing all their expressions. Better still meeting incredible people in the industry that are fantastic human beings, but thats another chapter!! After trying the Fortaleza’s, Ocho’s, Arette, Calle 23, Don Fulano, and anything from the Camarena family I started to value more additive free tequila. The reason is that i found that the flavour profiles were more Agave forward and you can taste more natural flavours.

I have sipped a lot of the old Espolon. I managed to get two Jeraboams of Espolon - Reposado and Anejo. I will try and dig about a photo!

My preference is Blanco but i love all Agave. You can get some punchy Blanco’s especially Siete Leguas Blanco which is a killer blanco. You can get smoother Blancos like G4 for example which is perfect for new tequila drinkers. I love them all as it depends on what mood I’m in lol...

Your right that diffuser made tequila have bigger marketing budgets. I stay well clear of diffuser. First and foremost it tastes terrible but its disrespecting Agave when they harvest under ripe Agaves to make the white spirit and then shove a load of sugar in to give it some taste. Not for me!

Herradura is the only tequila at Tequilafest many years ago that we poured in a spittoon. I went with Agave Glenn, who you will read in this forum. We took one sip and couldn’t take anymore. It doesn’t make me feel good talking on here what we did but it just wasn’t for me. Pasote you will find is in a different league altogether. I think you need real expertise to age Tequila because oak is very dominant and finding that balance is a skill in itself. Siete Leguas D’Antano is up there with one of the best XA’s . Also the Fortaleza team to a splendid job at balancing oak and Agave. They are one of the best in the business and if you do get the chance their Anejo is moorish, i only wish i could afford to buy it, but i do believe it justifies its price.

One more thing, i went on a night out just before Christmas and after a heavy night on the beers i went to a bar that had Arette Blanco. They reached for a shout glass but asked them to put the measure in a wine glass. After a few wizzes of the glass the Arette really opened up and the smell of cooked sweet Agave was unreal, i had forgotten how amazing it was. You will get the same thing with Tapatio!
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#4
Found it!!!!

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#5
Thanks for the insight and stories. Those older Espolon bottles are cool. Classy, classic, interesting etc. Compari is not doing that brand -or Cabo Wabo- any favors. Would love to see them lose the column still and see what it would do to the spirit.

Still, for the price I still feel that El Espolon is a solid entry brand. Cabo Wabo is a shame. I bought my bottle of Anejo at the Cabo Wabo bar in Cabo. Had to get there when we stayed in the area. Was fun to have some snacks and cocktails with the wife and then I just had to buy a bottle while I was there. I paid $50 USD for the Anejo. I was surprised by not only the so-so aspect of the juice but also by how underwhelming the bottle and packaging were. Sure, it is about how good the tequila is but at that price point they are competing with Don Julio and Patron who also make better tequila (my opinion) and have nice bottles and boxes that come with them.

The Cabo Wabo website talks about "thick cut" tequila. Nothing "thick cut" about Cabo Wabo. Been awhile since I had the Repo but my bottle of El Espolon seems very similar to what I remember. Cabo Wabo is twice the price here for the Repo versus the Espolon. Would love to see them go to something like the old cool bottles that were used when Sammy had the brand and perhaps get back to a more interesting tequila like it was when Sammy had the brand. At least it is not Diffuser.

Speaking of which. My wife has a decent palate for wine drinking and had some good observations when we did our tasting. Right away she complained of artificiality in the Antiguo Herradura Repo which is diffuser juice. El Jimador is diffuser juice too. I may not have the best palate but I have never liked Hornitos or recent tastings of El Jimador. Just seemed... "off"? Thank goodness for the Tequila Matchmaker app. So easy to research your purchases.

Not sure what to make of Herradura now. It is making me a little nervous of picking up their extra anejo. I had better spend the money on a tasting and see if I like it. That's how I figured out I liked JC Reserva De La Familia. I had tasted 1942 and was not really sold on it. Another customer at the tequila bar said to see if they had the bottle that looked like a pirate bottle of rum. The tequillier briefly had a puzzled look and seconds later recognition registered in his face and he pulled out the box and the bottle within. I paid my money and enjoyed every drop. Not sure why the 1942 was not for me but I loved the Reserva Extra Anejo. Who knows...

Very cool that you have met a lot of these masters of tequila and others who share your passion. I have done a couple of those "tequila tours" but they are to a sort of tequila museum which is more of a store and they show you some of the tequilas they sell. These are ones in the yucatan area so more of a business selling various tequilas and give you an abbreviated and abridged history of tequila. Make money on the tour and then sell tequila to a captive audience who could buy the juice cheaper in town.
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#6
Hey Fordi,

What are your thoughts on the old Cabo Wabo versus new and also the new Santo Fina Blanco that Sammy and Guy Fieri have come out with?

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Hey Fordi,

What are your thoughts on the old Cabo Wabo versus new and also the new Santo Fina Blanco that Sammy and Guy Fieri have come out with?

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
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#7
Never tasted Cabo Wabo. Price ranges from Blanco £49.95 to Anejo £65. Had a look on Matchmaker and it’s not great even though the production looks ok.

Not heard of Santo Fina and you cannot get it in the UK. Unfortunately no news has made it this way? What’s the story?
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#8
There is a good review on The Tequila Hombre you tube channel. Sammy was making a Mezcal under this brand (still does and perhaps he started there because he had a non compete clause for a time with his deal with Compari when he sold his remaining interests in Cabo Wabo.

Actually the Mexcal is called Santo Puro and is a tequila and mezcal blend. Hmmm...

Anyways apparently the master distiller is the same guy who made the old Sammy version of Cabo Wabo which apparently was pretty good juice. I can get the "Mezcal" here which is a Mezcal/tequila blend. The Blanco is not here yet.

So, Sammy is working with the master distiller he used to before Compari got involved and Guy Fieri is his business partner in this. Might end up being a decent product and addition to the marketplace.

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

There is a good review on The Tequila Hombre you tube channel. Sammy was making a Mezcal under this brand (still does and perhaps he started there because he had a non compete clause for a time with his deal with Compari when he sold his remaining interests in Cabo Wabo.

Actually the Mexcal is called Santo Puro and is a tequila and mezcal blend. Hmmm...

Anyways apparently the master distiller is the same guy who made the old Sammy version of Cabo Wabo which apparently was pretty good juice. I can get the "Mezcal" here which is a Mezcal/tequila blend. The Blanco is not here yet.

So, Sammy is working with the master distiller he used to before Compari got involved and Guy Fieri is his business partner in this. Might end up being a decent product and addition to the marketplace.

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