I did a blind taste comparison and rating of 18 of My Extra Anejos, to see where they stand against each other, and how high they rate on their own. This is MY preference, using Aroma, Taste, Complexity, Enjoyability, Smoothness and Drinkability as factors. I devised a simple "Smoothness/Drinkability" (1-5) rating, and an "Overall Taste/Enjoyability" (1-5) rating- (5 being highest). In the end, I took the average of the two numbers to pick my favorites. If there were ties, I used my notes to decide. Tasting blindly is much more important than you'll ever realize. It tells you things you may never have known, and at these prices you need to know what you REALLY like.
This was not easy, as these Extra Anejos are all excellent and most are world class. I know you have heard this type of declaration before, but trust me it's true. These are ALL winners and I am proud to own each one and truly enjoy each one, and there are really NO losers here. Tasting blindly gives you the opportunity to taste differences in the aromas and tastes, compared to other quality brands, and determine overall enjoyability of the profiles. Tasting against other excellent tequilas, gives you a special perspective on the slight differences, and you get to realize, not knowing what it is, which ones YOU really like the most. It's fun to find out later which brands were which.
My objective was to rate my tequilas, NOT every Extra Anejo out there, but I do like to consider these top quality extra anejo tequilas. I hope it's helpful to you, especially if you have some of these brands, or are considering buying them. One thing that comes up is, how much agave is still left in extra anejos? Look, when you age for 3-7 years you're going to lose some agave flavors. Almost without ANY exception. Many aficionados feel that too much wood will overpower delicate agave flavors at some point, calling this the "tipping point", and I believe that to be true. Of course it depends on which type of oak barrels were used, the length of aging, blending techniques, if they were new or used barrels, etc etc. All I can say is YES, extra anejos will have less agave notes, opposed to lesser aged expressions. And YES they start to taste like Cognac, Whiskey or Bourbon. It's going to happen, so accept it and just hope for a nice oak and agave balance.
After tasting and rating the 18 tequilas, never more than 4 in a day, I did it again, and again. I had at least 4 scores for each brand, and some times as many as 6 or 7, depending on if I rated them in the past. I used all the ratings for each brand to compile an overall rating. I'm happy to say, I was almost spot on with the same rating, each time I rated the same tequila. In the end I took the average of the ratings for each tequila, to pick my favorites in order.
This is a fun and educational thing to do for everyone, with your own Blancos, Reposados, Anejos and Extra Anejos. Doing it blind tells you what you REALLY like, as you don't know what you are tasting. You can concentrate without any preconceived notions. You may be very surprised in what you find. You must plan separate days to do a large blind tasting and rating, as to not get palette fatigue. Always wash your mouth with clear water between tastings, and maybe take a bite of a 'neutral' type cracker.
Take good notes and rate carefully, and have someone you trust pour equal amounts in the same type glasses. I use a color coding system (colored stick-on dots). You put the colored dots on the glasses first, walk away and the helper fills each with about 3 ounces, and writes down the names on a paper corresponding with the colors. The helper takes the paper with them so you do not know what you're drinking, and you take notes according to the colors.
You then will have your REAL favorites, that YOU chose, not going by advertising, or what someone tells you that you will like, or picking by price (thinking more expensive is better). You may be very surprised. It's fun to see if a less expensive tequila stands up for you, against the big boys.
I judged these 18 extra anejos from my collection:
El Gran Viejo- (90% Agave) $99.99 - El Valle- NOM 1109
Siembra Azul Elisa- $125-150. - Los Altos- NOM 1414
Tears of Llorona #3-$229.99 - El Valle- NOM 1146 (Los Altos agaves)
Herradura Seleccion Suprema-$300 - El Valle- NOM 1119
Alquimia Don Aldolfo- $99.99 - Los Altos- NOM 1468
Tapatio Excelencia- $159.99 - Los Altos- NOM 1139
Suerte single barrel- $129.99 - Los Altos- NOM 1530
Grand Mayan Ultra - $69.99 - El Valle- NOM 1173
Malinalli Extra Anejo- $99.99 - El Valle- NOM 1360
Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia-$109 (2014)-El Valle- NOM 1122
El Tesoro Paradiso- $125 (new type)- Los Altos- NOM 1139
El Tesoro 70th Anniv- $199.99 -Los Altos- NOM 1139
Sin Rival Reserva Especial- $200+ -El Valle- NOM 1466
Crotalo-7 Yr Snakehead- $139.99 -Los Altos- NOM 1509
Avion Reserva 44- $125.00 -Los Altos- NOM 1416
Don Pilar Extra Anejo- $146.99 -Los Altos- NOM 1443
San Matias Gran Reserva-$46.99 -Los Altos- NOM 1103
Arette Gran Clase- $89.99 -El Valle- NOM 1109
LONG ISLAND LOU TEQUILA'S TOP PICKS- OF MY EXTRA ANEJOS after Blind Tasting
(SEE on desktop or hold mobile horizontal)
(THE TOP 3 ARE BASICALLY TIED)
1- Siembra Azul Elisa- Astonishing!! - Nose= bold,oak/cognac,sweet,smoke,honey, caramel,spice,pinch of cinnamon & vanilla,fruit. Taste= med oil,caramel/choc, smooth/silky,smoke,spice,slight heat,leather,light fruit,spearmint,sweet whiskey,honey.
2- Tears of Llorona- Fantastic!! - Nose= sweet,light alc,spice,pinch honey,light smoke & leather,light fruit, cognac/whiskey,caramel/choc,cherry. Taste= med oil,sweet, mild heat,smoke,leather,cherry notes,spice,caramel,warm,smooth & silky.
3- Tapatio Excelencia- Delicious and BOLD!! - Nose= oak,whiskey/cognac,sweet agave, creamy,smooth,vanilla,spice,pepper,smoke,caramel,leather/tobacco,fruit (pear),butter,hint of spearmint,creamy,pinch of floral. Taste= med/thick oil, spice,pepper,smoke,some heat,sweet,caramel,choc,rich/bold,leather/tobacco,fruit.
4- El Tesoro 70th Anniversary Edition- WOW!! - Nose= spice,sweet,fruit,smoke,light,
leather,light cognac,pepper,light cinnamon,olive/brine, spearmint. Taste= med oil,
oak/cognac,sweet,soft,very smooth,silky,mild heat,spice,smoke,pinch vanilla,fruit, oak/cognac,mild caramel.
5- El Tesoro Paradisio- Excellent !! - Nose= light nose,smoke,spice,light fruit (apple),cognac,sweet,mint,pinch honey & olive. Taste= thin/med oil,mild smoke,light taste,mild choc & caramel,mild heat,dried fruit, smooth/silky,mild spice/pepper.
6- Herradura Seleccion Suprema- Very Enjoyable!! - Nose= light nose,some heat, oak/cognac,light spice,pepper,vanilla,light mint,cinnamon,light smoke,sweet,citrus, caramel,fruit,spearmint. Taste= med oil,mild heat,caramel/choc,spice,smooth,vanilla, light & somewhat bland.
7- Don Aldolfo Alquimia- Tasty!! -Nose= light smoke,oak,spice,sweet agave,some alc, light nose,slight nuts,butter,vanilla,caramel,pinch cinnamon,cherry. Taste= med oil, spice,light pepper,light taste,caramel/choc,light smoke,mild heat,cinnamon,mild numbing, somewhat bold,smooth,sweet, fruit.
8- Suerte Single barrel- Solid!! - Nose= dried fruit(apricot/pear),oak/cognac, sweet,spice,pepper,slight vanilla,some heat,caramel,mint,choc. Taste= thin/med oil,some heat,caramel,spice,some smoke,mild vanilla & mint,oak,fruit,smooth.
9- Sin Rival Reserva Especial- Complex, Thick, Sweet & Delicious - Nose= roasted nuts,sweet,honey,whiskey/cognac,cherry,pinch butterscotch,dried fruit,choc,leather,light vanilla cream,a pinch of cinnamon & caramel. Taste= warm & thick oils,roasted walnuts/almonds,smooth,some butterscotch,vanilla & caramel,light spice,leather,brown sugar,honey,cherry,maybe some nutmeg and fruit.
10- Don Pilar- Nice Aromas/Tasty Sipping Juice - Nose= honey,sweetness,light cherry,light nuts,some alc,some vanilla,caramel,leather,spice,cinnamon,fruit,brown sugar,butterscotch,mild smoke. Taste= smooth,spice,nuts,mild heat,light honey & cherry, oak,caramel,light fruit.
11- Crotalo- 7 Yr Snakehead- Light & Not overly Complicated - Nose= slight alc, honey,oak,light cherry,some caramel,light smoke,light floral,leather,light tea. Taste= light smoke,honey,some heat,fairly smooth,light sweetness,mild fruit.
12- Grand Mayan Ultra- I Really Enjoy GM - Nose= very light agave,some alc,caramel, sweet,floral,oak/cognac,spice,burnt sugar,light fruit,choc/caramel/slight vanilla & nuts,apricot,light smoke/tobacco,light & subdued. Taste= med oil,dark,smooth, caramel/choc,spice,light taste,light agave,mild heat,smoke,sweet,coffee,warm,slight pepper & nuts,fruit,hint of citrus,tobacco & spearmint.
13- Jose Cuervo RDLF- Very Good/Fine - Nose= sweet,cognac/whiskey,some alc,honey, choc,cinnamon,spice,pepper,fruit,light smoke,cinnamon. Taste= thin oil,sweet,spice,choc, coffee,caramel,fruit,smooth,warm, slightly thin & hot.
14- Malinalli- Very Good & Rich - Nose= vanilla, light,smoke,not too sweet,herbal, slight grass,butterscotch,dry fruit, honey,spice/pepper,bourbon/oak,caramel,pinch cinnamon,mint. Taste= light/med oil, smooth,some heat,pepper,oak,smoke,fruit, butterscotch,slight vegetal,some vanilla/caramel,choc,coffee,hint of honey & cinnamon.
15- Avion Reserva 44- Nice Sipper - Nose= light aromas,oak,buttery,light fruit, honey,cherry,mild vanilla,cream soda,slight smoke,light cinnamon,some heat,light butterscotch,spice,caramel & leather. Taste= not overly sweet,no vanilla bomb,light leather,smooth,cherry,honey,some choc,nuts,creamy light caramel & butterscotch,fruit.
16- Arette Gran Clase- Nice for the Price - Nose= vanilla,light oak & whiskey,light spice & cinnamon,fruit,citrus,some sweet agave,some caramel. Taste= some vanilla,fruit, light caramel,oak,honey,somewhat smooth,light spice.
17- San Matias Gran Reserva- Good Sipper for the Inexpensive Price - Nose= some alc, light honey,light butterscotch & vanilla,some caramel,spice,some oak,fruit,some sweet agave,whiskey/bourbon,light leather. Taste= light honey,caramel,fruit, & pepper, whiskey/bourbon,vanilla,some spice and some sweetness.
18- El Gran Viejo- Light & Not Complex - Nose= spice,pepper,cinnamon,pinch of clove, light smoke,leather,light chocolate,pinch vanilla,sweet agave,some alc,light oak. Taste= thin/med oil,light cognac,spicy,sweet agave,very light,soft,smooth,clove,light alc heat, caramel/choc,cinnamon,pinch vanilla,light smoke.
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