2013 Margarita Blind Tasting Summer Finals Round 1
Four tequila's made the Summer Finals: 7 Leguas, Corzo, Milagro, and Patron. Honorable mention to El Tesoro for an always-intriguing unique peppery tequila that is not my personal favorite for a dominant flavor but I enjoy it as a minority part of a jazzed-up margarita.
Each of the 4 Summer finalists were mixed 40% tequila - 60% fresh base mix of previously-described parts of Orange liqueur (a mix of Citronge and DeK O3), Fresh lime (a mix of sweet lime and key limes), and agave nectar.
This is a single-blind tasting in that I knew the identities of the tequilas, but not which was in which of the 4 glasses.
Actual tasting notes follow:
Drink 1: Solid, evolving, nothing not to like. Initially the base mix is more promiennt than the tequila. The subtle tequila flavor evolves in the mouth… If I have a criticism here, it's that even at a 40-60% mix, the base mix over-powers the tequila.
Drink 2: More complex, more lip smacking than 1. A bit of eye-watering. While I don't find Drink 1 offensive, Drink 2 is more interesting.
Drink 3: "Tart" is the first impression. Sort of singularly-tart. Again, nothing not to like, but I definitely prefer 2 over 3 for the "brightness" and greater complexity of 2.
1 vs. 3: Somewhat of a tie, leaning towards 1. Additional sips of 1 bring out a subtle pepper note I didn't first detect. BUT, after sampling 1 and 3 head to head, just a sip of Drink 2 re-establishes it as my favorite to this point.
Drink 4: Not sure what I think of this. "Solid" is the first word that comes to mind, but I'm struggling to go beyond that to identify any specific features.
4 vs. 3. Think I prefer 4, as 3 has some unusual flavor notes vs. 4.
4 vs. 1. Really brings out the puckery and peppery qualities of 1. These are mild degrees b/c ALL 4 of these drinks are quite nice.
SO…. Reading from my above initial notes ROUND 1 rankings are as follows: Drink 2 tops, followed by a close edge of 1 over 4, followed by 3, but truly all 4 of these are pretty good, not trying to hedge my bets there, just stating fact…. BUT 2 is really walking-away the most overall interesting margarita…
NOW, drumroll please, to reveal the winner of round 1 of the 2013 Summer Margarita Blind Tasting:
Drink 1: Siete Leguas
Drink 2: Corzo !!!!!!!!!!!!
Drink 3: Patron
Drink 4: Milagro
This is a great, if expensive, result because Corzo is the most expensive of these 4 :( However I have no problem paying the price if it's borne out in future tastings as good as this, it is gee-rate!
I will have to re-confirm these findings in future blind tastings, but Corzo slayed the two semi-final monsters (Patron & Milagro),as well as the oft-cited giant Siete Leguas.
Time will tell if my palate sticks with Corzo, but right now I'm loving this !
Isn't blind tasting wonderful!
PS: This says nothing towards a straight tasting of these tequilas, but rather how they are as a dominant mixer in a margarita.
PS-2: Just took a few straight sips of Corzo... very interesting. It's like "pure spice", there's no dominant tequila nuance one way or the other but to my palate this stuff can pump up the flavor of anything it's mixed with, and that's EXACTLY how it comes across to me in a tequila, as an "amplifier" of all the other flavors...