By Steve Coomes
Like most, I like bargains, especially on tequila. So I took a chance on a rebate deal recently that bundled Cazadores Tequila with one of my go-to gin brands. Priced at $23 for blanco and $26 for reposado, both were more than affordable, and with some cash back incentive, I figured it was worth the chance to grab both. If not thrilled with either, I knew they’d likely serve well in cocktails.
Those familiar with Tequila Cazadores’ labels know its mascot is a proud stag. Yet a good swig is all it takes to convince that this reposado isn’t quite as fuerte as that big-racked buck.
Neither the label nor the brand’s website shares any details of just how long the Highlands agave tequila is rested, but the straw color and light body attest to a fairly brief stay. The site does say it enjoys a double distillation and maturation in virgin American oak, but that’s it.
Still, it delivers some nice aromas: solid agave, a little bit of citrus rind and a scant bit of barrel. Let it linger in the glass and you’ll get some vegetal notes. Some vigorous swirling coaxes forth a good number of legs–even a second run if you’re inclined to wait.
Mouthfeel is fine. A little tingly up front, but a softie on the finish, it’s appropriately sweet and nice to move around the mouth. It also shares a bit of cooked agave on the exhale.
It’s not a bad sipper at all, just not memorable in that role. No big barrel notes: no oak, cinnamon or vanilla. I used a Vinturi Spirit Aerator to open it up some, but time in the glass helped more than anything. Since I was working at my desk while sipping, it got about 25 minutes of undisturbed rest in the glass. That let some caramel and a bit of orange sneak in, and a bit later I even got some peppermint–more proof that good things come to those who wait.
Mostly, it plays like a bold blanco, which makes it a good cocktail reposado because it has backbone. Since it doesn’t disappear in a Margarita or a Paloma, and only costs $26, I don’t mind cloaking a reposado in fresh sour mix or grapefruit soda. That, I believe, is the best way to drink Cazadores Reposado.