Review: Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Tequila – Platino and Reposado
Jose Cuervo’s Reserva de la Familia has long been a top-shelf extra anejo, released every year with a unique wooden box encasing it. I somehow missed the news that Cuervo expanded the Reserva de la Familia line in 2020, adding top-shelf blanco and reposado expressions to the mix. Like the extra anejo, these are annual releases with production information detailed by hand on the label, and both are intended to represent the pinnacle of Cuervo’s tequila production. For those reading closely, yes, that means that the line lacks a traditional anejo, jumping from the reposado straight to extra anejo.
Cuervo says these are made using tightly trimmed agave pinas from older-than-usual plants aged 10 to 12 years, all grown on Cuervo’s own estate. Naturally they are “slow cooked” and only the choicest of heart cuts from the distillation is used for bottling. Bottles are antique style glass, closed with corks and wax seals. Additional details can be found in the reviews that follow.
Both are 80 proof. NOM 1122.
Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Platino Tequila – Though it’s a blanco, this tequila is rested in stainless steel for 60 days before bottling, a common practice for higher-end white spirits. It doesn’t take long to see what the fuss is all about: This is instantly an expressive and engaging tequila that quickly becomes hard to put down. A gentle nose expresses notes of white pepper, lime juice, and a touch of coconut husk. Tropical and a little sweet, it’s mild and enveloping from the start. The palate keeps perfectly on message: Light sweetness paired with citrus quickly evokes a note of limeade, then moves into a light sprinkle of baking spice, green herbs, lemongrass, and another grind of white pepper. This is definitely not your father’s Cuervo, and it’s miles away from a brash, alcohol-driven experience. Enduringly subtle, the tequila feels meticulously crafted and deftly balanced, light on its feet but bursting with fresh flavors. Sip it, mix with it, whatever. Just buy it. Bottled Dec 15 2020. A / $60 [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]
Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Reposado Tequila – Aged in three types of wood barrels, all new wood: heavy toast American oak, light toast American oak, and light toast French Limousin oak. Oddly, aging time is not specified. The DNA of the Platino is visible here, just filtered through a little barrel time. It’s surprisingly quiet on the nose: Some vanilla and a milk chocolate note, then a stronger pepper-forward quality emerges alongside some mint. The other aromatic elements remain intact. Same goes on the palate, where we find that gentle baking spice and the chocolate notes more up front, alongside a slightly stronger force of peppery agave. There’s also a touch more sweetness: Here a slight honey-laced character emerges, tempering the finish with a light lemon tea note. Despite using new wood, the impression of fresh oak is absent on this expression, which is certainly for the best. Again, this is top shelf stuff from start to finish. You’d have a hard time finding a reposado more elegant and rewarding. Bottled Feb 21 2022. A / $80 [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]
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