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Corralejo Tequila Blanco

Review: Corralejo Tequila Blanco  82/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Original Posting October, 2011

Hacienda Corralejo was established in 1775 by Don Pedro Sanchez de Tagle in the Mexican State of Guanajuato. The distillery uses traditional methods of fermentation and distillation with clay ovens used to cook the agave and copper pot stills used for the distillation. The Blanco Tequila is an unaged spirit bottled directly from that copper pot still.

I was given my sample of the Corralejo Blanco by a good friend who poured off a 200 ml sample from a full bottle he had been gifted. The bottle had sat in his cupboard for a few years; but was unopened until I was given my sample. I mention this so that the reader will know that the particular bottle I am reviewing was not from a current batch; rather it was from an unopened bottle which was several years old.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

I really like the presentation of the Corralejo Blanco. It has caught my eye more than once in the local retail outlets. It is unique, and to me, it seems to capture a feeling of festive Mexican spirit. The only quibble I have is that the bottle is so tall and slender, that not only does it not fit on the shelf very well, it is also very easy to tip over if jostled. I have recently adjusted my shelves to accommodate these taller bottles as I seem to be accumulating more than a few, and I admit that the bottle would look just fine on my shelf in spite of my misgivings.

In the Glass 8.5/10

In the glass, the tequila has a slightly heavier consistency than I was expecting. It is clear, but when I tilt my glass and give it a slow swirl I notice that the oily sheen imparted on the side of the glass is just a little thicker than I have noticed with other blanco tequila. Slender legs fall back at a moderate pace into the glass reinforcing this impression.

The nose of the glass carries a mixture of honey and pepper with light herbaceous tones of agave. As I let the glass sit and return after a few minutes I notice that the honeyed tones have deepened into an aroma very similar to cane syrup. The peppery notes now carry a little citrus, and the agave remains light and enjoyable. Although I enjoy the aroma, I feel it is not a clearly defined tequila nose; the agave sits too far back in the aroma, and the cane syrup impression does not seem to fit the tequila profile.

In the Mouth  48/60

The impressions which I received on the nose are reinforced as I sip the Corralejo Blanco. It carries flavours of light herbaceous agave mingled with peppery spices and a lightly sweet honey/cane like flavour. I seem to catch hints of mint in the hotter citrus flavours as well.

I decided to mix a margarita to see how the cocktail tasted, and I even had some friends over who generously offered to help me assess the tequila in a few cocktails. I have to admit that a certain dichotomy developed. My friends who for the most part are not enthusiastic about Tequila, liked the Margarita I mixed far more than I did. The reason they gave was that the Margarita was, in their opinion, not very “Tequila-like” and was therefore quite enjoyable.

My sense from this experience is that the Corralejo Blanco is probably a good introductory spirit for those who want to cautiously dip their toe into the tequila realm. The spirit seems to lack the rich intensity of strong agave and peppery citrus, and for those who are not Tequila aficionados, this makes the spirit approachable.

In the Throat  13/15

I have been less enthusiastic about the lighter less aggressive agave and spice so far in this review. However, in the finish these qualities are more welcome. The Corralejo Blanco is rather easy on the throat with only a minor burn. The finish is moderate in length and carries the herbaceous agave flavour and white pepper with a light and sweet accent.

The Afterburn  8/10

The Corralejo Blanco is a nice Tequila for those who want a moderate Agave flavour. I would consider it a good spirit to serve when introducing persons to the tequila taste profile. I personally want a little more ‘oomph’ than this spirit brings to the table, but the reactions of my friends demonstrated to me that this spirit will have a wider appeal than I would have first supposed.

You may read some of my other Tequila Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

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Suggested Recipe

The Quick Red Fox

2 oz Corralejo Blanco
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Cranberry Juice
1 oz Lime Juice
1 barspoon raspberry syrup
ice

Place the Tequila, Triple Sec, the cranberry and lime juice and the Raspberry Syrup into a metal shaker
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into another glass filled with ice

Garnish with a lime slice or a frozen raspberry if desired
Enjoy!

Note: This cocktail continues my series of Tequila cocktails named after the Travis McGee novels of American author John D. MacDonald. I have always like the Travis McGee novels, and the titles of these novels just seem to me to be particularly well suited to be also the names of great cocktails.

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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)

 
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