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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?
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.
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