I’ve always admired El Mayor’s tequilas, and not just for the funky and unique bottle design. Alas, all good things must come to an end, as the distillery has abandoned the squat, gourd-like design for something a little more traditional (though still on the stout side).
Today we look at El Mayor’s Extra Anejo — not a special bottling, but part of the permanent lineup — which as eluded us until now.
As extra anejo tequilas go, I expect El Mayor’s to be somewhat divisive, offering a curious twist on the concept. Aged for 3 1/2 years in oak barrels, the nose pops immediately with notes of maple syrup and molasses — but also more savory elements, including white pepper, some barrel char, and a petrol edge.
The palate initially eschews the sweetness and comes across as remarkably savory, like burnt bacon that’s slipped a bit into your syrup at breakfast. Again, it’s heavy on the pepper, with some further unexpected notes of tobacco and bay leaf in the mix.
The finish is quite drying but does show some of those maple hints here and there, finishing up with a lingering smoky, charry note that recalls cigar ash to a degree. Sultry and curious, it’s a departure from the usual extra anejo sugar bomb style — and while that’s not inherently a bad thing, El Mayor’s expression swing too far the other way.