It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 years since we covered anything from Tres Generaciones. The brand has evolved in the last decade-plus, and has even changed its bottle design completely (and for the better).
Today we’re looking at a pair of 2022 releases from the brand, one expected, one a bit more unusual. First the expected: An anejo cristalino, which is exactly what you think it is, a 12-month-old anejo aged in American oak that’s been filtered to clear before bottling. The more evocative release is called La Colonial Reposado, the second in the brand’s annual Legacy Edition Series, following last year’s Cenobio’s Batch Plata, which obviously we did not review at the time.
What distinguishes La Colonial Reposado? It’s made “using traditional tequila-making methods, including tahona stone crushing of the cooked agave, and aged over two months in charred American white oak barrels.” Otherwise, no fancy tricks; it’s just old school — very old school — reposado (though note the 45% abv).
Let’s dig into both. Thoughts follow.
Tres Generaciones Anejo Cristalino Tequila – Overall: Extremely mild, and that’s not altogether a bad thing. In a world of overblown anejos (cristalino or otherwise), this bottling plays it close to the vest. Almond and milk chocolate inform a nose that is initially focused more on green agave, though neither element is particularly dominant. The peppery notes pave the way to a palate that feels decidedly mild, almost watery at times, though it definitely evokes notes of citrus, white chocolate, and plenty of peppery, cinnamon-laced spice. The finish offers the somewhat expected notes of Mexican chocolate, but it really never feels fully baked, as if something minor has been lost in the cristalino filtration process. There’s nothing remotely off-putting about this tequila — again, its mild composition isn’t an outright negative, just a quality it happens to have — but ultimately there are more fully realized cristalinos on the market. 80 proof. B+ / $65 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]
Tres Generaciones La Colonial Reposado Tequila – Reposado was originated as a way to mellow out and tame rougher blanco tequilas through a brief oak aging cycle, but La Colonial shows that is far from always the case. The nose here is as racy and agave-forward as almost any blanco, bold notes of earthy, green vegetation and plenty of black and red pepper dominating. There’s a vanilla-dusted oak influence here, but it’s milder than expected, those sharper greenery elements dominating. The palate has the same basic composition: agave-forward, then a layer of vanilla cake frosting that folds in notes of lemon extract and milk chocolate. Biting, peppery, and enduring on the finish — all agave at the end of the line. Some saline doesn’t hurt to help balance this tequila out — and while I wouldn’t recommend shooting a glass with a lime wedge and salt, having a bowl of tortilla chips and salsa on the side is a top shelf idea. If you like your tequilas built to showcase as much of their potential power as possible, this is a bottling for you. 90 proof. A- / $90