Does the name José Doroteo Arango mean anything to you? No? Then how about Pancho Villa? As it turns out, the former was the real name of the alternatively villainized and celebrated Mexican revolutionary, and it’s also the title given to a recently revived tequila brand (which according to brand legend, was first created as a gift for Villa himself).
I received a sample of Los Arango Tequila Añejo, which comes in a squat, blocky bottle with leather and metallic detailing—in short, just the sort of packaging that shouts “gift for the serious tequila drinker.”
The agave used to make this 100% agave tequila is harvested in the state of Guanajuato, and fired in clay ovens before it is fermented with a specialty yeast strain. It is then double distilled before seeing the inside of an American oak barrel.
Its nose features juicy agave and citrus fruit alongside a wisp of smoke and char. It is medium in body with a silky texture and starts off with bright fruit notes that accelerate to cooked agave and creamy vanilla at the center. The middle of the palate sees an undercurrent of char and a trace of smoke, and the back highlights its creamy vanilla character while bringing in barrel notes and pleasing, moderate spice. Its finish sees a surprising resurgence of the zippy, acidic citrus flavors that started the experience, which are lastly played out with an ultimate note of char and spice.
As a sipping tequila, Los Arango Añejo scores high marks. Its bright fruit flavors mesh beautifully with the notes of creamy vanilla and oak, and it manages to throw in a few unexpected turns without veering into territory that may turn off or challenge those just easing into sipping tequilas. When mixed into a Margarita, the spirit lends its creamy body and vanilla and baking spice notes that are much appreciated.
Los Arango Añejo will make a fine gifting tequila after all—though you wouldn’t regret picking up a bottle for yourself as well.
— 40% ABV