1800 is a tequila brand that seems always to be on the shelf, yet our coverage is a bit spotty, including reviews of the blanco, extra anejo, and even a coconut flavored expression. Today we fill in the gaps — looking at the reposado, anejo, and new cristalino expressions from this label, the lattermost of which is billed as “unlike any other cristalino on the market.” Let’s see if that claim bears out — and more importantly — how.
All three are 80 proof.
1800 Reposado Tequila – Aged a minimum of 6 months in American and French oak barrels. Bright and lemony on the nose, this has the hallmarks of a typical reposado, with lemon and lime notes alongside a punch of fresh pepper and plenty of green herbs. The palate is creamy and soft at first, with plenty of fruit and a classic complement of caramel, vanilla, and baking spice. It’s lush on the tongue, almost buttery at times, with a long, familiar, and quite peppery finish. No complaints here. A- / $29 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]
1800 Anejo Tequila – Aged a minimum of 14 months in French oak barrels. Surprisingly dark in color, there’s a real Cognac character to this tequila, lush on the nose with notes of coffee, herb butter, and some raisiny fruit notes. The palate follows along in stride, showcasing a rolling sweetness, more dark fruit, some stewed prunes, and a thick layer of spice before finally revealing some of the agave-driven herbal elements underneath. The barrel dominates here, and that’s not a bad thing; many anejo tequilas can be over-sweetened to the point of being cloying, but 1800 Anejo threads the needle. A juicy orange character emerges with time in glass, adding complexity and depth. A- / $43 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]
1800 Cristalino Anejo Tequila – Pay attention: This tequila is aged in both American and French oak barrels for 16 months, then finished in Port wine casks for an additional 6 months before being filtered back to clear. It’s a sugar bomb from the start, with a nose of spun sugar that feels almost cotton candy-like at times. There’s a hint of earthiness, but it takes some time in glass for the agave to really show itself — and even then, it’s quite mild. The palate is again heavy with sweetness, definitely over the top with sugary intensity. The white sugar attack fades into notes of marshmallow and nougat, with some red berry notes becoming evident as the tequila evolves on the tongue. That fruit quickly fades, however, leaving behind a slick of sugar that risks becoming overwhelming on the lengthy, unyielding finish. That’s not to say this tequila doesn’t have its moments — but I’d treat it more as a decadent dessert than anything else. B / $60 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE] [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]