The march of Cristalino tequila bottlings continues courtesy of Gran Centenario, which takes anejo and extra anejo tequila, finishes them in Calvados brandy casks, then filters out all the color.
It’s a bold approach and it shows in the finished product.
The nose is festive and fruity, bold apple cider notes layered with baking spice and black pepper. Notes of green jalapeno offer a curious level of heat as well as a light vegetal quality, though time in glass helps these qualities meld with the fruitier attack. As the nose fades, notes of ground pepper linger in the nostrils pleasantly.
The palate is as much a flavor bomb as the nose would suggest, trading spiced apples for pears and lemon zest, then moving into more traditional anejo-powered sweetness. Creamy with vanilla and lots of caramel, notes of milk chocolate coat the back of the palate and give the tequila a custard-like quality. More citrus builds as the finish gets its hooks in, though the tempering from the vanilla creates a sort of Orange Julius character.
This is a fun journey from start to finish, and I think the unique Calvados finishing really has a positive impact on the product. Those apple notes really work well alongside the pepper and agave, making for an experience that wonderfully evolves over time in glass or, if you’re like me, over time in a couple of glasses.
80 proof. NOM 1122.