Archive for the ‘Taste Test’ Tag

Results: The First Big Taste Test   2 comments

  1. Don Celso Reposado  **
  2. Lunazul Blanco **
  3. 3 Amigos Reposado **
  4. El Tesoro de Don Felipe Reposado  **
  5. Marquez de Valencia Reposado  **
  6. Herradura Reposado
  7. 7 Leguas Reposado
  8. Muchote Reposado
  9. Sol de Mexico Tequila Reposado   **
  10. Gran Centenario
  11. KAH Tequila Reposado
  12. Casa Noble Reposado
  13. 1800 Reserva Reposado

DNS/DNF

  • Jose Cuervo Gold
  • Reserva del Maestro Dobel Diamond
  • Pueblo Viejo Reposado

Remember our goal is to find the perfect tequila for the perfect margarita.  Three of the tequilas in the bottom half of the ratings are very highly recommended:  Muchote, KAH and Casa Noble are all tasty.  My working theory is they just don’t play well with others.

The surprise of the First Big Taste Test was the dark horse winner, Don Celso Reposado.  Not only did Don Celso have the best rating over all, it also got 4 clear first place votes from the 11 judges.  No other tequila got more than 1 first place vote.

Another clear winner was Lunazul (I love visual puns the best).  Lunazul is relatively inexpensive, so this tequila is the obvious early favorite to take the crown for “Recommended for Big Parties!”  It did get 1 first place vote.

3 Amigos (1 first place vote) and El Tesoro were small surprises; neither had impressed in the preliminary tastings, but they did rise to the top when they needed to!

Two tequilas surprised that they were not rated higher.

Marquez de Valencia Reposado is very  highly recommended, and we had to drive many miles just to buy it.  I expected more!

Sol de Mexico was distinguished in the early tastings … I wholly expected that this would be my favorite in the taste test.  ‘twas not to be, but I’m keeping it in the competition to see if our initial tastings were right or wrong.

Our taste test, our rules.

After some discussions, we’ve decided to take those 6 tequilas (marked with **) on to the next round as we search for the perfect ingredients, the perfect recipe … the perfect margarita.

The First Big Taste Test   Leave a comment

The goal is to craft the ultimate Margarita … not find the best tasting tequila.  Therefore, we followed the suggestion first seen on The Goodist, and created a taste test to showcase tequilas in a standard Margarita recipe.

The classic Margarita recipe was just too tart for the family members that were tasked to sample some of the preliminary mixes.  The classic margarita recipe has a proportion of 3:2:1

  • 3 parts, tequila
  • 2 parts, lime juice
  • 1 part, orange liqueur

The Goodist suggested a “tequila forward” recipe of 4:1:1, but that was similarly unacceptable to our palates.  We settled on a 6:5:4 recipe, as follows:

  • 1-1/2 oz, tequila
  • 1-1/4 oz, margarita mix
  • 1 oz, Grand Marnier

Further, we decided that we would not put ice in the samples, as that would dilute the recipe based on when the sample was drunk.  Therefore, we addded a cup of water to the Margarita Mix recipe, (hopefully) simulating the melting of ice.  Hey, it’s our taste test; we made up the rules.

We then had to choose 13 tequilas to go into the final test.  In the weeks leading up to the first big taste test, we had “pre-gamed” with almost all of the tequilas, and there were already strong opinions on those that just wouldn’t do.  Therefore, we excluded 3 tequilas from the first formal tasting.  Excluded:

  1. Jose Cuervo Gold … In our first preliminary and blind taste test with 4 tequilas, all 4 judges rated this tequila the worst sampled.  “It tasted like fish.”  I advocated keeping this in, as it is the # 1 selling tequila in the world, but I was overuled.  Excluded.
  2. Pueblo Viejo Reposado … A relatively inexpensive reposado, it also didn’t make it out of the preliminary tastings.  Cheap, but no good.
  3. Reserva del Maestro Dobel Diamond Reposado … an expensive artisan tequila that had a too bright, perhaps over-filtered flavor.  I’m not a brewmaster, but I’ll tell you this tequila tasted awful.  I bought it at BevMo, where another tequila buyer commented on what a lovely bottle the tequila came in; that’s true.  They should have invested in the product, not the packaging, IMHO.

The 13 remaining tequilas were all mixed about 3 hours before the taste test, and refrigerated until they were poured into the tasting cups.

Each drink was rated in 4 categories: Aroma/Nose, Initial Taste, Finish and Smoothness. Perfect rating would be a 20 from each judge, and we had 11 judges.

This was a blind taste test; the only person who knew which tequila was in which bottle, initially, was me. By the time the tasting began hours later, I only remembered the number of one of the tequilas. After the tasting, I didn’t know which was which and I didn’t care.

All tasting cups were put in a tray with crushed ice to keep the samples cool.

We mixed the equivalent of 5 cocktails for each tequila. We then poured 11 samples, which were roughly the equivalent of 2-1/2 cocktails total of each. If you consumed all of each sample … which most did not … then you were drinking 2-1/2 cocktails. Too much for a taste test? Probably. But everyone filled out their ballot after drinking perhaps half of each sample. No one thought their judgement was impaired. Later on … when all of the excess samples were dumped into the “number 14 Margarita” … well, it was a good night.

When the tasting began, the 11 judges were seated around the dining room table.  Everyone had water to drink, as well as access to tortilla chips (salt!) and guacamole.

The results?  I was surprised.

Tequila   7 comments

There are literally hundreds of tequilas on the market today. Even if you limit your selections to Reposados … hundreds. I researched tequilas, chose some of the best sounding and best reviewed, and then bought the best I could find.  We started the taste test with the 16 tequilas that I could find.

Most were purchased from two Southern California chains: BevMo and Total Wine. A few came from other sources … the Marquez de Valencia is difficult to find, as this tequila is rather rare in our area. Here are the initial contenders for the best of the best, along with local pricing that I found and some ratings that you’ll find on the ‘net:

3 Amigos Reposado

  • $24.99
  • Tequila.net Editors: 92
  • Tequila.net Readers: 92

7 Leguas Reposado

  • $38.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 92

1800 Reserva Reposado

  • $15.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 83

Casa Noble Reposado

  • $43.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 93
  • This tequila has a big brand presence

Don Celso Reposado

  • $29.99
  • Tastings.com Editors: 94

El Tesoro de Don Felipe Reposado

  • $37.99
  • Tastings.com Editors: 94
  • Tequila.net Readers: 92

Gran Centenario Reposado

  • $23.99
  • Tastings.com Editors: 94
  • Tequila.net Readers: 91

Herradura Reposado

  • $32.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 85
  • 2011 TEQUILA.net Awards – “Best of the Best” Best Lowland Reposado Tequila

Jose Cuervo Gold

  • $13.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 61
  • # 1 selling tequila in the world

KAH Tequila Reposado

  • $47.99
  • Tequila.net Editors: 92
  • Tequila.net Readers: 92
  • 2011 TEQUILA.net Awards – “Best of the Best” Best High-Proof Tequila
  • Day of the Dead-themed Skull makes this one of the most attractive bottles on the shelf!

Lunazul Blanco

  • $15.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 82

Reserva del Maestro Dobel Diamond

  • $39.99
  • Tequila.net Editors: 93
  • Tequila.net Readers: 92

Marquez de Valencia Reposado

  • $47.99
  • Tastings.com Editors: 94
  • 2011 TEQUILA.net Awards – “Best of the Best” Best Highland Reposado Tequila Judge Favorite
  • 2010 TEQUILA.net Awards – Gold Medal
  • “Best Tequila for Margaritas according to BestCovery.com

Muchote Reposado

  • $24.99
  • Tequila.net Editors: 94
  • Tequila.net Readers: 94
  • 2008 Agave Spirits Challenge Gold Medal & Judge Favorite

Pueblo Viejo Reposado

  • $18.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 88

Sol de Mexico Tequila Reposado

  • $39.99
  • Tequila.net Editors: 91

How do you make a margarita?   Leave a comment

I remember the night very well.  We were celebrating summer in our back yard, and the party was rocking.  The pizza oven had been hot as blazes (literally), and I needed a cool drink.  Alley brought me a Cadillac Margarita that she’d mixed up … and I was in heaven.

Unfortunately, she’s never been able to re-make that wonderful drink, which is why I’ve encouraged the family to search for the perfect margarita!  Most people seem to think that a Cadillac Margarita is the best of the best, so that’s what we’re going to create:  the ultimate Cadillac Margarita.

I googled the key words in various combinations, consulted Velda’s drink recipes, and have found that there’s no easy path.  You can find bloggers that talk about favorite drinks at favorite restaurants … you can find countless recipes as well.  But is there someone out there that’s actually compared ingredients and recipes head to head?  Not so much.

I found a 2009 post on The Goodist, but it was a fragment of an idea that was never taken to fulfillment.  Over the next several weeks, we’re going to fulfill the promise of an ultimate Cadillac Margarita.  The ingredients will be top notch, and the results will be worthy of your sampling.  Note that I expect to find several “best” results … the best on the rocks, the best blended, the best (affordable) party drink, etc.  Here’s what we’ll do:

  • Investigate different tequilas, and have a blind taste test.
  • Identify the best Margarita Mix recipe.
  • Develop different presentations and recipes for the best tequilas.
  • Identify the best liqueur to use:  Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Triple Sec….

As you can see, there are many steps on the path … but just as they say about the road to Hana, it’s all about the journey!

By the way, I’ve trolled around some tequila websites, and have found a couple of fun facts:

The Margarita is a relatively young drink.  The origin is in dispute, but Wikipedia believes the drink was crafted after prohibition in honor of a Margarita.  Or a Peggy.  Or maybe a Daisy.  Good reading, and you’ll find the International Bartender Association’s recipe here.

The Margarita is the most popular tequila drink in America, and is of course served in Mexico as well.  According to a tequila blog I read, however, Margaritas are sometimes viewed as “girly drinks” south of the border.  Men drink their tequila straight, apparently, or perhaps with a sangrita back, as it’s often served.

Serious business, yes?  And just to show you how serious….

15 tequilas enter the initial competition to be named the best tequila for the best margarita!

Posted June 24, 2012 by henrymowry in The Perfect Margarita

Tagged with , , ,

%d bloggers like this: