Again, the clue is in the name, with ‘añejo’ simply meaning ‘aged’. These Tequilas spend between one and three years in oak, which can translate into quite an impact on the relatively delicate flavours found in the raw agave spirit – especially if ex-American whiskey casks are used. This is a tightrope walk between agave and oak, with the finest examples allowing the former to shine while the latter contributes layers of complexity and secondary aromas. Sipping Tequilas for sure, but don’t be shy of a little judicious mixing in high-end cocktails too.
We’re not quite done with the Camarenas. Don Felipe Camarena founded the La Alteña distillery in 1937 and started selling Tapatío three years later, with grandson Carlos now in charge of operations and making Tapatío alongside other Tequilas including Ocho and El Tesoro. After a long fermentation and traditional double distillation, this añejo spends 18 months in ex-Bourbon casks.
Serving Suggestions: Characterful and smooth enough to sip, but capable of mixing with care – you don’t want to lose the subtleties of the distillate here.
Shy and subtle on the nose, before perfumed elements of pot-pourri and Parma Violet emerge. The sweetshop theme continues, with pepper lurking in the background. The texture is wonderful, and the palate also brings baked orchard fruits with cinnamon and nutmeg. That spicy, peppery element is coming from both the agave and the oak – but it’s impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins.