Vintage tequila? You betcha. Tequila Ocho produces tequilas in individually numbered bottles and dated to the vintage of the agave harvest from the estate in question. It’s said to be the first single-estate tequila to be released in the U.S. — bringing to the tequila world what has worked (and worked well) for wine.
We got a look at both the 2008 (on shelves now) and 2009 (arriving in time for Cinco de Mayo) vintages, side by side. Comments follow. Both are 80 proof silver tequilas. Typical bottle price is about $70 — hefty for a silver — but you can find it for as little as $55 if you shop around and get lucky.
Tequila Ocho Plata 2008, Rancho Carrizal Estate – A very mild and creamy plata from mile-high fields, extremely smooth, with a muted agave character balanced by some interesting vanilla, banana, and tropical notes. Very sweet for a blanco, leaves you with a little mint surprise at the finish. 11,000 bottles produced. A-
Tequila Ocho Plata 2009, Rancho Las Pomez Estate – Amazingly different than the 2008 in just about every way. Also from a mountainous area over a mile in elevation, this is a much racier, hot-blooded tequila. It comes on strong with a big slug of agave, considerably less sweetness, and a good dose of black pepper and roasted peppers. I like the 2008 considerably more, but this plata isn’t without its charms. B+