I received a sample bottle of Cuervo Cinge just before the holidays. The Cuervo marketing minions were hot to trot on this one and they wanted everyone’s reviews out before the holiday buying binge began.
I gave the bottle a day to rest from its travels and then tasted some. I wasn’t expecting something that would knock my socks off. After all, Cuervo Cinge begins with a mixto. So I wasn’t expecting anything in the class of Peligroso Cinnamon or any of the other 100% agave flavored or infused spirits. I thought it might still have something worth writing about considering all the money Jose Cuervo was reputed to have spent on marketing this little cinnamon roll – TEN MILLION DOLLARS.
According to Shanken News Daily: “The launch of Cinge will be supported with a $10 million media spend, which will initially launch via social media platforms, followed by a national campaign, as well as on- and off-premise promotions.”
Hopeful but without great expectations, I took a sip.
That’s how I felt. Violated and dirty.
So I set the bottle aside hoping maybe it would improve in time.
Then I took a shower and washed my mouth out with soap.
The next day, the marketing minions were asking me when, when, when the review would be out.
Finally, with great sadness, I had to inform the poor minion that he did NOT want me to release my review on Tequila Aficionado before people did their holiday shopping. He appreciated my honesty and thanked me for not posting the review.
Obviously, it has taken me a while to write this review. I’ve put it off long enough and now is the moment of reckoning. I’m tasting it again, in hopes that some mighty magic has changed it completely as it sat in the bottle these many weeks.
I’ve given it every opportunity to shine. I aerated it with a Vinturi Spirit Aerator into a Reidel tequila glass and took a thoughtful sip.
I’m afraid I have no good news for you. It tastes like somebody crushed a box of Red Hots into a bottle of cinnamon mouthwash and added a bottle of corn syrup. This is not tequila, my friends. Cuervo Cinge is a way of violating America’s youth en mass.
I found myself rushing through the kitchen, wondering “What, what, what can scour my palate so I don’t have to continue tasting this heavy, syrupy, sickly-sweet, sludge?” There was nothing.
Yesterday a review was posted on the Popsugar website and I could hold my tongue no longer.
Brave shot takers surprised themselves by how sweet, smooth, and sippable the cinnamon-y Cinge tastes — even at room temperature and without any chaser! Many considered it better tasting than Fireball Whisky, and even non-tequila-drinkers happily knocked back a shot, even two.
I have a very simple response to this review:
THIS IS NOT TEQUILA!
Fireball Whiskey? Who drinks that? How old are these reviewers? I’m sure 16-year-olds think it’s rockin’, but is that the intended target market?
Drink Spirits says:
The entry for Jose Cuervo Cinge is unpleasant with the ground cinnamon from the nose crashing roughly on the palate. It’s almost like trying consume a spoonful of cheap supermarket ground cinnamon. The cinnamon note here is also a dirty, slightly earthy ground cinnamon that tastes like it’s mixed with white pepper and ground sage. The flavor experience is chokingly bad. In the midpalate Cinge tries to counter balance the spice with thick agave and sugar but there’s not enough sweet, which could possibly balance the train wreck entry. The finish is long and defined more by a red hots flavor than ground cinnamon, with a dash of heat from the underlining spirit.
In parting, right before I go wash my mouth out with soap and take a scalding hot shower a la The Crying Game, I feel it is my responsibility to tell you this:
Do not buy this product. Do not let your friends buy this product. Don’t even look at this product. Just run away!