Location: Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos
Hmmm, did someone say “Tequila Tasting”? When I first heard of this tradition, it lead to instant excitement; after all, I’ve participated in a Wine Tasting or two in my adult life so tasting tequila shouldn’t be too bad.
I must start by saying that I am not an avid adult-beverage drinker, tequila or otherwise, therefore I had no clue there were so many different brands of tequila; 200 plus. Furthermore, I did not know there were so many flavors. Then there is the Agave plant, which it all starts.
Again, I stress … I am not a “drinker”, and far from the Tequila Ambassadors around the world but WOW … the burn … and then the smoothness!! Such an interesting transition.
The Tequila Tasting included 3 tequilas and a bonus tequila. First up was Spirits Master Herradura Plata Tequila. As instructed, I started by rotating the partially filled glass to check the color, which was almost clear; then came the sniff, which was strong leaving my nostrils burning; then came the long sip between the lips and the tip of the tongue for 10 seconds; then swishing the tequila around inside of my mouth; and the swallow … UGH!!! The burn went all the way down my throat to the pit of my stomach. I immediately licked the salt, and squeezed the lime, more salt, and water, water, water! After a few seconds and tearing of the eyes I felt ready to move on … NEXT please!
Second up was Maestro Reposado Tequila. I found myself repeating the same process … rotate, sniff, long sip, swish, swallow. This tequila was clear in color and less of a burning sensation going down, but a burn nonetheless. The burning sensation did not reach the pit of my stomach as quickly as the first, therefore I began to thing I can get used to this! A lick of salt, a squeeze of the lemon, and a sip of water … on to the next one!
Third up indeed was 1800 Reserve Anejo Tequila. This tequila was a little darker in color compared to the others, and the smell was mild. This tequila tasted great and had less of a burning sensation going down; I was thinking … this is very doable! This Tequila Tasting isn’t so bad after all … on to the grand finale!
The grand finale was 1800 Cristalino Anejo Tequila … I considered him the Big Daddy! The bottle was very beautiful and handled with extra care. While the other tequilas was poured and waiting on the table for the tasting, this tequila was actually poured from the bottle by a white-gloved hand. As with the extra care taken, I ensured extra care was taken for the tasting. I slowly repeated my learned steps … rotate, sniff, long sip, swish, swallow. As soon as I tasted the 1800 Cristalino Anejo Tequila, which was clear in color, I had my very own Mike Lowry experience, a character from the Bad Boys franchise, I was enjoying the smoothness! This time around the salt, lemon, water was not necessarily needed but became habit forming after tasting the others.
Finally, the Tequila Tasting had come to an end, and I must say, I was pretty “lit” as the millennials would say. I was feeling extra good and just when I thought I was DONE, another brand was introduced … Yasss, the after party!
The after party was Clase Azul Reposado Tequila. As with the previous tasting, this bottle was handled with extra care as well and I heard the ooohs and aaahs in the room. The white and blue bottle was so beautiful to the eye that I immediately began to think of ways the bottle could be used after what’s inside was all gone!
The catadore told the story of how the shape of the bottle came about. If you look at the bottle closely, you’ll see that it shaped like the leg of an old wooden table (bottle turned upside down) … how creative! The catadore also mentioned how each bottle is hand-painted, therefore each bottle is unique.
I quickly gathered myself and the courage to try what I now consider the God Father of Tequilas. Without hesitation and with much excitement … rotate, sniff, long sip, swish, swallow. Clase Azul was smooth like butter going down! Yasss … this is my ish. The Mike Lowry experience I once felt went out the door, and in came the Barry White and Isaac Hayes “freakish” kind of level … I had arrived at my destination!
My overall Tequila Tasting experience was phenomenal! This journey truly exceeded my expectations; at the start I was a little apprehensive.
The catadore was deeply knowledgeable of the origins of tequila and the presentation was beautiful and festive. I decided to purchase a bottle of Clase Azul to commemorate my Tequila Tasting experience. I plan to take shots on special occasions and the emptied bottle will become a souvenir fixture of my journey with navigating the various brands of tequila … my reward.
As I come to think of it, I will call this “My Tequila Expedition”. I took a journey and explored tequila with purpose of learning the origins and science of the agave plant and how it is utilized for producing tequila, and the conquering of not having a hangover when it was all said and done.
There is a saying “If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!” My gate was opened, and I ran! Truly an excellent and memorable experience!