Tequila Tasting Results

Send invites to a tequila tasting and the only people that will accept are the type that I wasn’t looking for.  So I promoted a Taco Bar and Margarita Tasting, and I got exactly the consumer panel I sought.  And some good friends to hang with for an evening…

But this was definitely a tequila tasting.  We had 7 different tequilas served blind in my margarita recipe.  The entrants:

Hornito’s Plata
Patron Silver
El Jimador Plata
Herradura Reposado
30-30 Reposado
Jose Cuervo Gold (I couldn’t resist)
Don Julio Anejo

I’ll cut to the chase….there were some interesting results…

(Almost) Nobody liked the Don Julio Anejo in my margarita – it scored dead last.  And yet, for those that like sipping tequilas, it was highest rated in an advanced tasting we held later that night. 🙂

My favorite (Hornito’s Plata) was the runaway winner.  It had both the highest average stack-rank, and the most 1st and 2nd place votes (6 out of 9).  Nice confirmation that my palate isn’t totally out of touch.

Second place depends on how you measure.  By average stack rank, Jose Cuervo gets the silver medal.  But this is statistical anomaly…while nobody really liked it, the taste was innocuous enough that nobody really hated it either.  Thus the decent average ranking.

This surprised the panel and we all had a second sip.  The commentary on it was much like that of Gordon’s in a gin and tonic — sweet tasting, easy to drink, nothing spectacular, but drinkable.  And cheap.  It made me think of youthful parties where one might buy a case of ‘good’ beer and 5 cases of Natty Light.  Not that I ever hosted those types of parties – I just heard stories.

As an adult, I don’t settle for drinkable.  So I am crowning Herradura Reposado the second place finisher based on the # of 1st and 2nd place votes (3 of 9).  The commentary was much more descriptive with words like dark, old, smooth, and syrupy.

Patron lived up to my long-time nickname for it (the vodka of tequilas).  It finished middle of the road and received a weird smattering of commentary: super light, stinks but sweet, thin, too weak.  The bottle is pretty though.

The Stack Ranking Details

The Stack Ranking Details

The 30-30 might not be a household name, but I included it because many in the industry had recommended it.  I had tried it before, hadn’t particularly loved it, and thought maybe it was my palate.  But it received comments similar to mine — too hot, bite-y, burns.  This one might be good in a weaker recipe (there are some good ones out there with orange juice and such to make it more punch-like).  But not in this recipe.

And as usual, I unveiled the names and made people guess beforehand.  On average only 1 of the 9 got the name correct each time.  Which I guess isn’t surprising – even with my extensive field research it is difficult to blindly guess what exactly is in a cocktail.

All in all, a fun and educational night.  Thanks all for joining me in the adventure!


About Paul

Having been passionate about cocktail craft for many years, I've recently been coerced into sharing my insights and experiences. This blog is my first attempt at that goal.
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4 Responses to Tequila Tasting Results

  1. Aaron says:

    I’m a big fan of Cazadores in my margarita recipe. When hostin a larger gathering, my “cheap” margarita tequila is Lunazul, which on its own is a little hot, but rounds out nicely and accentuates the agave nectar in my recipe.

  2. Paul says:

    Lunazul is not bad either….and this is an opportunity to add that there are many great margarita recipes and adding agave nectar is a good way to ‘adjust’ for the ingredients at hand. My simple mind prefers simple recipes and my bias often reflects that. But please feel free to post your favorites here…

  3. West says:

    Are you not comparing apples to oranges when tasting Reposado against Blanco? PS – I’m a big fan of Hornitos Reposado. Why would you do just one tequila tasting when you could do at least two?

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