While we regularly cover Corazon Tequila’s special editions — aged in a variety of rare Buffalo Trace whiskey barrels — we haven’t reviewed the core lineup of tequila since some embarrassingly primitive coverage way back in 2008, when they came packaged in breakage-prone decanters with long, fragile necks. Things have changed for Corazon since then, with more traditional, squat bottles (and considerably lower prices), though they are now designated as single estate tequila — made at the Highlands-based Casa San Matias estate.
Corazon has a decidedly unusual character to it in comparison to most of what’s on the market today, so let’s dive in and see if we can shake out what makes it different.
All are 80 proof. NOM 1103. (Yes, we’re finally going to start listing NOMs.)
Corazón Blanco Tequila (2022) – Immediately curious. The nose melds white pepper, melon, baking spice, and clean linen notes, all whipped into a swirl with elements of camphor and some industrial ethanol notes in the mix. The palate hits you with spice — more pepper, black and green, plus some rosemary notes — before offering just a touch of melon-driven sweetness and a fairly powerful agave backbone. While my 2008 review was awfully basic, it at least fixated on this heavily vegetal core, with a nod to what I would now describe as a bittersweet conclusion (albeit one still laced with lime peel or lime leaf). No relation whatsoever to San Matias’s blanco. B / $28 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]
Corazón Reposado Tequila (2022) – Aged 6-8 months in American oak barrels. Big with butterscotch notes on the nose, and light touches of lemon pepper. There’s an intense herbal character here, both on nose and palate, the lemony sharpness offering a pleasant counterpoint to the heavy agave elements in the mix. There’s ample pepper on the tongue, never overbearing and quite lively, though notes of smoky barbecued beef distract somewhat from the lighter fruit notes evident in the blanco. That smokiness tends to dominate on the finish, though it battles valiantly with the citrus in the mix for superiority. B+ / $33 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]
Corazón Anejo Tequila (2022) – After 16-18 months of age, Corazon’s anejo takes on a deeper hue but initially carries a similar character on the nose: bolder butterscotch at first, leading into an astringent, almost medicinal character as it develops. Those mint and camphor notes evident in the blanco are ramped up here, soon giving the nose a rather pungent, industrial quality to it that’s hard to shake. The palate is more agreeable, the sweetness melding with dusky barrel notes to keep those industrial notes at bay. That said, it doesn’t really build on what the reposado has started, coming across as rather green and savory instead of sweet and mellow. Fans of more intense, agave-forward anejos may find this more to their liking, but I could never really get my arms around it. B- / $37 [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKEY EXCHANGE]