El Mayor has been cranking out special editions like mad, including multiple spins on its extra anejo bottling. This one is particularly unique, spending 38 full months in sherry casks. It isn’t finished, it’s completely matured in sherry casks — though the type of sherry is not disclosed.
It’s a powerhouse bottling that melds two worlds in an intriguing fashion, one that’s rarely seen in the tequila world. First up, there’s the nose, which doesn’t immediately telegraph sherry but which rather finds peppery agave as its primary punctuation. Citrus fruit and a moderate vanilla character are clearly evident, though whether the former is driven by the spirit or the barrel is an elusive question. On the palate, the sherry influence becomes clearer: More aggressively citrus-driven with notes of oxidized wine, albeit also quite creamy and laced through with vanilla and notes of chai spice, apricot, and some almond notes. The peppery notes of the agave return on the finish, which echoes the more traditional XA notes found on the nose, any sherry influence fading into the background. Bold and pungent from start to finish, this is no extra anejo sugar bomb but rather a weighty tequila that doesn’t seem to like to let loose its grip.
80 proof. NOM 1603.
A- / $130 / elmayor.com