As agave spirits continue their march toward becoming the most-sold liquor category in America, we’re seeing more market differentiators than ever. One of the latest is Quintaliza’s Reposado Tequila, which according to the brand is both additive-free and certified organic. And here’s where things get interesting: the product is “finished in oak barrels that previously held artisan-roasted organic coffee made from sustainably sourced beans harvested in Chiapas, Mexico.”
The process — patented, apparently — isn’t one I’ve come across before. In a world full of cask finishes, I was curious how this impacts the base spirit; would it be a lighter influence, or overpoweringly coffee-forward? There’s only one way to find out!
On the nose, Quintaliza Reposado brings out freshly cut grass, caramelized onions, shallots, and fennel. It’s heavily herbal and green, with a little molasses toward the back, really just a kiss of sweetness that helps break up the vegetal notes. There’s also a noticeable element of cold brew coffee — no surprise — but it only comes after significant time in the glass.
At first sip, flavors include cold espresso, sweet brown barbecue sauce, and — this one caught me be surprise — lightly salted pork tenderloin. More caramelized onion follows, leading to a palate that’s almost exactly equal parts coffee, vegetable, and meat. There’s a thick mouthfeel, but generally not a lot of progression on the palate from front to back. I had just a little trouble finding the narrative here.
The finish is onion-forward (Vidalia), with a touch of vinegar, and herbal/grassy notes for a mid-length finish.
Quintaliza certainly offers a unique take on the category, though triangulating the ideal flavor balance may take some more time.
80 proof. NOM 1522.
B- / $79 / quintalizatequila.com