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Top Shelf Tequila

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The idea of top shelf tequila seems unheard of to many people I chat with. They think it starts and ends with Cuervo. Or if they 'know' their stuff, they get fancy with Patron.

 

As an amateur professional drinker I've taken it upon myself to do my own independant study into the tequilas of the world. In the process deciding that Cuervo and Patron shouldn't even be on anyone's list.

 

Just as an aside, for the money, Sauza beats Cuervo anyday for easy drinking and mixing. And anything 'gold' is just the blanco/silver with caramel coloring so save your money.

 

But I'm really here to express a little joy at being vindicated in my thoughts on Patron. I don't know if it's marketing or what, but Patron has become 'the' go to top shelf tequila for people out of the know. But after sampling it and many others, I've found it astoundingly mediocre, and especially so for it's price. As such I generally encourage people to try Don Julio, Aha Toro, or Centaria. Some of my faves, if you're dropping $45 or more.

 

And now F. Paul Pacult has come out with his second "Kindred Spirits" book, reviewing a ton of booze. And in some searching to see how his opinions aligned with mine, I found this ...

 

Patron silver ... ... don't even get me started about the ridiculous bottle price; somebody clearly has delusions of grandeur and an over-inflated opinion of the quality of this mediocre tequila. Savvy seasoned tequila lovers will quickly spot the folly of this endeavor. **/Not Recommended

 

Don Julio silver ... A blanco that deserves to be in every backbar in every tequila joint in the world. A clinic on blanco tequila. *****/Highest Recomendation

 

And I say "HA! TOLD YOU SO!" to everyone who doubted me, and put Pacult's book on my wishlist at Amazon.

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Hey now..........I've had a soft spot for Patron for some time as it was the one that ushered me out of the Mixto Pukeswill continuum, but I know there are better ones out there. I agree on the price of Silver, ridiculously inflated. Like Guinness, it's kind of a "high-end" Bulk product.

 

Yeah, Sauza is ok, but not all that IMHO.I certainly hope you don't think Chinaco is better, that stuff rubbed me the wrong way a decade or so ago. But it was the first Booze I tried that tasted different after breathing a bit.

 

Whatever. I ain't really a hard liquor guy but I like the cactus juice and the crazy booze. What can a guy say?

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What, you can do something with tequila other than put it in margaritas? Oh, right, shots. Wait...what?

 

Herradura is my alternative to Patron. The anejo is a nice sipper IMHO.

 

Useless trivia:

Patron was founded by John Paul DeJoria (the "Paul" of Paul Mitchell...yeah, the shampoo guys).

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Declaration of interest: given that working on La Clandestine absinthe doesn't pay all the bills, I do some consulting on other brands too. One of these is Cabo Wabo, the tequila created by Sammy Hagar (ex Van Halen).

 

Patron was founded by John Paul DeJoria (the "Paul" of Paul Mitchell...yeah, the shampoo guys).

Interesting contrast between a tequila created by "shampoo guys" and one created by a rock 'n' roller!

 

Sammy's tequila (now 80% owned by Campari) is pretty good, especially the Reposado and Cabo Uno ($250 a bottle).

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The birthday girl, Maggie the Cat, is a big fan of quality tequila. No doubt she'll jump in here when she gets a chance. I'm looking forward ot her comments.

 

Personally, I had to give it up. There are far more policemen than I ever imagined and I don't want to meet them all. :cheers:

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There's a good Mexican restaurant near the summit county ski areas of Colorado that I've been to several times. They have a nice tequila selection, so a friend and I once asked the bartender for a recommendation. He poured up a couple of glass of Don Julio reposado. It was fantastic. I've had several other 100% agave tequilas -- the ubiquitous Sauza Hornitos, Cazadores reposado, Patron (of course), and one I recently picked up, Tezon reposado -- I've yet to find one that I like better than the Don Julio. I have had opportunity to try the Don Julio anejo as well, and while it was very good, I find I just prefer the more up-front, fresh, less woody flavors of the reposado style over the anejo when I'm in the mood for tequila.

 

Alan, I had a chance to try a "flight" of the Cabo Wabo (blanco, reposado, and anejo) at a restaurant in San Diego a few months ago, served with a small taste of sangrita , I thought it was excellent. I'll have to try to find a chance to try side-by-side vs. my favored DJ !

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+1 on the Cabo Wabo.

 

Some good recommends here. :cheers:

 

I must admit I do like Patron, but only if someone else is buying...

 

I recently bought Milagro silver, and it's a quality mid-range tequila. Would have gone reposado, as I prefer them, but my brother convinced me to try it. His descriptors of it--he used the word "pineapple"--are accurate; some fruit-like flavors there.

 

A good article on tequila terroir, plus notes from a tasting (all blanco/silver to compare terroir influences) was in this issue: Wine & Spirits June 2008.

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Oh, so many thoughts :D

 

Paul Mitchell products are generally mediocre (and therefore overpriced) as well, a recurring theme? (Yeah, I worked in a salon for a while)

 

Sauza may not be 'great', but for a well/staple 'quila, it beats Cuervo with a stick. The Hornitos is one of the best bang for the bucks I've tried. (I've never tried Chinaco, and it sounds like I shouldn't bother :D )

 

I've heard Cabo Wabo is actually pretty good, just can't bring myself to buy it, I'm a David Lee Roth man. It'd be heresy. ;)

 

Don Julio is the 'sleeper' for sure. Great stuff, but often overlooked. They have no flash, the bottles aren't exciting, etc. So generally you have to have tried it to know it's worth buying. And someday we'll get a bottle of the 1942.

 

I don't recall trying Herradura, but I'll put it to the top of the list. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Sauza may not be 'great', but for a well/staple 'quila, it beats Cuervo with a stick. The Hornitos is one of the best bang for the bucks I've tried. (I've never tried Chinaco, and it sounds like I shouldn't bother :D )

 

I've heard Cabo Wabo is actually pretty good, just can't bring myself to buy it, I'm a David Lee Roth man. It'd be heresy. ;)

 

I don't recall trying Herradura, but I'll put it to the top of the list. Thanks for the recommendation.

 

Beating Cuervo is like shooting fish in a barrel, I fear.

 

Cabo Wabo is (of the ones named)the only one I haven't had for reasons described in a previous thread but I as well am a David Lee Roth guy and will state that as an equally valid reason. That said, if I ain't payin'......

 

Herradura is a nice workin' man's silver. Chinaco is aged too long and smells like Whiskey. That's fine if youre a whiskey drinker, which I most certainly am not, Ulster Scot heritage or no. Pour a shot and let it sit for a half hour and it'll taste more like the beloved cactus juice.

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I went through a tequila phase for awhile. My stomach couldn't handle it anymore. The Cabo Wabo reposado was my favorite. I haven't tried the Don Julio though. If I ever drink tequila again I'll make it a point to.

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Yes, yes, but what are your favorite mezcals?

 

 

And has anybody tried Sotol? I have learned of it but am not yet ready to take my ass all the way down to Mexico just to try something I know nothing about.

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Up until recently I thought tequila was vile. Then my girlfriend asked me to pick up a good bottle. Making my best guess I bought Don Julio Anejo, and I no longer think tequila sucks.

 

It's got the best secondary effect I can think of: it makes my girlfriend very....amorous.

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I enjoy Milagro Romance. Casa Noble is also tasty.

 

Never seen Romance (but yes, I've had some) but the lower-end Milagro is great stuff. I got some Corzo a while back. $50-60 in a box shaped bottle and it was EXTRAORDINARY! It poured like baby oil and was wonderful from mouth to belly.

 

Yeah Trid, that Asombroso bottle is something, something for the rich and infamous from where I'm sitting. Isn't it like $250 or there abouts? Yikes. An art object perhaps? Got the Don Julio Anejo in the freezer as I write. Perhaps it is time to . . .

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When I lived in Mexico, we used to buy mezcal in a gallon jug shaped like a bee hive for around 75 cents. We would sit on the beach shooting it all day with chasers or orange soda.

 

For tequila - which I LOVE, by the way, i really like Cazadores and Herradura. Heck, in Mexico you NEVER see people drink Cuervo. You don't really see Patron much, either (maybe in the tourist spots), but you do see Don Julio, Cazadores and Herradura.

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Never seen Romance (but yes, I've had some) but the lower-end Milagro is great stuff. I got some Corzo a while back. $50-60 in a box shaped bottle and it was EXTRAORDINARY! It poured like baby oil and was wonderful from mouth to belly.

 

 

just finished off the Corzo. Pretty good stuff I say, but I got it cuz the bottle looks like Chanel No.5....

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Yeah Trid, that Asombroso bottle is something, something for the rich and infamous from where I'm sitting.

Isn't it like $250 or there abouts? Yikes.

For the reposado, yeah...or about $50 a shot. The blanco or "platino" (couldn't just be silver for those guys) it's actually less than Patron.

 

An art object perhaps?

If adult stores start selling "art" then perhaps :devil:

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but I got it cuz the bottle looks like Chanel No.5....

I actually bought my first bottle of Romance because of the bottle as well. Anejo on the outside and Reposado on the inside.

 

tn_72_Milagro_Romance_Tequila_1168217315.jpg

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I knew I should have majored in Fine Art, considering all the research I've already done.

 

You don't know the half of it. When I started tattooing for a living, I thought (hoped)it would just keep getting weirder and weirder but after 13 years it has yet to get as crazy as the Art Gallery. And those are just the people selling it!

 

That bottle is an important work, underlying the inherent contradiction,blah blah blah, making a powerful multilevel statement, blah blah blah, I like that sensibility, blah blah blah, signed and numbered, blah blah blah......................

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When I started tattooing for a living, I thought (hoped)it would just keep getting weirder and weirder but after 13 years it has yet to get as crazy as the Art Gallery.

 

I hoped for the same thing when I apprenticed. All I got was a crack-addled owner yelling at the artists that they were sitting on the $100s when they paid the shop in $20s. Not weird, just toxic. After all these years, it never really got any weirder than when I was in the Navy...unless you count my ex insisting we move to North Carolina because the ghost of Kurt Cobain instructed her to start a punk band in Chapel Hill. Oh well...I got my apprenticeship when we got there. Go figure.

Reason #246 why she's the "ex"

 

Oh how I wish I were making that up.

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Right withya on wishing 'twere made up, on too many fronts.

 

Actually I never apprenticed formally, just hovered over some people who were cool and did the Q&A after the clients were gone.....which seemed cool until I had an apprentice and was hesitant to give him as much info in 2 years as I took 10 to figure out!

 

Ironically enough, he was a booze enthusiast and pointed me to some really nice tequilas. :dev-cheers:

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post-272-1217424081.jpg

 

A really good book on this from Bob Emmons, who visited every one of the Tequila Distilleries in Mexico

and rated each one top to bottom... The winner? El Tesoro!

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I started getting into tequila last year. I don't remember all the names of all the brands I tried, but Patron Silver was my favorite - seemed smoother than their more expensive items.

 

I also found out that pounding down shots was more of a frat boy thing to do. The way to drink a fine shot of tequila was similar to drinking a fine shot of whiskey.

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A really good book on this from Bob Emmons, who visited every one of the Tequila Distilleries in Mexico and rated each one top to bottom... The winner? El Tesoro!

Excellent resource. Thank you, Sir, for sharing once again.

 

I'm an elitist and don't condone shots. If a beverage is of quality then it should be sipped or mixed with fresh ingredients in a fine cocktail. I have a small leaded crystal snifter that I sip the finer tequilas in and my Riedel tequila glasses for my other favorite sippers. I enjoy anejo, repasado, and blanco tequilas for each of their distinct flavor profiles and uses.

 

El Tesero is top shelf. No additives, no preservatives and reasonably priced. I still have some Paradiso set back. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia. It is a perennial favorite. I've been gifted with Milargro reposado which makes a fine margarita or tequila sunrise.

I have no qualms with Patron except that there are equally good options available at more reasonable prices. I enjoyed El Corozon, Corralejo, Centinela, Chinaco and Don Julio, and Sauza Tres Generations. I also enjoy J.B. Waggoner's Blue Agave Spirits. There are so many others that I have enjoyed over the years but the names escape me. I'm not a fan of Cabo Wabo and I decline mixtos in any form.

 

I used to save my bottles but eventually ran out of cupboard space so I donated them as theatre props.

It is amazing how many tequila and absinthe bottles have appeared on stage over the years.

 

See what happens when OMG_Bill lends me his soapbox! :cheers:

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