A Look at Cielo Anejo Tequila

CieloAnejoBottle

A few months ago I came across Cielo, and decided to take a look at their Anejo offering.

Created from blue Waeber Agave originating in the Jalisco Region of Mexico, each pina (or the heart of the agave)is harvested at the end of ten years.

Utilizing a process that first involves steaming the agave to release its nectar prior to distillation in pot stills, Cielo distills its tequila offerings three times.

This yields an Anejo that has notes of butter and caramel on the nose, with a flavor that incorporates a balance of cocoa, toffee, banana and mild notes of spice.

Score: 9/10

After sampling the Cielo Anejo, we decided to take a look at how it would work in cocktails.

The Dirty Purse-A Combination of Cielo Anejo Tequila, Pineapple Juice, Sloe Gin, and Maraska.

The Dirty Purse-A Combination of Cielo Anejo Tequila, Pineapple Juice, Sloe Gin, and Maraska.

2 Oz Cielo Anejo
½ Oz Pineapple Juice
2 Dashes of Grapefruit Bitters
½ Oz Sloegin
½ of Maraschino (Maraska)Liquor

A Jaw Dropping Look at Riazul Anejo.

Riazul_Anejo

If I was going to use one word to describe Riazul Anjeo it would be superb- simple as that.

It is without a doubt, Riazul is one of the most impressive tequilas I’ve come across, and probably the most impressive Anejo variety I’ve yet to review.

I like to compare my experience of Riazul with that of a blind date. Up until a few months ago, I hadn’t heard of Riazul. So, when I received a sample of their Anejo I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was left wondering what was in store for me.

So as if to say I was on a blind date, I walked into the restaurant and met my date. At first glance, I admired the look of my date, who happened to have just the right amount of curves. But is she more than just gorgeous, does she have any substance?

Let’s get back to the tasting notes, because if I tried to continue the date analogy it might begin to read like a Penthouse Letter- and, well, that’s not what we do here.

Once I got past the intense yet simple elegance of the bottle of Riazul Anejo, I decided to inspect further.
After opening the bottle, I was hit with a brilliant intense nose of agave, pineapple, honey and hints of sweetness. So far, I was thinking this would remind me of many other tequila’s I’ve tried in the past.

So, I moved in closer for a taste. Immediately upon tasting it I was hit with a symphony of notes of heavy milk chocolate, followed by caramel, coconut and espresso. In simplest terms, I was blown away, while a newer competitor to the tequila market, if these guys decide change anything they should be dragged outside and flogged. This is the first review where I can say that between a price point and flavor profile it is a perfect spirit.

To add to my love letter to Riazul Anejo towards the end of my initial tasting, I felt like having a cigar, specifically a Partagas Black. After a few puffs, I took another sip of the Riazul Anejo and was hit with the flavors of crème, cake and tiramisu.

I sent the above tasting notes to the president of Riazul, Iñaki Orozco explaining how in love I was with his Anejo offering and asking how they got it so right.

He took it upon himself to educate me slightly on the process behind this phenomenal spirit.
Riazul begins with Blue Agave- browned in the highlands of Jalisco, a region known as Los Altos. Riazul harvests from a private 1600 acre supply of agave, which is grown red volcanic soil rich with minerals and iron.

Moving on to distillation, Riazul produces small batches between 2000-2500 liters out of 5000 liter copper pot stills. After two distillations, Riazul Anejo is aged for 24 months in 180 liter French oak barrels originating from the Citeaux forests of Burgundy. Riazul advised they’ve chosen these barrels in particular to allow the opportunity for further notes of honey, vanilla, dried fruit and spices to develop.

Even with all the background information on how and why, with a spirit this impressive, I still feel that something is left out of the story. Some secret they haven’t revealed as of yet. However they did it, Riazul accomplished this but they’ve managed to produce an anejo tequila that is on par with, if not better than, most extra anejos.

Final Rating- 10/10

Due to the Riazul Anejo’s incredible flavor profile, we decided to see how it worked in cocktails.

The Sweet and Sassy
2oz Riazul Anejo
Los Amantes Joven Mezcal(One Bar Spoon Rinse Coupe Glass)
¼ Line juice
Half spoon agave tequila
1/2 oz Batavia arrack
Egg White

Add all ingredients and dry shake with eggwhite

Then shake with ice

Top with:
3 Dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
2 Dashes Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters

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  • A Look at Partida Reposado.

    Reposado resized

    So what’s the secret behind Partidas Reposado?

    Partida starts their tequilas off by using 100% blue agave grown in the heart of the Tequila Region of Mexico. The land Partida uses lies right outside the village of Amatian, and exists within the grip of a dormant volcano, this enhances the the soil with additional minerals and a richness adding to a better quality agave crop.

    Unlike some other tequila producers, Partida draws only from their own fields, allowing for full quality control of each agave plant. This is followed up by the process of slow cooking the pinas for a period of twenty hours in steel ovens prior to distillation.

    Once the phase of distillation is begun, Partida is distilled twice. Once to remove purities and then a second time to achieve as close to perfection as is possible.

    This entire process from hand picking the agave to distillation demonstrates itself in the impression Partida’s Reposado leaves with you.

    After being aged in American Oak Barrels for six months it inherits flavors of mild cocoa, subtle notes of orange marmalade, honey, agave and nuts(possibly almonds?) with a sweet and very smooth finish.

    Yet again Partida scores high merit with another one of it’s offerings. First with its Blanco, then with its Anejo, and it’s Extra Anejo and now with its Reposado offering.

    A remarkable, flavor rich spirit, Partida Reposado is a must try for any tequila fan.

    Final Score: 9.5/10

    We decided to see how Partida Reposado worked in cocktails, but wanted to try something other than the traditional margarita and being inspired(very loosely) by several different cocktails such as the Last Word that shouldn’t work together but do, here’s something that somehow just melds together and works. We’re still not sure how and why but the flavors actually do work together.

    “Ugh my head hurts”

    2 large dashes Bittermens mole bitters
    Fernet Branca-1/4 oz
    Green Charteuse-1/4oz
    1/4 Pineapple Juice
    1/4 Bar spoon(or drizzle) of Agave Nectar
    Partida Reposado 2oz
    Rinse a coupe glass with absinthe(Lucid was used)
    A spray bottle was used to apply lightly.

    Ugh My Head Hurts-Partida Reposado, Green Chartreuse, Fernet Branca, Pineapple Juice.

    Ugh My Head Hurts-Partida Reposado, Green Chartreuse, Fernet Branca, Pineapple Juice.