As a line of tequila I can say forget about all those traumatic experiences with celebrity backed or endorsed spirits – this line of tequila is actually excellent and this Anejo in particular is nicely done.
Notes: While there are any number of celebrity ventures in the wine trade (such as the Coppola wines, Sopranos, David Matthews, etc.,), there seem to be much fewer in spirits (Ice T with OG Brandy, Dan Akroyd with Crystal Skull, etc.,). The only other Tequila that was a celebrity sponsored (meaning they actually put money in it rather than just paid to endorse it) was Cabo Wabo Tequila, easily one of the most overpriced and vile tasting tequilas I have ever had. Thankfully this tequila breaks that mold in several respects. This is the slightly older expression of Casamigos Tequila, the first being the Casamigos Blanco . A highland tequila made from agaves at least seven years old ( many cheaper or at least lower quality tequilas use much younger agaves around 3 years old). At 7 years old the agave develop a much more pronounced terrior from the volcanic and mineral rich soil of the highlands which makes a highland tequila such a wonderful and flavorful product easily distinguished from its lowland cousins. A few other points of note are the very long cooking of the pinas (more than 10 times the industry standard at 72 hours to fully cook and caramelize the sugars) in stone hornitos ovens rather than those steel boxes many use that look like wood drying kilns for lumber, a very slow and prolonged and quite cold fermentation of 80 hours – double the industry standard, the use of the bagasse in part of the fermentation is also a unique process. Overall the entire process by the master distiller (who unlike some distillers only makes this one product) is a very slow, painstaking, and unique distillation process that yields and excellent tequila.
The main differences between this the Anejo from the other two expressions is that it is aged for over one year, in reconditioned (used) charred oak American whiskey barrels the Reposado the is aged for 7 months, whilst the Blanco is one of those few Blancos that (rightly), is not exposed or stored in wood at all, being stored in stainless steel tanks to mellow for two months.
Appearance: .Clear, bright almost saplike appearance in the glass. Nicely golden amber in color.On swirling it leaves an exceedingly delicate coating on the glass with tears along the edge line forming slowly followed by a few legs and a rapid formation of droplets or tears in the glass
First Impression: Honeyed wood notes, with dried tropical and citrus fruits backed by a pleasing minerality .
Taste: Fruity notes with a good dose of woody oak notes and char with some agave,vegetal notes without the waxy notes you get from lesser tequilas. The char,tobacco and leather notes combine with the mineral notes to give a robust structure of smoke and bones. Reminds me of a highland scotch in some ways with a lot more mineral and alkali notes. Throw in some dried tropical fruits into the mix and you start to get the picture.The Anejo which like the reposado has fruity with some agave,vegetal notes without the waxy notes you get from lesser tequilas has the addition of a fair amount of honeyed wood/barrel notes. Casamigos Anejo also has a lovely subset of mineral notes which give the luscious citrus, papaya, and mango notes something to hang from provide a nicely structured and exceedingly clean distillation. The additional aging adds more wood notes and a subtler overall taste profile with a more prominent ( but not aggressive) wood going.
Drinks: While like its younger sibling we like to sip the Casamigos Reposado, it makes for a very seductive mixer, with a nicely assertive complexity which makes it even a better mixer than the blanco if you want to add the complexity of the wood and smokiness to add additional nuance to a tequila cocktail.
Bottle: A fairly no nonsense,minimalist type of bottle. Clear glass, fairly standard whiskey or spirit bottle with a label that draws the eye for what is not there – this looks like a lab sample label more than a brand label, with a type that looks like it was typed on a typewriter and signed by George Clooney and Rande Gerber ( facsimiles of their signatures actually), with a bottle number on the label also. Package is topped with a natural cork closure with a wooden top that is black (to distinguish it from lighter colored ones used on the reposado and blanco bottles) and a paper seal.A slightly charming retro minimalist approach to labeling and bottling that is in a way refreshing from the packaging arms race all the other producers seem to be engaging in.
Cigars: Rocky Patel vintage series, corona or smaller or a torpedo will compliment the spiciness of this tequila wonderfully.
Other : This tequila is from the same distillery (NOM) as Avion and Clase Azul both also excellent tequilas that I highly recommend. Sometime it is better to go with a NOM than a name. To this end I would like to recommend Tequila Matchmaker which has the tequila NOM searchable database to see where your tequila is actually produced and to research other products from that NOM/distillery.
Final Thoughts: Altogether a very nicely done and very well made tequila if a touch pricey. Lovely, complex, and multilayered with a very smooth.
Website starts off with a somewhat tongue in cheek movie/video of what could happen if you over indulged, but little beyond that. Seriously lacks much information about the distillation process details that many tequila aficionados crave.
While stylishly done it needs more real content to make it interesting.