Can the best-selling spirit in a class actually be one thing tasty? Or is it simply swill wrapped up in an costly advertising package deal? It is determined by whether or not we’re speaking about an export market or the origination market. The most effective-selling tequila in Mexico in all probability deserves a B- on the grading scale: Tequila Centenario Reposado.
With tequila, the phrase “100% blue agave” issues greater than the model identify on the bottle. That is why the best-selling tequila within the USA is terrible, however the best-selling tequila in Mexico is greater than respectable. The humorous factor is, they’re each bottled by Jose Cuervo and bought by Proximo Spirits within the USA, with the identical house owners which are descendants of the unique Cuervo household. They are saying this model remains to be “family-owned,” however it’s a mighty large household.
Within the terrible not 100% agave class is what most individuals worldwide affiliate with the world’s largest tequila producer and that may be Jose Cuervo Gold. This can be a prime instance, like Bacardi rum as an illustration, the place gross sales don’t have any correlation to high quality. That’s a “mixto” tequila the place you don’t actually know what’s in it and should you drink it straight chances are you’ll get a type of notorious tequila hangovers many people bear in mind from faculty events.
Gran Centenario is a unique story, nonetheless, one you’ll be able to drink neat with out making a face or leaving your glass half-full on the desk. You’ll in all probability really feel golden the following day should you’re doing pictures or sipping.
The Greatest-selling Tequila in Mexico…Perhaps
Since we began Luxurious Latin America again within the ’00s and began writing about spirits, we’ve seen three manufacturers touted because the best-selling one in Mexico. All are definitely believable primarily based on grocery store shelf area, what you see out there in Oxxo, and what bartenders appear to be pouring probably the most in cantinas and eating places. It’s fully attainable that Jimador, Cazadoras, and now Gran Centenario tequila have all worn the crown in numerous years. They’re all ubiquitous all through the nation, from Baja to Quintana Roo and locations in between.
I do discover it attention-grabbing that two of the three usually are not made by Cuervo, the market chief general, however they’re all priced at a stage regular folks can afford, someplace between US$12 and $22 relying on the present alternate fee. All are drinkable and also you received’t be tossed out of a celebration for bringing any of the three.
Centenario Tequila is the costliest of the three although, within the fanciest bottle, so I used to be a bit stunned to see the press releases from their distributor saying this model is on high now. Hey, possibly the entire nation is transferring a bit upscale, regardless of the excessive inflation that has hit seemingly each grocery product in every single place. I simply haven’t seen any impartial verification from some type of establishment that may measure this kind of factor.
A Lengthy Historical past for Centenario Reposado
Not like the handfuls of tequila manufacturers which have popped up lately, a lot of them higher recognized for the superstar proprietor than what’s within the bottle, this model has a protracted historical past to level to. This can be a model with heritage, not one thing cooked up by committee to fulfill a sure demographic goal. It’s been round for the reason that late 1800s.
The founding date is listed as 1857, again in a time when a founder may name himself a “grasp distiller” and be the primary one with that grandiose title. Lázaro Gallardo pioneered the strategy of mixing completely different tequila barrels collectively to get the perfect combine, for the aim of constant high quality moderately than (as some do now) to reinforce the listed age of the entire batch.
Issues actually bought rolling on the finish of the century, when in 1895 the model bought the Gran Centenario identify it has at present and went on sale in bottles. The subsequent large step was the bottle itself. What number of manufacturers have the identical bottle design they’ve had for 100 years? Not many, however it’s as a result of this one was forward of its time. The founder’s son was impressed by the Artwork Deco motion they usually produced a bottle design that took these rules to coronary heart. It in all probability appeared extremely futuristic then and at present it’s nonetheless a novel design, simply standing aside from the opposite manufacturers of tequila at this worth level on the shelf.
There’s one different key component: that angel on the label. Right here’s the story behind that, in keeping with the corporate:
The bottle is adorned with the “The Angel of Independence,” impressed by the Mexican Centenario gold bullion coin, minted to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of Mexico’s independence in 1910.
Tequila Centenario Reposado Tasting Notes
I reported on my first significant encounters with the Centenario tequila model again in 2010 after I first moved to Mexico. After two weekends of someone going “I can’t consider we drank that complete bottle in a single night time,” I took it as an indication that I have to do a Gran Centenario tequila assessment. Since then, I’ve had it neat a dozen instances, made cocktails with it, and loved it at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico.
Though this reposado is bottled in Tequila city, it has its roots in Los Altos–the highlands–and is a sweeter, extra fruity tequila than most of what comes out of the home of Cuervo. Not all the best way although: that comes by extra within the nostril and the end than it does when the liquor hits your tongue and strikes throughout your style buds.
Though it’s type of onerous to elucidate, to me there’s a little bit of an industrial, middle-of-the-road overtone to it, like I’m tasting one thing clearly made in large portions in an enormous manufacturing facility that can attraction to the lots. Most tequila manufacturers you’ve heard of are made that method, in fact, however maybe on this case it’s the best way they roast the tequila in chrome steel ovens and take a couple of fashionable shortcuts to bump up the manufacturing.
Gran Centenario reposado has received some blind-tasting awards right here and there although, in order that they’re not simply coasting on their repute.
It’s a minor criticism although as a result of this actually is a strong tequila that isn’t going to make you wince or allow you to down as a result of there are off flavors poking by to the entrance. It’s a well-rounded one. If somebody who had by no means had this spirit requested, “What does tequila style like?” you might do far worse than sticking a glass of this one in entrance of them. It’s a great illustration of the shape.
The place the tequila Centenario Reposado actually shines is in cocktails since these refined components fall by the wayside anyway and you actually simply need the agave to chop by the citrus, the salt, or no matter else is combined in. In case you are in Mexico and also you’re bellying as much as the bar at an all-inclusive resort or grabbing one thing from a comfort retailer to make margaritas in your rental apartment, this can be a selection that’s going to make most individuals completely satisfied and it’s not at a worth level the place you’ll really feel responsible mixing it.
What’s the Value of Gran Centenario Tequila?
For those who purchase this model in Mexico, Gran Centenario tequila will usually value lower than 400 pesos for the reposado model, even much less for the unaged blanco model. When the alternate fee is 20 to 1 that’s straightforward math, however on the time I’m penning this it comes out to a most of $22. You’ll often pay lower than 400 although.
Costs are extra variable within the USA, the place I’ve seen it as little as $26 (seize it!) to as excessive as $42 (go). I haven’t tried the añejo model in a very very long time so I’m not reviewing that right here, however after I appeared on-line proper now I noticed that for $35 at Bevmo, which is a terrific discount. It must be a great sipper and you may’t go unsuitable at that worth. The silver model isn’t a lot lower than the reposado often although, so except you like the unaged clear model, simply go along with the smoother one which has spent a while in oak barrels.
For those who’re prepared to splurge, there’s a premium model of this tequila that I’ve seen in duty-free shops and locked up behind glass in Mexican supermarkets, however I haven’t had an opportunity to pattern it but. That may be Gran Centenario Leyeda (legend), supposedly primarily based on the founder’s unique recipe for the particular aged model he shared with shut buddies. It’s a darker añejo than most and is available in a a lot heavier bottle with the identical Artwork Deco components.
One factor has improved vastly since I first began writing about this model: they now have a working web site and it’s in English even. See extra info right here.