If your only experience with tequila has been in a margarita—or, perhaps, as a shot downed during your undergraduate days—you’ve been missing out.
A tasting of any tequila consists of several elements: first the visual component, then the aromatic, followed by the tasting appreciation.
Visual: All good tequilas much be smooth and slightly viscous. To determine the presence of the latter, swirl some tequila around a clear glass and hold it up to a natural light. The body should hold itself together well, with uniformed tears forming after a minute or so, we do not want to see the tequila fall back to the glass like water. Another tip here is to submerge the tip of your index finger in the tequila and feel like liquid against your thumb – an oily body means a great tequila.
Aroma: The aromas of your tequila should be entered around the cooked agave – these can range from spicy, mineral forward notes to floral and citrus led, depending on the tequila’s region. Other notes to look out for are butter/yeast (resulting from the fermentation process), herbs, minerals, spices and fruit (distillation), and wood, caramel, vanilla or chocolate if your tequila is aged (oak maturation). When nosing the tequila, keep the glass around an inch from your nose, and gentle inhale with your mouth open. This way the aromas will travel to and over your lounge and further expand the experience. We must not detect any burn or punch here, the aromas should be soft and inviting.
Taste: The tasting component should consist of exactly the opposite approach to the bad tequilas we all drunk as shots in our youth! Instead of consuming the tequila as fast as possible and masking its flavour with salt and a mouthful of lime, we are going to savour this experience – we are lucky to have so many more great tequilas in the market now than 5-10 years ago. The palate is divided into different taste receptors starting with sweet at the front leading backwards to, salty, sour and bitter. We want to expose all of these regions to the tequila in order to enjoy its full complexity. Take a small sip of your tequila and coat your palate before swallowing. This action has now conditioned your palate. Take a second sip and concentrate on the flavour across your palate. A good tequila will create a good amount of salivation (making it the perfect spirit to pair with foods such as ceviche or oysters). Notice the body as well as the presence of the aromatic components in the taste.
The finish is extremely important. We are looking for a soft, warm finish that doesn’t pinch the sinuses or burn. A good tequila will be smooth and inviting and finish with a medium length. Once you have swallowed the tequila, exhale to express the alcohol vapours from your tongue, leaving the lingering finish and the notes of the tequila on your palate behind.
At Siempre, we’ve always said that drinking Siempre Tequila is like a relationship, we’d like for you to take it slow at first but heck, who are we to tell you how to handle your relationships – as long as you’re enjoying it, do it your way, fast, slow, messy, neat. Salud!