If fiery, edgy blancos had their own song, it might go something like this:
If I could spend time in a barrel
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to soften every day
Till all harshness goes away
To ensure I’d be sipped slow by you
OK, sorry. That was corny, and all apologies to the late Jim Croce and his treasured song, “Time In a Bottle.” But you get my point that some young tequilas benefit from listlessness in a barrel, where they trade harshness and aggressive spiciness for refined notes of wood, vanilla and cinnamon.
Some, however, are better off not barreled. With spunky character and an in-your-face-flavor profile that screams, “I AM PEPPER, FEEL ME BURN!” some blancos are more fun if allowed to mouth off—at least until they’re captured and confined to a barrel long enough to become a well-mannered añejo.
And that’s basically what I wished for in this year’s release of Demetrio Reposado: a little more time in the barrel. I wrote about its younger sibling, the blanco, packing loads of fruit, a dash of fire and spice that cuts through a cocktail with ease. I liked it. Like musicians who describe their instruments as having “a voice,” Demitrio’s blanco does, too, and I dig that voice.
But to my palate, the reposado’s voice goes sotto voce during the seven to nine months Demetrio barrels it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice tequila, smooth and fragrant, full of honey and citrus and a sly kiss of yeast. Only a smoker with acute rhinitis would find nothing to like about this expression.
But is it terribly exciting?
Not compared to the blanco or the añejo (I’ve tasted that old dandy already and will write about it later.) To me, it lacks crucial individuality that makes it cravable. Sipping it makes me feel like a father who says to his middle child, “Can’t you be more like your brothers?” The youngest is playful; the eldest, sophisticated. Mr. Middle can’t seem to decide whether he wants to be cool or classy.
But I’ll drink him anyway.
Tequila Aficionado is proud to welcome rising star in tequila and travel journalism, Stephen Coomes, as a Contributing Writer and Reviewer. His steady gigs include roles as contributing editor for Nation’s Restaurant News (the U.S. restaurant industry’s largest publication), restaurant critic and feature writer for Louisville magazine, feature writer for Edible Louisville and Seafood Business magazines, Kentucky travel and dining contributor for Southern Living, and dining blogger for Insider Louisville. He also writes marketing, PR, web copy and ghostwrites for numerous private clients. You can visit Steve online at www.stevecoomes.com.