Review: Tequila Ocho Plata Puerta del Aire 2016

It’s hard to believe but we haven’t reviewed a release of Tequila Ocho since this 2010 release. But our inadequacy get in the way of progress. Tequila Ocho has steadily been putting out vintage-dated single-village tequilas since 2008, with what must be dozens of expressions hitting the market since. (They’re all limited editions, so if you see one you like, snap it up.)

Anyway, at last we’re back, baby, with a look at the 2016 vintage from Puerta del Aire, a Highland field where 7 year old agave was harvested to make this unaged blanco tequila (100% agave, of course).

As Tequila Ocho’s releases go, this plata isn’t my favorite. The nose finds lots of pepper and a heavy vegetal note — though one more of canned green beans than fresh agave. Some mushroom funk and graphite notes are also evident on the nose. The palate falls much in line with the tequila’s aromatic profile, with a pungency that matches the nose, offering notes of green pepper, cracked black peppercorns, and more of that earthy mushroom character. There’s a sweetness here, however, and it comes on surprisingly strong after the initial earthy/vegetable rush fades, a light brown sugar note that gives some much-needed balance to a tequila that is otherwise on the primal side.

80 proof.

B+ / $50 / tequilaocho.com

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