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Magave Anejo Tequila

Though we try to focus mainly on spirit use in cocktails, there are times when a bottle comes our way that would almost be a shame to add anything to it. Of course, we will try at some point in time, but wanted to make sure that anyone who has the ability to work with this product, seizes the opportunity (and please come back to let us know what cocktails you create). Magave is available in CA retail stores and restaurants, and also available from online distributors here. Retailing for around $40, it is comparable price wise to many high end tequilas, but with a flavor profile to rival mezcal, a relative bargain. Mezcal lovers will appreciate Magave Anejo for it's prominent vegetal, mildly smoky, oily richness. However, it has a bit of sweetness to it, that will make it more accessible for tamer folks looking to explore the realm of aged tequilas and expand their palate, but aren't yet ready for the full briny plunge that is mezcal love.

The first thing that is different about the tequila is the bottle, which is one the most interesting and beautiful we've come across. World Bottles, the subsidiary of Magave, are the only producers of etched and painted glass spirits bottles. The etching also helps to provide a better grip when serving. Sometimes fancy bottles can turn spirit lovers into skeptics, with the belief that a hefty marketing budget and good design are a cover up for a sub-par product. Upon first taste all skepticism will be vanquished. I am not alone in my opinion of its quality, as the Anejo won Best of Show Double Gold for Best Anejo at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and 94 points from the Beverage Tasting Institute for 2010 (see their tasting notes here).

Honey, fig, vanilla, black pepper, and bourbon nose, perfectly represent the charred oak casks the tequila is rested in, without overtaking the pungent agave flavors with too much wood. Anejo means that the tequila was rested in small oak barrels for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 3. The Magave portfolio also includes an Blanco (aged less than 2 months) and a Reposado (aged a minimum of two months and a maximum of one year). We did not sample the Blanco or Reposado, so cannot comment on them, but look forward to seeing them in the near future as tequila takes it place as "the new vodka", as proclaimed by Boozehound Jason Wilson in the Washington Post, we are confident that time is not too far off.

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