Cabo Wabo Blanco
Review: Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila 87.5/100
A Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on May 12, 2011
Cabo Wabo Tequila is made from 100 percent Blue Weber Agave grown in the lowlands of the Mexican State of Jalisco. The distinction between agave grown in the lowlands is important because lowland agave tends to carry more earthy and vegetal flavours into the final distilled Tequila than Agave grown in the highlands. Interestingly, the founder of Cabo Wabo Tequila is rock musician Sammy Hagar, and his Tequila was apparently named after the nightclub he owns in Cabo San Lucas.
When I began to publish spirit reviews, my examination of Cabo Wabo Reposado was the very first Tequila review I published (in November 2009, shortly after I opened my website). So when I invited to a recent tasting event and was able to sample the Cabo Wabo Blanco, I decided that it was time to provide another review of one of Sammy Hagar’s lowland tequilas.
In the Bottle (4/5)
The Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila which I sampled is presented in a nice squat bottle pictured to the right. However I noticed when I was checking the Cabo Wabo Website that the bottle design/labeling for the Cabo Wabo Tequilas has undergone a change recently (see picture below). The splashy etching/drawing of an agave plant on the front of the bottle has been replaced by a simple but professional label design. I preferred the older bottle design but that preference is a mere quibble. As in my review of the Cabo Wabo Reposado, I again note that the cork for my tequila bottle seems to have dried out very quickly. Hopefully the new bottle design includes a higher density cork closure more fit for my dry climate.
In the Glass 8.5/10
As I stated above, Cabo Wabo Tequila is produced from 100 % Weber Blue Agave grown in the lowlands of Jalisco. Lowland agave tends to carry more vegetal/punky flavours into the Tequila than agave grown in the highlands. This difference in character is noticeable in the glass as the aroma from the Tequila is somewhat earthy, and has that underlying punky agave scent very reminiscent of the pulp from garden squash. A light citrus (lime) aroma rises from the glass as well. However, I do notice that the nose is somewhat muted. The scents are more subdued and carry less intensity than I would normally expect from tequila.
In the Mouth (53/60)
I took a sip of the Cabo Wabo Tequila and let the spirit rest on my tongue before I swallowed it. I found the tequila quite soft and easy to sip with a very smooth delivery. The overall flavour is somewhat mellow or subdued just like the nose however the lowland character is obvious. In my tasting notes I wrote down words like ‘earthy garden squash’, ‘sweet bell peppers’, and ‘light peppery lime’. But these tasting notes do not do justice to how wonderfully complex the flavours are, or how nicely they mingle together.
I made a few Tequila cocktails beginning with my own Royal Alexander Margarita, and the results were very good. The smoothness and the earthiness of the tequila pushes through the cocktail experience, and I was very satisfied with the results.
In the Throat 13/15
A nice peppery spice follows the tequila down the throat in an exit that while not harsh is not smooth either. It sits somewhere in between. While earthy agave flavours seemed to dominate the initial delivery, the exit is dominated by citrus zest and a certain amount of peppery heat.
The Afterburn 9/10
Cabo Wabo Blanco is a very nice tequila. It seems to provide a nice balance between vegetal earthiness and spicy pepper. The vegetal flavours are less aggressive than other lowland tequilas (like Heradurra) which I have sampled. As well, the hot peppery spiciness which I normally associate with a Blanco tequila is toned down a notch or two as well making this very easy to sip. However, it is the strength of the Cabo Wabo in a cocktail that pushed my score up into the high 80s. For Margaitas on a Saturday afternoon I heartily recommend the Cabo Wabo Blanco.
You may read some of my other Tequila Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
Although I recommended Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila for margaritas, I would like to share a cocktail I constructed when I ran out of Gin and Limes on a Saturday afternoon. I spied my bottle of Bols Blue and my Cabo Wabo. Instead of limes I used freshly squeezed lemon juice and the Deep Blue Good-bye was born.
Deep Blue Good-bye
1 1/2 oz Tequila Blanco
1/2 oz Bols Blue (Curacao)
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
1 tsp simple syrup
Ice (4-5 Large Ice-Cubes)
Lemon-Lime Soda (Sprite or 7-Up)
Fill a long Collins glass with ice
Add the Tequila, Bols Blue, and Lemon Juice
Stir and complete with lemon-lime soda
Please enjoy the spirits and cocktails I recommend responsibly, it is my intention to help you drink better spirits and cocktails, not to help you drink more spirits and cocktails!
You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing Tequila. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, (we are probably still cocktail in territory).
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing delicious cocktails!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)