Grand Mayan Tequila — which comes in distinctive, squat ceramic bottles — returns with its newest expression, formally known as Grand Mayan Ultra Aged Limited Release. It’s a full extra anejo and more, aged five years in oak. Curiously, it’s billed as using Central-Highland Blue Weber agave, while Grand Mayan’s prior expressions were made with Lowlands agave. Sure enough, this expression was made in a different distillery and carries a different NOM.
Let’s give it a whirl.
On the nose, there’s an immediate rush of pepper — black pepper and some cayenne, lightly smoky. There’s no sweetness of note, which is a real surprise considering how long this has been aged. Earthy and pastoral, this is as savory an extra anejo as I’ve ever encountered.
The palate brightens up a little, but mainly uses notes of lemon peel and a touch of saline to lift up the earthiness of the tequila. It doesn’t really last, and soon things retreat to those savory elements — toasted wood, leather, turned earth, and bell pepper. If I’d had this blind I might have guessed it was a reposado, and a young one at that, though the color does match the “ultra aged” descriptor. Time in glass allows a touch of sweetness to emerge in the form of brown butter and a slightly earthy honey element, which helps lift the finish just a bit. On the whole, however, denser, more brooding qualities rule.
If you shy away from sweeter tequilas, even in extra anejo expressions, this may be a bottling to check out.
80 proof. NOM 1459.