Year/Specialty:Hornitos Reposado (aged)
Cost:$20.00 - $28.00 U.S.
A little History:
The story of the Suaza family, as they like to tell it, is of the three “Don’s”.Don Cenobio bought out a local tequila distillery and renamed it “La Perservancia” in 1873. by the second generation (Don Eladio) only 6 years later, the business picked up by the truly entrepreneurial spirit that was Don Eladio vision for his father’s spirit.After the foundation was created for Casa Suaza that the final Don, Don Francisco was able to become a true ambassador, spreading the history and traditions of this tequila.Similar to other large tequila companies, Casa Suaza has always been known for their mixto “gold” and “silver” tequila, and just like these other large manufactures, when the tide changed to a more refined, even organic, taste profile, so too did Casa Suaza create their Hornitos Reposado, with 100 percent blue agave.
A little Geography:
Tequila is a product of Mexico and, in specific, only five states in Mexico can make it.Jalisco (where the town of Tequila is), Nayarit, Guanajuato, and Machoacan.From these states, all the blue agave and distilling will be made.This is one way the government can keep a close eye on the processes of its national spirit.About 80 percent of all the blue agave is harvested and distilled in Jalisco, with the amount of mixto and 100 percent agave varying widely, depending on the expression of the company.Suaza’s distillery is located in the city of Tequila, and has a great rating of 4.5 stars on tripadvisor.com for their tour.
A little Science:
I believe the most important portion of the science in the tequila market is the different between what is considered mixto, and what is considered 100 percent agave.All tequila must be made with at least 51 percent blue agave, harvested and distilled in one of the five states in Mexico.Yet at 51 percent blue agave, that leaves mixto with a lot of wiggle room to put other not so tequila-like items in the recipe.Typically, mixto is made with a percentage of blue agave, and then the rest is filled with sugar water.This bottle of Hornitos is 100 percent agave, and made within their distillery, but it is unknown if all their agave comes from their fields.Less important in the consumer’s eye, yet important nonetheless is how a company goes through the distillery processes.The 2 ways to process the agave for distilling is by wood fire cooking the agave for an average time of 48 hours to break down the starches into the sugars ready for fermentation, or to steam cook them at a much faster rate to do the same as wood fire cooking.What is the difference?Well one would think that the traditional way would impart a smokey hint to the agave where the steam could impart a watered down substance. It is unknown exactly how this tequila is made, yet from what I can tell from other accounts of the factory, they are almost fully automated process, from steaming the agave before being crushed and shredded, crushed again, then the juice is extracted for fermentation. After the correct amount of fermentation has been acquired, the liquid will be distilled, then it will either be bottled as a “blanco” or “silver” (non-aged) (in the case of Hornitos they call theirs “plata”) tequila, or it will be aged in barrels to be made into reposado (rested) or anejo (aged.) Reposado must be aged for at least 2 months to 11 months, and cannot be in barrels or vats more than 30 thousand liters.Anejo must be aged for at least 12 months, and cannot be in barrels larger than 600 liters.Hornitos Reposado is a 2 month aged reposado that has been aged in large oak vats.
Let’s take a drink:
On the smell you get a sweet agave with a slight burn. The Color is light for a Reposado, yet still shows enough to hint at age.The first taste hits you with sweet cooling agave flavor, with no hint of smokiness.As it moves to the back of the mouth it a slight burn takes hold that is borderline warmth, leaving a slight agave taste on the palate.I do not get anything unique from this tequila and that is not a bad thing.Sometimes when distilleries try too hard to make something unique they take away what makes the spirit unique in the first place.This would be a great mixing tequila as it does not overtly contribute tastes that is unexpected.
Who may like this drink:
Someone who would like good a 100 percent agave tequila, but is not expecting a unique flavor that makes it distinctly different from others.
Who may not like this drink:
When you buy Tequila, you are expecting it to stand out.
For more liquor reviews, check out my website at: www.thespiritednovice.com
Emmons. B (1995). The book of Tequila: a complete guide. Carus Publishing, Peru IL.
Hornitos (2016). Our Heritage. Retrieved from https://www.hornitostequila.com/heritage/
Hornitos (2016). Reposado. Retrieved from https://www.hornitostequila.com/reposado/
Tequila.net (2016). Sauza Hornitos Tequila Reposado. Retrieved from http://www.tequila.net/tequila-reviews/reposados/s...
Tripadvisor.com (2016). Casa Suaza. Retrieved from https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g775...