It’s true, take your time. Soak it in. This tequila isn’t for the urgente and should neither be rushed nor for the rushing. Pour the glass and take a moment, mis amigos. It’s in the name.
I first came across Mañana when I was in Playa de Carmen. What caught my eye were the bottles. They appeared hand blown and had a small figure in a recess lounged on a hammock between two trees. The tequilero poured a shot or two and a blanco was sold. I loved it but this was over a decade ago and the empty bottle died a few years back when a friend decided to slump onto the shelf it was displayed on. It had been a long night or day or both but I never saw Mañana again until I got a message from a friend. He was holidaying in the Riviera Maya and was offering to bring a bottle of choice back. “Mañana, Mañana!” was my immediate response – so I replied and so I waited.
Two weeks later he arrived at my house with a small bottle of the highlands añejo. A gorgeous red bottle, same design and with who I found out later on, is Don Panchito Vidal, an early owner resting in his hammock. When asked when the tequila would be ready he’d say, “Mañana estará listo” (tomorrow it will be ready). Hence the namesake. It had to be opened.
Originally produced at NOM 1414 using the Mozart Method and older casks than usual, Mañana moved to 1466 for reasons along the lines of improving yeasts (champagne) and then onto 1560 at Tequilas Gonzalez Lara. I’m not sure particularly why the move to 1560 but there you are. However, the result is quite incredible.
The añejo wasn’t how I expected it to be from the memories of the blanco.
Originally it had two years in Jack Daniels casks and then imported Milwaukee ones. Then a blend of French and American. Eitherway, the result is something that you would never think of as a tequila.
My bottle was a 38% ABV or 76 proof. Stone oven and steel pot.
Slightly smoky aroma. Fruit, cinnamon, almost a faded allspice and vanilla.
And the taste?
The taste is almost vanilla meets cognac meets brandy meets tequila and honey. It leaves a sweet taste on your lips that stays after repeated lickings. Seriously, you’ll behave like a cat after your first sip. It doesn’t hit your tongue but rather falls across it and dissipates into a smooth silken nightgown of sweet agave.
I really had trouble figuring the initial hit. My head said agave and honey, almost cherry brandy but after repeated sniffings I started to think of cream soda and what’s that? A sweet vanilla! Since then that’s the prominent taste. Vanilla with a hint of allspice and cinnamon. There’s so much flavour and barely a hint of alcohol.
The agave leaves almost immediately to let you fend the flavours for yourself. Now, I’m not a big fan of sweetness and this could get too much but for a sipper (which is really the only way I drink) a measure or two is perfect. There’s the usual caramel tones that you get and with the honey and the aftertaste could make you think you were having some syrup concoction but don’t let that fool you. It doesn’t stay around like a syrup would. A slight hint of pepper thrown in will make you salivate. From what I recall of the blanco, this is far, far removed. A slight hint of oak from the barrel too, gorgeous.
Strictly no mixers people!
So, anyone want to send the repo?
This is serious tequila. To make this is to be bold in your production. It’s one to pass off to tequila haters or fence sitters without telling them but ultimately I’d leave it to close friends who are on the road to Guadalajara with you. For me it’s one to sit down and take your time with, which I know is my attitude to all tequilas but this is more so. It could almost be a dessert spirit. A simple shot, ice maybe but that’s it. You only need a glass to put it in. It’s what you’d drink if you were on that hammock laying in the heat and saying, “Mañana….”.