Welcome back to the great Tequila Taste-off!
This week: The SmackDown of the Supreme Silvers!!
1. On deck- Don Julio silver. A commendable brand. At least that what everyone says.. but can DJ hold his ground against our sparkling challengers?
2. Next-Up- Espolon Silver. A highly rated silver from the same Tequila family that won the last Tequila Taste Off _”The Anejo Shoot Out”.
3. Lastly, the mystery challenger-Fina Estampa Blanco. Here’s a youngblood with a very high pedigree that has been talked about from Jalisco to Oregon. Word is, that this classy new blanco is the one to beat.
Challengers: ready & poured?
Judge: loose & languid?
Then let’s begin!
The DJ has some very nice agave notes on first sniff.
Even a tilt of the glass is not releasing an offensive cloud of alcohol. Rather, this silver is feeling VERY nicely balanced indeed. This is quite a surprise. DJ’s very ubiquitousness has lead me to expect the very LEAST from it. I am immediately disarmed. What other secrets will the Don Julio unleash. I’ll take one more nosefull to get a clearer picture. Oh, sweet mysterious agave. You are unleashing some bubbling notes of BUTTERBEAN mixed in with your funnels of agave mist! I would give you a high five if I met you on the street, Don. You are one slick-walking stick!
I’m gonna drink you slow and long, Don. Get ready:
Oohh.. a complicated tongue with a crispy-crackling back-of-the-mouth fade. I’m thinking the fade may be your strongest asset, DJ. That taste went too quickly. This time I’m going to aerate you in the middle of the throw down. Here goes:
I’m almost sorry to feel you go down the “back alley”, Don Julio. You are one fine jockey!. AND – you’re leaving a VERY long finish on the outside edges of my tongue. I think this tongue buzz may be one of your finest assets. I feel that strong butterbean at the center of your taste. You’re lazily swimming on a placid lake of agave & butterbean. What IS this BUTTERBEAN flavor? I have never HAD a butterbean, but you are definitely harking back to a 1930’s “butterbean” blues solo. Don Julio, how old “ARE” you?
Your crackling burn is all in the mouth and none in the throat. I am feeling a very excitable and pleasurable stampede of tiny barbs on the edges of my tongue. Don Julio, you have impressed me with your unexpected bravery. You have a candy sweet come-on and you leave a pleasant alcohol “jab”.. MANY jabs, in fact. I’m glad you’re pleasurable because you’re so DAMNED prevalent in every bar that will still serve me.
Good to have a close friend nearby. Thank you, Don.
I’m eyeing you, Espolon. You have quite a reputation to live up to. Your Anejo “Grandfather” took me to the far green fields of West Marin.. where I lay with the sheep.
And I LOVED it.
I am not a “pasture boy” willingly, yet the mighty Espolon warrior took me there with aplomb and left me there to lie in the grass and dream. I have pulled back the curtains. I’m STARING at you, Espolon. The spotlight is glaring on your diamond-gleam bottle. I sniff:
Espolon you are being COY with me. You are giving up VERY LITTLE in your aroma. I am feeling a guardedness about your agave roots. I innately feel something smooth and powerful is tucked into that alcohol cloud but you aren’t going to give it away to me that easily, are you? Espolon, you are going to make me undress you with my nose aren’t you? You TEASE, Espolon! Your teasing only makes me want you more (and you know this, of course..) Like a junkie, I return to sniff:
It’s no use. There’s nothing more than the first time I “eyed” your nose .. you refuse me, Espolon. This is a very dangerous game. You’d better have something down there to back up all of this mystery. Here we go.
Wait.. I’ll wash my palate first.. DAMN! That DJ has NUMBED my tongue somewhat. Go back to your room, DJ! You were impressive but don’t be an ass-kisser.
And now, Espolon, I drink!
Whoa… Espolon you are wearing stiletto heels and you are SPIKING me all through the journey from teeth to tummy. So that is your game? I immediately take you in my grip and force another sip:
There’s a bitter sharp crest to your taste and you leave a spiky sharp tang all the way through your passage. But there’s no SOUL at your center. In fact there’s very little of ANYTHING at the center of your flavor cloud, Espolon. All of your taste is on the fringe. I am surprised at this flavor ‘portrait’ and I am not completely enamored. Espolon, do you treat all your suitors in this fashion? This whole S &M thing is a bit too trendy for me. I don’t think I want to have to dress up like this all of the time. I’m forcing another taste from you, Dammit… give me EVERYTHING NOWW. Do IT!!
Espolon you have no soul. You are a tarted-up cheat ; all leather and brass eyelets.. but to what end, I ask? I have undressed you with my tongue only to find more leather and more brass. Espolon, you are a caricature of a full-bodied Tequila. I fear you may have had “work” done. I’ll finish my drink of you, but I won’t tell your grandfather what you’ve been up to and how you dress. He deserves better from you.
A quick palate refresh and I am face to face with the “final stamp”.
Fina, you have intrigued me from the first, my Equine friend. From bottle to wooden holder you are one high-class presentation. I didn’t want to expose this, but I actually cracked open your seal about 2 weeks ago. I stole a sinful sniff; just to see if I could get a “handle’ on your nose profile.. and I was presented with a MIGHTY funnel of agave fragrance. Fina, you have good breeding. This is obvious. I have also heard that there may be a “rock’ in your upbringing. Have you been born under tons of granite? And will you give up your mineral birthright from the first taste that passes through? I wonder about you FE.. I approach you chest out and eye-cocked. I sniff:
Full, rich agave. You ARE from the Earth, my steed! I smell the Mother in your nose and I sense a deep and feral past in your history. Tell me a story from ancient times; I sniff again!
You ARE from the desert and your agave nose is imploring me to taste. I think you are a “talker” and not a “smeller” my sturdy steed! You want to talk? Then I am going to ride you, Estampa, I am going to ride every ounce of taste from your loins.. I grab ahold of your mane. I hoist myself up and I kick.. I drink!
HA! Did you catch that, my Fina? I actually caught myself SMILING just as my lips parted and I sipped you. Delightful! You are a VERY complex and conversational friend. You are telling me about the deep red desert soil. You aren’t content to speak about the happenings of man ATOP the soil.. you want to talk to me about the sordid mineral past of my ancestors.. don’t you? So be it! I’ll take another drink and listen closely:
That was a big sip.. and there was NO harshness or spiky burn. Fina, this could be a bit treacherous for me, because you are damned difficult to find out here in the “above-the-soil” world where I live. Please let me find some major fault with you! I’ll drink you until I find your weakness, damn you! I kick HARDER with my razor-sharp spurs:
Fina you are blowing CENTURIES of minerals up my nose and through my tongue and finally down my throat. I don’t know if I’ve ever tasted such a thickly mineral mélange. There seem to be a thousand chemical conversations going on within every sip of your swollen nectar. I don’t know if I’m smart enough to have this conversation with you, Fina. But Dammit! I will try for YEARS until I rise to your level of consciousness.
Class begins tonight my Fina life-coach. Let us start with lesson one….
Fina Estampa Blanco!!