Tequila Tapatio has been a treasured tequila in Mexico for the past 75 years, but only recently became available in the United States. The blanco was released in early 2012, while the resposado and anejo expressions followed in early 2013. Tequila aficionados, especially those who’ve tasted Tapatio straight from the source — Mexico’s Altena Distillery — were satisfied. But Tapatio decided another release would be a good idea, and you won’t get any arguments from us.
Tapatio 110-Proof Blanco Tequila is the latest offering — and the first overproof expression — from Tapatio. It’s produced with 100% estate-grown blue agaves in the Mexican Highlands. Master Distiller Carlos Camarena and his team hand-select the plants for ripeness and then bake them for four days. After being gently crushed, the agave juice is fermented with the company’s 75 year old yeast culture. Next up, it’s double-distilled in small copper pot stills before aging six months in stainless steel tanks.
All that results in one hell of a fine tequila. On the nose it’s lush with fresh agave and cooked agave, plus pepper and cinnamon. It’s fiery, but not in an overly alcoholic way. Drink up and there’s plenty more rich agave. That’s complemented by floral notes, tropical fruits and the lightest hint of sweet vanilla. The dry, flavorful finish lasts seemingly forever.
Color us impressed. We could sip this stuff all day long. But that’s not really what it’s intended for. The higher proof — which equates to less water dilution and therefore more flavor — is designed to be used in cocktails. The idea being that, with Tapatio 110-Proof Blanco Tequila as your base, the tequila will stand out more, creating a bolder final product. So, with that in mind, we whipped up a few drinks.
First up: a classic margarita. It’s easy and refreshing with bold notes of peppery spice that shine through the lime and triple sec. Next: a Negroni-variation with tequila, Campari and Carpano Antica. Delicious. The overproof Tapatio plays nicely with the bittersweet Campari and herbal vermouth. And finally, staying in that general direction, we made a Rosita: a blend of blanco tequila with sweet vermouth, dry vermouth and Campari. Another winner. We’ll definitely employ the 110-Proof Blanco in plenty more cocktails down the road.
Tequila Tapatio is imported by Charbay Distillers. It’s currently available in states including California, Florida, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington. The entire lineup is affordable, starting at about $30 for a bottle of the 80 proof blanco.
— 55% ABV
— $48 for a one liter bottle
CE Rating: ★★★★