I have a few bottles of the El Tessoro Platinum (Blanco) that are the older bottlings (different bottle/label). It states that is distilled to 80 proof, which means no water added. I love this stuff, can really taste the agave.
All of my bottles have been the newer "olive oil bottle" shape, But I think it is still distilled to proof. Their web site features the newer bottles but still claims that it is "double distilled to exactly 80 proof".
Every time I buy a bottle I'm glad I'm patronizing a product that uses a low distillation proof.
When I was a tequila drinker, El Tesoro was one of my very favorites. When they changed the bottle, I still always sought out the old-style bottles, as they were still easy to find around here. Those old bottles are much harder to find now, but they are still out there.
One thing that impressed me during my first exposure to Herradura Anejo was that the distinct "tequila-ness", that flavor that makes tequila what it is, was very subdued. There were many layers of flavor; fibery, silky, woody, etc, and the "tequila" flavor was just a hint among other flavors.
If nothing else, it was just impressive and unexpected that the distinct tequila-ness could be just a bit actor. Now as I work my way through the bottle, I find myself wishing for just a hint more of that tequila flavor. Not that this is even a criticism.
It seems that this anejo and I'm sure many others are probably a good first choice to offer to someone uninitiated or skeptical of the idea that tequila, with all its baggage, can be sipped as is scotch or brandy.
On the other end of the spectrum I did try some white tequila that I got for my wife when she wanted some margaritas. I found Hornitos Plata quite sip-worthy. Maybe not quite where I'm at right now, but the smoothness and quality were definitely there.
I think I can relate to others here who have settled on Resposados. I like cowdery's approach: when trying a new brand, to start out with the Resposado. That's where I'm headed next.
“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” ~Thelonius Monk
I'm always looking for good value brands of my favorite spirit. The best one I've found so far is Lunazul (owned by Heaven Hill). Both the reposado and blanco won silver medals at the 2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Give them try.
Okay. I've got a small stash of reposados now--Cazadores, El Jimador (good and inexpensive!), Sauza Hornitos and my favorite, Herradura, which a Mexican friend brought back for me on his last trip home. I'm still eyeing the El Tesoro Reposado which should pretty much satisfy my needs in terms of reposados.
So here's my question: I still need one affordable blanco (or silver) for that down-home traditional tequila flavor (but something that doesn't put me into rot-gut territory) and one not-too-expensive but premium quality anejo. I like true agave flavor and realize that that can sometimes get lost in some anejos due to the pronounced presence of oak imparted by lengthier barrel ageing, but I want to cover the whole spectrum in my tiny collection of tequila and feel I should have at least one anejo on the bar. My Mexican friend recommends the Herradura Anejo at about $50 or possibly the El Tesoro at a similar price. As to the blanco, I do not intend to ever drink it in a mixer so I want something tasty to sip straight up. Any suggestions, folks?
"I distrust a man who says 'when.' He's got to be careful not to drink too much, because he's not to be trusted when he does." Sydney Greenstreet