Mico is a new tequila brand, the name translating to “monkey” in Spanish — which seems to have little to do with the brand aside from the mascot, which is a suited man with a monkey’s face.
The tequilas are 100% agave (source unknown), double distilled, and, in the case of the aged renditions, double-barreled with California wine finishes applied. Mico also recently launched three canned cocktails, made from tequila, sparkling water, and gentle flavoring, all of which we are diving into presently.
All tequilas are 80 proof. All seltzers are 5% abv.
Mico Tequila Blanco – Unaged. Lots of flowers on the nose here, with milder, lightly peppered agave notes coming into focus after. Quite gentle on the palate, the tequila has a moderated fruitiness that offers touches of peaches and lemon curd, whipped together with some creme brulee and dairy cream. The intense vegetal notes of agave are kept in the background here, making an appearance late in the finish and showing up as a touch of cilantro, so if strongly herbal tequila is your thing, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Overall, Mico Blanco presents itself as a mild and versatile option that feels perfectly built for cocktailing. I’d be hard-pressed to suggest something that would be more appropriate for a margarita. A- / $35
Mico Tequila Reposado – Aged in American oak whiskey barrels then finished in Napa Valley Cabernet barrels (8 months total). There’s ample fruit on the nose, the tequila’s peppery qualities a bit more evident here than in the blanco. The palate immediately evokes vanilla and cream, again lightly peppered with more of the lemon that’s evident in the blanco present in the mix. It’s an engaging tequila but a bit dry on the finish, which comes across as on the short side. B+ / $40
Mico Tequila Anejo – Aged in American oak bourbon barrels then finished in Alexander Valley Cabernet barrels, 16 months total. Immediately unusual, the wine finishing has more influence here than with the reposado, starting with the very fruity and floral nose, evoking a melange of rose petals and applesauce. Again, rather peppery. The palate is tongue-smackingly sweet, with mixed notes of bright apples, red berries, caramel, and some citrus that here veers more toward orange than lemon. A hint of cake frosting keeps the finish sweet — but not overly so — with notes of vanilla and some raspberry jam lingering on the fade-out. Is it the Sonoma wine finish or the extra time in barrel that helps this tequila find its footing more firmly than the reposado? You be the judge. A / $46
Now the seltzers:
Mico Lime Seltzer – Imagine a watery, fizzy margarita and you’re in the ballpark. The lightest hint of sugar (all expressions have just 1 gram per 12 oz can) gives this some much-needed sweetness, but otherwise it’s the tequila and a twist of lime that do the heavy lifting. The flavoring is minimalistic and with all the water, the tequila’s base notes are even tough to pick out, with just a hint of greenness in the mix. Harmless. B / $15 per four-pack
Mico Grapefruit Seltzer – This attempt to recreate a paloma is less successful than the lime expression, the grapefruit coming across largely in peel format, with not nearly enough sweetness to perk it up. This drinks closer to a lazy can of LaCroix than anything else in the mix, with just the lightest hint of citrus on the finish to give the palate something to grab hold of. B- / $15 per four-pack
Mico Cucumber Mint Seltzer – This is easily the most strongly flavored seltzer in the lineup, the mint really popping on the nose and the cucumber lingering underneath. Those elements together wash out any sense of tequila in the mix, which may be just fine for the spa water crowd for whom this is intended. B / $15 per four-pack