OK, who’s Lalo? Not a celebrity, but rather Eduardo “Lalo” González, the grandson of the one and only Don Julio González — who you know best as Don Julio. As you can imagine, the concept with Lalo is to go ultrapremium, using Highlands agave to make tequila using traditional processes and Champagne yeast. The company only makes a blanco, its intent being to showcase the power and flavor of the agave and its terroir. The all-white label, with just a smattering of text, underlines that effort.
Let’s give it a try, shall we? (We shall.)
While billed as a blanco, there’s some color to this tequila, a very pale yellow. There’s no mention at all of any kind of resting in the production process, so its color remains something of a mystery. Putting that aside, it’s a glorious product. The nose is immediately enveloping, quite light but soulful with notes of fresh lemon juice, white pepper, and a hint of cinnamon. The herbaceous quality of the agave is present but muted, and it complements the preceding aromas, giving them an element akin to basil or sage.
The palate feels impossibly gentle, to the point where I had to double check this was actually at full proof. It is. A light dairy cream character lifts the body, allowing notes of milk chocolate and cinnamon to roll across the tongue. Notes of rosemary are light as can be, alongside more touches of white pepper. While it seems impossibly easygoing at first, it becomes even more so as it develops in the glass, later evoking nutmeg, grains of paradise, and a gently earthy note. It’s never green, but driven more by the soil — and ever so subtly. It drinks like a cross between a blanco and a reposado, culling the best of both worlds.
For this to be priced at only $45 is a massive surprise — albeit a welcome one. It’s also the easy front runner for my #1 tequila of the year, and one of the best blancos I’ve ever encountered. Get it.
80 proof. NOM 1468.