Chamucos is a Highland tequila brand, conceived in 1992 by an Oscar-nominated Mexican film director, Antonio Urrutia, and his close friend, a hand-blown glass bottle artist, Cesar Hernandez. Chamucos — “dark, shadowy, creatures who appear in dreams and only visit briefly at night” — dance on the label of the bottle, both of which are made with recycled materials.
The 100% agave tequila is made with organic Los Altos agave, distilled in a custom stainless steel alembic still, and (for the reposado) aged in a combination of barrel types that includes both new American and new French oak — a rarity in this world.
Today we look at two expressions: “Diablo Blanco,” a 110 proof silver, and the reposado bottling. Both a standard 80-proof blanco and an anejo are also available.
Tequila Chamucos Diablo Blanco – Boldly agave-heavy on the nose, quite peppery, herbal, and lemony all at once. The palate is seductive and rich, layered with notes of citrus, a spray of fresh green herbs, and some unexpected caramel and vanilla notes. Where do these sweeter elements come from? It’s a mystery to me, but I’m happy all the same. The finish is just a touch dusty, with light notes of smoky, charcoal-grilled meats. All told, the combination of bright lemon, an almost cilantro-like herbaceousness, and a rush of dessert notes on the finish make for one of the most unexpected but delightfully engaging blancos I’ve had in some time. Never mind the abv; drink it neat. 110 proof. A / $59
Tequila Chamucos Reposado – Aged roughly 6 months in barrel, as noted above. This is another unusual tequila, but for very different reasons than the Diablo Blanco. Caramel and coconut pour out of the expressive nose, layered just so with fresh, herbal agave notes. The palate offers more of the same, but punched up a notch or two. Here, chocolate notes are evident, complementing nicely the cake-like notes on the nose. The finish sees a reprise of some of the greener notes, to which notes of spearmint, cinnamon, and a touch of coffee find purchase. Totally different than the Diablo, but just as outstanding. 80 proof. A / $41 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]