Category Archives: Blanco

Tequila Peñasco Plata Review by Steve Coomes

Penasco Plata, Peñasco, silver, blanco

As an old journalist, I fancy myself a decent researcher, but gathering good intel on Tequila Peñasco is difficult. Its website is buggy and provides scant information about what appears to be a young brand. The oldest press releases there date back to 2013 and its distribution in the American market is only to seven states. Its extra añejo expression is 39 to 42 months old, however, which proves the brand’s given its products at least four years’ consideration.

There’s no claim that Peñasco distills its own juice (made from Highlands [Jalisco] agave, according to another website), so it’s likely the spirit was made at an unnamed plant and sourced and, for all we know, blended by Peñasco.

Thankfully, its four-expression lineup is simpler to understand, especially its plata. It’s about as straightforward as tequila gets. Flavorful, smooth, sippable or useful in cocktails. Aficionados everywhere try, try and try again to find deeper more complex flavors in everything we sip, but this one hides nothing: it’s all up front and presented on the proverbial platter. No deep thought needed. Just taste and appreciate.

Immediately and throughout the mouth, you get roasted agave and white pepper. With a moment’s wait comes a little lime. Nice. A couple more sips delivers a pleasant toasty note backed by a little fusel alcohol and some shy minerality.

After its peppery-fruity intro, you get more minerals and a bit of brine mid-palate, which I love. Unfortunately, that effect doesn’t come back with more tasting; I only get it when my palate is completely clean.

Since it’s light bodied and refreshingly sweet, it’s good (maybe best?) consumed neat. But there’s no lingering finish at all. You swallow it and it’s gone. Some will definitely find such cleanliness ideal, but I like some “mouth memory” for further consideration upon exhaling.

It works in cocktails, of course, but it doesn’t stand up well to particularly sweet or fuller-bodied mixers. For example, if your sour mix is straight lime and agave syrup, be sure to thin out your syrup at least 1:1 to help this plata cut through. Otherwise it doesn’t stand a chance. Even fresh-squeezed white grapefruit gave it a bit of a fight. The rest of the line, which I’ll review later, stands up admirably to the mixer test.

 

 

stephen coomes, steve coomes,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.


 

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Guest Review of Pura Vida Silver Tequila by Jerry Nettik

vinturi spirit aeratorJerry was the first brave soul to submit a guest review for Tequila Aficionado and earn himself a Vinturi Spirit Aerator.  We have a feeling he’ll be tasting a lot more tequilas with it once it arrives on his doorstep!  Want to submit a review of your own?  We’d love to read it!  Click here for more information on how you can work for tequila!

 

Pura Vida Silver Tequila

pura vida tequila, tequila, tequila aficionado, jerry nettick, reviews

100% Agave Azul
40% Alcohol/volume – 80 Proof

NOM 1414 – Feliciano Vivanco y Asociados, S.A. de C.V.

This premium tequila is produced from Los Altos (Highlands) estate grown agaves and artesian water, then triple distilled for purity and smooth taste.

I guess I am a believer in fate. I was first introduced to Pura Vida while making a quick stop at a small liquor store in west Austin, Texas. This was my first visit to this liquor store, and as luck would have it, they had a small table set up next to the door. A lovely young lady was at the table, pouring samples of Pura Vida Tequila. I chose to sample the silver, and as I recall, that first taste was bold yet mello at the same time. I could tell from my first sip that this premium spirit was destined to be one of my top-shelf favorites.

When you first open the heavy blue glass bottle, you will be treated to a smooth and sweet yet bold earthy agave aroma. Right away you know you have discovered something special. Your nose tells you to pour a full shot of this rich tequila, and begin to sip it.

The first taste of this crystal clear 100% agave blanco, gives you a medium spice, somewhat fruity mouthful of unmistakable Jalisco Highlands agave. This smooth blanco has all the taste and feel of an small-batch, artisan tequila. The triple-distilled spirit is perfect for sipping and savoring the moderate agave flavor. The finish is medium with a hint of ginseng and vanilla across the tongue.

When drinking this top-shelf spirit, I prefer drinking a healthy shot ‘neat’ in a slightly chilled snifter, with a lemon twist. You will enjoy sipping this blanco tequila as a relaxing drink after work or when mixing up your favorite tequila cocktail on the weekend with good friends. A good food pairing would be a broiled white fish, or some tequila-lime infused shrimp off the barbecue.

The only problem with this premium tequila is that it may be hard to find outside of Texas, the location of it’s largest US distributor. However, they have been working hard to expand its footprint north of the border.

If you come across any of the varieties: blanco, reposado, or anejo of Pura Vida in a restaurant, bar, or nightclub, I would suggest you consider this ‘fate’ and order up a shot, or maybe a ‘vertical’ flight (one shot each of the blanco, reposado, and añejo – all Pura Vida) and sample all three. This will give you a chance to match the taste that’s right for your palate. ¡Salud! and enjoy!

Reviewed by Jerry Nettik, passionate tequila lover and aficionado.

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See Mike Morales’ and Alex Perez’ reviews of Pura Vida:

Pura Vida Silver  |  Pura Vida Gold  |  Pura Vida Anejo

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Suerte Blanco Review & Tasting Notes

Suerte Blanco

Highlands sweetness with a down-to-earth complexity.

The Spanish word “Suerte” translates to “luck.” The bottles of all three Suerte expressions are decorated with a marketing-friendly rabbit designed by a tattoo artist in a native Mexican (Aztec/Mayan) style. It’s accompanied by a Partida/spirit bird-style origin story. This time, tequila was discovered by a farmer’s wife who saw a rabbit getting tipsy on fermented agave. It makes for an attractive package, and the rabbit is a fitting mascot, as this tequila has a few tricks up its sleeve.

Suerte BlancoBasic Stats
NOM: 1530 (Tequilera Simbolo, S.A. de C.V.)
Region: Highlands
Oven: Brick
Extraction: Tahona
Distillation: Stainless steel pot stills, double-distilled
Proof: 80 (40% abv)
Price: $30 to $36
Availability: Throughout Colorado, with possible expansion to both coasts soon.
Website: drinksuerte.com

Tasting and Mixing Notes
The blanco is rested in stainless steel tanks for two months prior to bottling. Sweet highlands baked agave is pronounced on the aroma and the flavor. This is definitely a plus for this reviewer, as I prefer my blancos to be fairly aggressive on the agave (highlands or lowlands). There are very nice, lingering notes of melon, grass, and mint on the nose. These aromas make it inside the bottle, too, with added flavors of pear, grass and a nice vegetal finish.

My one minor gripe with this blanco is that the sweetness and grass may be a little too pronounced, especially after being exposed to air for 15 or 20 minutes. The more subtle notes that give this blanco more complexity get less pronounced. (You have to catch this rabbit quickly!) Interestingly, I found that mixing Suerte blanco into a margarita not only retains the complexity I got with the first taste, but the sweet and grassy flavors are kept at bay in addition to bringing very lovely fruit and herbal notes to a traditional margarita.

Ryan’s Tequila Matchmaker Rating
Aroma – 23/25
Flavor – 24/30
Finish – 21/25
Value – 8/10
Drink again? – Yes
Recommend – Yes
Total Score – 86

So how does this rabbit age? While the reposado and añejo expressions are solid representations of highlands tequilas, and pleasant enough to sip, I didn’t find them as unique and interesting as the blanco, the clear winner in the Suerte lineup.

Also on Tequila Aficionado: Sipping off the Cuff with Suerte Tequila

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