Calirosa, which ages its tequila in red wine barrels from California, is back with a new expression. No, it’s not a reposado — though the company finally now makes one — but an extra extra anejo, aged for five years, roughly three times the length of aging of the anejo offering and two years longer than its standard extra anejo (which we’ve not yet reviewed). How does Calirosa’s uppermost tier tequila measure up? Let’s dig in.
I previously complained that Calirosa Anejo is overly sweet, and the 5 year old extra anejo certainly doesn’t pull any punches on that front, either.
That said, the tequila — a beautiful shade of ruddy amber — does seem more nuanced than the anejo, with a more powerful depth of character. Even a short amount of time in glass takes a nose dominated by brown sugar and layers in notes of macerated fruit, molasses, and maple syrup. It’s tough to pick out the agave underneath, though digging deep reveals a smalttering of peppery qualities, much like the standard anejo exhibits.
On the palate, the tequila is definitely more fruit-driven than the anejo, lending it an austerity and a dessert-like quality that is at times reminscent of both Port and Pedro Ximenez sherry. Textured and rich, the flavors run to dark chocolate, prune, and molten caramel, before eventually giving fresher fruit notes some air time. Orange blossoms and guava are nice foils against toasted coconut notes that build toward the finish, with layers of cinnamon and just the slightest hint of green herbs and fresh pepper enduring.
Looking closely at these tasting notes, it’s clear that the DNA of the extra anejo 5 years old has a lot in common with its younger sibling, as well it should. This version feels more well-rounded, however, although the core of agave remains largely absent, lost forever to that red wine barrel, I’m sure.
80 proof. NOM 1459.