Good lord, has anyone needed more of a kick out of their tequila? If good old 80 proof doesn’t cut it for you, run, don’t walk, to grab a flask of 1800 Select Silver. At 100 proof, it’s got a bonus kick to it, while still being true to the spirit of blanco tequilas.
1800 is owned by the same parent company as Jose Cuervo and used to be bottled under the Cuervo label. (For kicks, check out the photo below for a side-by-side shot of the current 1800 (right) and an old Cuervo 1800 Anejo (left) that I turned up in my bar.) The new 1800 also offers Anejo and Reposado versions as well as an 80-proof Silver, but I only had this version to try.
1800 Select Silver is a velvety tequila with a very rich mouthful. You can tell it’s going to have a satiny finish just by smelling the open bottle. The initial potency is bracing. Not overpowering, mind you, but it has a heady kick. That extra 20 proof makes a noticeable difference, filling your nostrils with vapor as you swallow.
The result is a very flavorful experience, uncommon for a blanco, full of agave essence, crema, some coffee notes, and vanilla. There’s a bit of greenness to the finish, but otherwise it’s a solid experience. (The company says a “touch” of aged tequila is added to the mix to give it its unique flavor.)
That said, I find it’s just too heady for me to drink straight. Ice helps if you’re a rocks guy, particularly as it melts, but 1800 Silver is really destined for mixing, especially if you’re a guy that wants a little extra kick in your cocktail.
As a side note, check out the stopper: Turn the bottle over and it fills up with tequila, serving as a built-in shot glass. Neat gimmick, but I had a hell of a time getting the stopper out without dumping tequila all over myself. And, you know, the last thing I want to do when I’ve been drinking overproof tequila is to smell like I’ve been drinking overproof tequila.
A- / $29 [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]