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Heradurra Reposado Tequila

Review: Herradura Reposado Tequila  84/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Revised June 04, 2012

Thirty miles from Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco, in the town of Amatitan, is where the Herradura LDN can be found. Herradura LDN makes a true 100% Weber Blue agave tequila. The agave is cooked in old stone ovens, and distilled on old copper pot stills.

Herradura Reposado tequila has won numerous awards and accolades for the Herradura company. As well, Herradura LDN  is credited on more than one website as pioneering the movement towards aging tequila in oak and making Reposado and Anejo Tequila. Reposado means rested, and literally the implication is that this style of tequila ‘rests’ in oak. By law reposado tequila must spend more than two months and less than one year in oak to be considered “Reposado”. The Herradura Reposado rests in oak for eleven months.

In the Bottle  4.5/5

Herradura Reposado Tequila comes in  a squat, clear, rectangular glass bottle pictured to the left . I like the horse-shoe shaped logo/label and the professional look the bottle has. The presentation is professional and consistent throughout the Herradura line-up with the only difference between the Blanco, the Reposado, and the Anejo being in the colour scheme chosen for each spirit.

In the Glass  8/10

Once we pour the Herradura Reposado, our nose is immediately greeted with an intense, earthy, agave scent. Getting past the intensity of that earthy agave is difficult, but letting the glass rest for a few moments allows us to catch sweeter tones of caramel and to a lesser extent vanilla. The spiciness of red chili peppers and a hint of citrus complete the nose.

Swirling my glass I notice small legs trailing down which surprises me, as does the amber tone with orange highlights. This spirit has sat for only 11 months in oak, and it is unusual for a distilled spirit to gain this much colour from such a short stay in wood. I suspect that caramel has been added to the spirit to achieve the colour I see.

In the Mouth  51/60

The oily legs in the glass give this tequila a soft feel in the mouth. The intensity of the flavour comes from the earthy agave which is predominant on the palate. Caramel and fruit round out the stronger flavours in the profile with lighter flavours of lime and green pepper sitting firmly underneath. The earthy agave gives body to the spirit and serves the same function as peat would in a peated whisky. The agave carries its earthiness to the end of the taste experience, with the other flavours carried within this earthiness throughout the taste experience. A spicy accent persists, but it is nestled further down within the Tequila.

In the Throat 12.5/15

It is after the tequila is consumed, that the citrus and pepper finally show their true nature. The Herradura Reposado slides down the throat with a moderately spicy burn. Floral tones are left in the back of the palate, and the earthy agave flavours diminish substantially, allowing the other flavours more freedom in the throat than they had in the mouth.

The Afterburn  8/10

After I drink Herradura Reposado, I always remember it as a kind of dank, earthy experience. It is as if the tequila bottle came to me from some damp, black, dirt filled cellar. The spirit is a fine example of a lowland style of tequila. It is not crisp, and fresh with hot spicy pepper and lime. It is more vegetal; and feels closer to that earth where the agave plants grow.

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

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Suggested Cocktail

I have said before that I like to enjoy reposado tequila in a Margarita style cocktail. This Herradura tequila is an exception to that rule. Somehow the earthiness I taste in this reposado does not fit into my Margarita paradigm. So instead, I will recommend an old-fashioned Toreador.

Toreador

1 1/2 Oz Herradura Reposado Tequila
3/4 Oz  Bols Apricot Brandy
3/4 Oz  Fresh Lemon juice

Build:
Shake with ice and strain
Serve in a cocktail glass

The apricot brandy serves as an excellent foil for the Herradura Reposado Tequila making this a real treat.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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)

5 Responses to “Heradurra Reposado Tequila”

  1. In my own experience, both the Herradura and the Cabo Wabo give an oakey taste that just seems (to me) out of place in Tequila. The tequila I have consumed where the flavor of the agave steps forward the most is Partida – Reposado, and it’s a favorite for me. The best I have yet encountered is El Tesoro de Don Felipe – Anejo. Like an elderly gentleman dancer who’s light on his feet, it shows the complexity and skill of long experience without bashing you over the head with a strong cask flavor like something that’s trying to prove it really did spend time there.

    • Hi john

      Both the Herradura and the Cabo Wabo are Lowland tequilas which have much more of an earthier quality than the Highland Tequila El Tesoro. I have never tasted Partida but from your description it sounds like it carries the same earthy lowland quality of Herradura except even more so. I never got as much oaky taste from the Cabo or the Herradura as you seem to receive but I appreciate your comments and comparisons.

      Cheers!

  2. aldo tabone said

    Nice review….

    Some words from a Mexican:

    My personal impression is that generally speaking is that Tequila quality has dropped in the last five years in an effort of the companies to please a more international demand…… also, the shortage of agave is a problem that has pushed the companies to look for more “chemical solutions”. This been said, I should add that Herradura is my favorite tequila brand. Herradura Blanco is currently the only tequila I drink. Is the only one that still has that old fashion earthy taste…… I think that to know a tequila you should drink it Blanco, only this will give you the full tequila flavor..

    I drink more mezcal these days. This drink is much more than the bottle with the worm you can purchase in some countries it has many different categories…. Mezcal is tequila’s outlaw older brother……The search of a good mezcal is really a quest, and (sometimes) you have to travel to the most isolated villages to get the best mezcal…….

    • I appreciate your comments, and look forward to more of your thoughts. I will admit that my knowledge of Tequila is not necessarily that of an expert. I speak about what I taste and about how much I enjoy the spirit. The suggestion from yourself that my words have some value to you is most rewarding. Please feel free to share your impressions of my other reviews.

  3. Hubbabub said

    I should test this one.

    Los Tres Toños Reposado

    http://www.tequila.net/tequila-reviews/reposados/los-tres-tonos-tequila-reposado.html

    It has a smokey taste, similar to Islay whisky

    http://www.islaywhiskysociety.com/map.htm

 
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