Partida Tequila - review

Partida Tequila – review

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Oh, Tequila! The very thought of this liquor is enough to conjure many memories of hangovers past for all of us. In the college years, a shot of tequila was meant to prove that you were one of the guys, that you could stand to have a little hair on your chest. Some wiseacre would belly up to the bar and order well tequila, returning with a tray full of turpentine, salt licks and limes. Some have never recovered; others have since limited their tequila consumption to sugary, fruity margaritas. A few brave, hairy-chested souls have persevered.

For me, the segue to Tequila appreciation was bumpy, but my employment in the food and beverage business demanded it. Years ago, a restaurant where I was employed sponsored a tequila seminar and I earned a Master of Tequila certification (oh la la ~wht). This was a bogus certification dreamed up by the folks at a famous tequila company, but I did learn a thing or two. And I did start tasting tequila—this time as a sipper, not a shooter.

Fast forward to today. A little liquor in my goody box makes me happy. A little Partida, makes me swoon. You see, Partida is the highest rated tequila based on the scores of a recent taste test conducted by The Academy of Tequila, the official Tequila tasting board of Mexico. The high standards of the Partida Estate produce a magnificent 100% blue agave Tequila. This is a sipper’s Tequila.

All true Tequila is made in Mexico’s Tequila region and is produced from the blue agave plant. This is not to say that all Tequila is the same. Many Tequila producers distill the Tequila to 100 proof, then cut it with water to reduce the harshness. It doesn’t work well, and this is why we have crappy turpentine that has to be shot like medicine. Partida double distills their Tequilas to get it to a smooth 80 proof naturally, without cutting with water.

Now, Tequilas come in several varieties, and their classification is the same across the board for all brands: Blanco/Silver (un-aged), Reposado (aged 2 months to one year in oak casks), Anjeo (aged one to three years in oak casks), Extra Anjeo (aged a minimum of three years in oak), Oro/Gold (mixture of Silver and Anjeo or Reposado). Partida has tequila choices in all of these (except Oro/Gold), including the Partida Elegante Extra Anejo, aged for 36-40 months, which carries an $350 extra elegante price tag. We got to try the regular Anejo, aged for 18 months.

First, the color is a beautiful deep gold. A little swirl in my snifter shows this has some nice legs—not watery at all. Next, I take a whiff. The nose is woody and alcoholic without any astringency. Then, the taste: on the palette this is as expected—extremely smooth. There is no pucker, no fire. This sips like an XO Cognac and is just as regal. The tasting notes I’m given mention honeyed fruit tones with flavors of spices and dried fruits like sweet pear with almond. I’m not one to disagree. I taste the honey of the fruit along with a masculine smokiness. Really nice.

Review Team, what did you think? Has Partida changed you from shooter to sipper too?

Sherri is co-author of What Would You Do With This Room? My 10 Foolproof Commandments to Great Interior Design, and part of the team behind the iPhone app, Mark On Call.

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.

14 thoughts on “Partida Tequila – review”

  1. Over the years, I have had my share of tasting quality Tequila. I have a close friend who is in the liquor industry and represented a myriad of high-end distributors. She would bring out the fancy bottles, and explain their greatness in detail and with loads of enthusiasm.. She’d have elaborate tastings lined up of them and I just wouldn’t get it.. I remember having a Tequila Sunrise or two, and singing, “Hotel California” years ago. But I liked the way it looked more than how it tasted. I have tried the lime and salt licks too.. What it boils down to is, I am not fond of Tequila no matter how fantastic it is or how you serve it. I know some are tastier, or the sipping sort so for me to say Partida Tequila is one of the better ones I’ve tried is saying a lot! It is smooth, and has a distinctive scent of blue agave with hints of citrus. If you are a Tequila drinker, you should definitely try this! I think you’ll agree, it’s worth it. I give Partida four stars.

  2. Oooo….tequila. I love tequila, but it doesn’t love me…at least it didn’t until I had really GOOD tequila. Good tequila shouldn’t make you wince or choke or grab a lime like you’re grabbing a life preserver. You can shoot good tequila, but that’s like shoveling a gourmet meal in your mouth with a spork. It’s still better than normal, but you are SO missing out on the experience.

    I’ve tried Partida and it definitely falls in the good category. It also falls in the “most likely won’t give you a wicked hangover” category. I’ve shot Cuervo and woken up with a hangover so bad even my hair hurt. Then I’ve had good tequila and woken up and made pancakes for everybody.

    And Sherrishera, I used to work for a alcohol distriutor, so I took a class and have a certifcate too! One from a tequila company and one from my workplace. The classes were fun, but it’s weird to work after sipping scotch for 2 hours at 9am….

  3. Yeah, I think if you had a bad experience with any alcohol, It’s hard to go back. No matter how fine the blend.

    That being said, I’m not a big tequila fan for all the reasons that Sherri mentioned. One too many shots that seemed like such a “fun” idea at the time, a terrible idea in the morning. I do however LOVE Margarita’s (up with salt). But my straight tequila days are over.

    So upon first sniff of Partida, I got a bit queasy. But I’m very serious about my job, so I sipped. Wow, an instant warming sensation. I get the cognac reference instantly. Really smooth. Woodsy, with a slight citrus taste. I truly think this may be the finest tequila I ever tasted.

    I would definitely buy a large bottle of this and try it in Margarita’s. Wow, I’m thirsty just thinking how good they would be!

    This is a 4 star for me too. Probably would have even been a 5 had I not drank it straight.
    .-= stef´s last blog ..Eric’s Hearty Cream of Broccoli Soup =-.

  4. There’s a reason why, at least here in San Diego, tequila is often referred to as “Ta-Kill-Ya”. Not because it will actually *kill* you, but because it’s so abundant down here, chances are you’ve binged on tequila shooters and suffered the consequences the next day. A bad tequila hangover is enough to make people swear off the drink forever. And sadly, I was one of those people. A night of too many tequila shooters and “a friend” dancing on a table caused me to swear off ta-kill-ya for a verrrry long time. But then this little bottle hit my mail box and I said to myself, “I’m an adult now. I will not shoot this. I will behave like a civilized person and sip it. Enjoy it. Let it linger on the taste buds.” And thanks to this being some mighty fine “grown-up” tequila (as opposed to the youthful, cheap, burn-your-throat on the way down variety I’m used to) I was able to do just that. I totally agree with Sherri that Partida is one smooooth drink. It’s made for sipping, ladies. You know, what adults do with their booze? Oh and the honey notes make it even extra delish. Four stars from me.

  5. I should have placed a warning or disclaimer of sorts with this article. I will do so now:
    WARNING: Tasting a sipping tequila as smooth and rich as Partida Anejo may result in a very expensive tequila habit. If you haven’t got a spare $60 bucks to spare routinely (dare I say nearly weekly?) on tequila, please disregard all comments made to its amazing-ness. To be a true aficionado of the good stuff is dangerous in this economy.

    That said, BevMo awaits once more…

  6. I have to say that I am someone who had not one, but dozens, of bad experiences with tequila shots back in college. I cannot sip or shoot straight tequila anymore or else I get that reflexive gag reaction, no matter the quality. Yet I persevered and sipped this in the name of science. First impression: heat. Woo, baby, there was some HEAT! Then a woodsy, peppery taste. Then I could actually taste the fruitiness of the agave. It was weird how multi-layered the flavors of this were. Usually I’d describe tequila as tasting like “something a worm died in”, so I need to emphasize that the Partida Tequila is actually special—you can TASTE the difference in quality. Still, I’m not a sipper or a shooter anymore, so after my sip, I let my handsome hubby take a sip, then we made a margarita that I barely shared with him. This tequila makes one delightfful margarita! Very smooth, I think we obliterated the woodsiness, it smelled a lot smoother than my usual margaritas, and the Partida-based margarita still finished with a hint of agave, which if you’ve never tasted agave juice, you need to get out and get some now because it is very refreshing. Overall, I think this would be a nice addition to anybody’s bar/booze stash (that’s what the classy people call it). 5 stars, even if I can’t shoot it or sip it properly :)

  7. I too am not a Tequila drinker. I haven’t really had any bad experiences, I’m just not fond of the taste. I went ahead and tried the Partida with that in mind. Straight up, this is a peppery, spiced tequila with a mild fruity aftertaste. A friend recently informed me that to sip alcohols, it is to be blended with water. The water takes some of the edge off while enhancing the flavors within the liqour. So I mixed half a shot of Partida with about a 1/4 shot of ice cold water. I’m still not a fan of tequila, but you can really taste the fruits without being distracted by the “heat”. A fine sipping drink.

  8. Oooh, Mike, I just read your suggestion, but I must disagree. While it’s true that a little water can release some aromas when sipping, there are some rules. First, the water should never be cold (nor should you add ice) since cold inhibits cogeners (that which makes the aromas happen). Therefore, never add ice or cold water unless you are trying to mask the liquor’s taste and nose. For example, did ya ever notice how bad white wine is easier to drink than bad red? Pretty much this is because reds aren’t usually refrigerated while whites are (actually, whites are usually served TOO cold).
    Secondly, though you didn’t mention it, water added to a fine spirit should be soft spring water, never tap. This is a no-brainer, but tap water adds its own chemicals and minerals to the mix which alters nose and flavor noticably.
    Bottom line…if sipping, a little room temperature soft spring water is fine, otherwise, it may as well be in a cocktail. Not that cocktails are a bad thing…

  9. Ladies, because I am feeling especially altruistic today, I would like to let you know that I am willing to take that unwanted tequila off your hands.

    No, no…I know it would be a hardship and a burden for me have it; all that lovely tequila sitting around in it’s pretty little bottles, just begging to be drunk….but I’m willing to do it for WHT. :-)

  10. Sherrishera…is it true that tequila is the only alcohol that isn’t a depressant? Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge on this topic!

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