More off the wall, upmarket expressions are arriving from our friends at Don Julio, the latest being Rosado, a reposado tequila finished in ruby Port barrels for at least four months.
The result is a delightfully pink tequila that looks like a rose wine but which offers an intense nose of peppery agave, touched lightly with lemon and lime peel. If I was nosing this blind — that is, in an opaque glass — I would assume this was a blanco, as the agave is pungent and the Port finishing isn’t evident here at all.
The palate surprises further: While there’s a gentle berry sweetness on the palate, the predominant quality remains agave-forward, touched with a lacing of nougat and sweetness driven by candied nuts. A slight strawberry and cream character becomes more prevalent with time in glass, though notes of green pepper, ground white pepper, and a light rose petal note build over time. The finish sees the most reposado-like qualities of the tequila make their appearance, with elements of sesame seed and a hint of caramel in the mix.
Where then is the Port? Port can have an massive influence on just about any spirit, but here it’s largely a no-show. I’m not even sure those gentle strawberry qualities have much if anything to do with the Port, but that’s an open question. At the very least, it doesn’t really resemble Port wine at any point in the experience.
But hey, maybe that’s OK. If you like your reposados on the more exuberant side, and plenty do, this tequila will fit the bill perfectly. However, given the price tag, I think anyone would be forgiven for whishing they’d uncovered something a bit more unique and expressive of this special, unique finishing. So it goes.
80 proof. NOM 1449.