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Tequila's Rise

Once the Liquor of Machismo and Margaritas, Tequila has Gone Decidedly Upscale
Jean T. Barrett
From the Print Edition:
Jack Nicholson, Summer 95

(continued from page 3)

Jaime Rosales--This new 100 percent agave tequila was introduced last month in seven distribution areas: New York, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, California and the Chicago metropolitan area. This estate-grown tequila is available as a blanco as well as a reposado, and reportedly was produced according to a formula created by the former chief chemist for Cuervo, who recently retired from the company.

Patrón Silver--Packaged in an elegant Mexican hand-blown glass decanter with green glints, Patrón silver is produced by the Siete Leguas distillery in Atotonilco, Jalisco. It is a distinctive, clean-tasting spirit with attractive herbaceous, minty aromas and a smooth, peppery finish. Hairstyling products magnate John Paul De Joria (Paul Mitchell products) is a partner in the importing company that brings in Patrón, which has conferred on it a certain celebrity cachet.

Porfidio Silver--Packaged in a slender bottle akin to those used for some grappas, this white tequila has smoky, herbal aromas and is a bit harsh on the palate.

Reposado Tequilas

Chinaco Reposado--An exotic bouquet with scents of crystallized ginger distinguishes this reposado.

Herradura Gold (Reposado)--Herradura claims to use no caramel color in its tequilas. This richly flavored tequila is scented with exotic pineapple and other tropical fruit aromas and is zesty and a bit hot on the palate.

Jose Cuervo Tradicional--Almost colorless, this tequila is assertive and herbaceous with rich, smooth flavors. Drink it chilled and neat, advises Cuervo's Juan Domingo Beckmann. Don't confuse this small-production, 100 percent agave bottling with Cuervo Especial, also known as Cuervo Gold, the best-selling tequila in the United States.

Sauza Hornitos--Sauza's only 100 percent agave tequila, this bottling has long enjoyed a cult following. It has a pleasantly sweet bouquet with scents of lemon and herbs and is brisk and full-bodied on the palate.

Añejo Tequilas

Centinela Añejo--A lighter style añejo, this vanilla- and ginger-scented tequila has clean, forthright flavors. According to its importer, Centinela tequilas contain no artificial colors, sweeteners, caramel or other flavoring agents.

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