One of the rarest and most expensive tequilas reasonably available on the market, this is Cuervo’s top of the line. It is produced once a year (each with a unique wooden box to contain it), blended from old tequilas that have been in oak for an average of three years and, in some cases, up to 30 years. Each year (since 1995), 17,000 bottles of the Reserva de la Familia are released. I have one of them.
The 2008 Edition features a box designed by abstract artist Fernanda Brunet, and inside the bottle you’ve got some serious tequila. As with most of Cuervo’s higher-end tequilas, it doesn’t wander far from agave. Many extra-old anejos are overwhelmed with oak and vanilla flavors after spending so long in the cask, but Reserva de la Familia is proud to be a tequila.
The agave is instantly recognizable on the nose and the first sip. Close your eyes and briefly smell: You might not even realize this is anejo. Sipping the spirit indicates otherwise, as a flood of bourbon-like sweetness hits you, knocking that agave out and mellowing the liquor’s heat with creamy, light wood and smoky notes plus a good slug of sweetness, vanilla and sweet cream. The finish creeps up quickly, a return to those herbal, agave roots as the finish fades away. Then it’s back in for another sip…
Very addictive, and tantalizing even at that whopping $100 price. Invest in one now and break it out for special occasions. Should last you ’til the 2009 comes out.