Review – Herradura Tequila
Being the first to market with a new product is always a good move and Herradura are no doubt rather pleased with themselves to have been the first to market a commercially available Reposado Tequila back in 1974. The brand itself has been around since 1870 when Felix Lopez officially registered San Jose del Refugio as a Tequila-producing Hacienda. Produced using 100% blue Weber agave harvested between 7-10 years of age, the pina are steamed in brick ovens for up to 26hrs before being crushed and the resulting juice (musto) poured into open air tanks to collect natural yeasts from the air. After 4-7 days the musto is double-distilled before being barrel-aged in ex-Bourbon barrels for up to 11 months.
Nose: A pleasant fresh agave note rises first from the glass to make for a soft and smooth introduction to this spirit. Buttered popcorn and a hint of pepper follow. There is a hint of the cyder vinegar about it and an almost artificial sweetness that provides a great deal of high notes with relatively little at the base level.
Neat: The freshness of the initial aromas carry through to the characteristics of this spirit on the tongue which is initially pleasingly light and full of that buttered popcorn evident on the nose. The oak soon starts to show itself with smooth vanilla and a peppery element that continues through onto the finish of moderate length. Plenty of caramel combines with a faintest hint of smoked paprika and a healthy dose of agave to add to the excellently rounded and full-flavoured palate. A very enjoyable Tequila.
Mixing: Herradura Reposado makes for an interesting, but at times frustrating cocktail ingredient. Usually I find reposado tequilas to be particularly amenable to a diverse range of cocktails, but it seems that Herradura knows what it likes and it has no intentions of changing! In the classic Margarita for example it performs excellently, the depth of flavour producing a complex and rich-tasting libation. Similar success is enjoyed in other citrus-based cocktails where the acidity cuts through and enlivens the flavours within the Tequila. It also plays reasonably nicely with fruity flavours such as in the Buena Vida or signature Ruby Margarita (recipe below). Bitter flavours however, such as those found in a Mexican Manhattan or Rosita do not do this product justice at all. The result is often a drink in which the influence of the oak barrel is too heavy and many of the positive attributes of this spirit are lost. This is a surprise given that the oak is not at all out of balance when tasted neat. Despite this, there is a lot to praise with this Tequila, and simpler drinks such as a Tequila Smash or Old Fashioned allow the full range of flavours to shine and ensure that this remains a Tequila that you’ll want to have on your home bar.
Signature Cocktail – Ruby Margarita
1.5oz Herradura Reposado, 0.5oz Pomegranate Juice, 1.5oz Agave Nectar, 1.5oz Lime Juice
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass..
Herradura Reposado is a cracking example of the category. Full-flavoured and smooth enough to make it an enjoyable sipper, it mixes extremely well in the majority of cases as well. It’s reluctance to mix well with bitter ingredients is easily overlooked considering the rest of its strengths.
Herradura Tequila is available to buy from Master of Malt.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.