Review: Ricava Tequila – Complete Lineup

Review: Ricava Tequila – Complete Lineup

Ricava is a new brand of 100% Blue Weber agave tequila that is shaking things up with some unusual aging choices. In addition to a traditional Añejo Tequila, today we’ll be trying an expression that was aged in French oak Burgundy barrels as well as one that was aged in deep-charred American oak barrels. These are some exciting choices. Let’s give them a try.

All are 80 proof. NOM 1598.

Ricava Tequila Blanco Rosa – This bright pink tequila gets its bold color by spending 30 days in French oak Burgundy barrels after distillation. Technically, it’s still a blanco, but the color is like no other tequila I’ve seen. When you ignore the color and nose the tequila, it offers traditional aromas of blanco tequila including lovely, herbaceous agave and a lightly floral character. Nice, but not unusual. The palate is where things go a bit off the beaten path. Bold agave hits first but it is quickly joined by a creamy note that lends the tequila a lush mouthfeel. A moment later, however, brings a big, peppery bite and some alcohol heat, which dissipates and is followed by a long, floral finish. I don’t taste Burgundy, but the unusual barrel choice clearly plays a role here. B+ / $54

Ricava Tequila Black Reposado – This is the first tequila I have heard of aged in deep-charred barrels — though what that exactly means is up for debate. Poured in the glass, the tequila is almost black, looking like a coffee liqueur. The nose shows only lightly sweet roasted agave and a touch of wood. The palate, however, offers much more. It starts with sweet vanilla, walnuts, and honey playfully rolling over each other. Midpalate brings some alcohol warmth and black pepper. The finish is fairly long as notes of vanilla, honey, and black pepper gently fade away. This is an unusual and enjoyable sipping tequila. It costs more than the others, but I think its complex flavors and distinctiveness make it worth the higher price tag. A / $120

Ricava Tequila Añejo – Now we move to a more traditional offering. After distillation, this tequila was aged for 18 months in oak. On both the nose and palate, the tequila shows traditional añejo notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and caramel along with a touch of lemon and some gentle sweetness. There is also a bit of a hospital note on the nose, but happily it does not appear on the palate. After the initial flavors, a rather strong alcohol burn follows. The finish finally brings forward some light but well-rounded agave notes. This is an enjoyable sipping tequila, but it runs hot for 80 proof. B+ / $85

Ricava Tequila Black Reposado




Robert Lublin teaches whisk(e)y and wine appreciation classes for Arlington Community Education, near Boston, MA. He is also a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston and has published books and articles on Shakespeare as well as theatre and film history.

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