Any time there’s a new añejo tequila on the market, we rejoice. Casa 1921, a brand that’s been big in Texas and California for about ten years, and relatively new to the New York market, is introducing its first ever añejo (aged) tequila, a new expression of its Reserva Especial label. Reserva Especial Añejo is expected to hit the NYC market in the next month or so.
Some tequila purists shy away from the reposados (rested) and anejo (aged) tequilas, claiming that aging tequila in a barrel was a gimmicky response to the huge popularity in Mexico of scotch whiskey in the 1960s and 1970s. We say, who cares? The stuff tastes amazing, full of notes of butterscotch and leather, sun and agave. Bring it. By definition, reposado tequila must be aged at least 2 months, up to one year. Tequila añejo must be aged at least one year, though is often aged for two and rarely for three years. Any more than that and all sorts of bitter, woody tones take over.
Reserva Especial Añejo takes the previous Reserva Especial, aged eight months, and ratchets the aging in American Oak barrels up to one year for the añejo classification. For “collectors,” this is great news. One more tequila to add to your bar.
“Although our Reserva Especial is an extraordinary product,” says Casa 1921 president Juan Collado, “consumers did not understand the term ‘reserva especial.’ Blanco, reposado and anejo are industry standards. We were very pleased to discover that the extra time spent in the barrel gave our Reserva Especial Añejo even greater depth of character.”
How does it taste? We’re still waiting for our opportunity in the next month or so. Robert Plotkin, author of “The Original Guide to Margaritas and Tequilas,” finds a “satiny texture and delectable bouquet,” with notes of fruit, cocoa and citrus, with a lingering smoky finish. Just the way an añejo ought to behave. If you’re new to the añejo category, this smooth, smoky spirit is for sipping, not for body shots. Enjoy. Savor. Absorb.
In NYC, you can pick up 1921 Tequila at Astor Wines, 67 Wines, Wine & Whiskey Barrel, Ambassador Wines and Pop’s Wine & Spirits. If you’re out drinking, check out Brandy Library, Mad Dog & Beans, La Esquina (of course), and the Toloache Mexican Bistro, among others. Expect to find the anejo expression at most or all of these same venues later this winter or early spring.
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