Forget everything you know about tequila. Renowned in Britain for so many years as the sole reserve of teenagers hoping to dive head-first into blind drunkenness; an increase in popularity surrounding premium tequilas has finally managed to rescue the spirit’s often unsavoury reputation.
One of the fastest-growing sectors in the spirits industry, ultra-premium tequila is big business. While Patrón has become a household name, Casamigos – a business idea conjured between George Clooney and Rande Gerber – was acquired by British spirits brand Diageo last year, for a cool $1 billion. Produced in one of the world’s most environmentally friendly distilleries, Tequila Enemigo (meaning ‘enemy’) was launched in the UK towards the end of last year, “leading the tequila revolution”.
Designed to be sipped, not shot, from long-stemmed Champagne flutes (amplifying the aromas and funnelling the liquid to the tip of the tongue), the brand’s two award-winning expressions are pure, complex and unmistakably smooth. Aged in custom new American Oak barrels, the spirit is distilled using key aspects of traditional methods, updated with revolutionary technology to produce the tequila’s pure taste. Speaking on the UK launch, Tequila Enemigo Co-Founder and Director, Max Davies-Gilbert said:
From the absolute beginning, the focus of our tequila has been to deliver the purest experience by merging tradition with modernity, from production all the way through to consumption. Serving tequila in long stem glasses is the final coup d’état for our work and we couldn’t be more excited to be bringing this approach to London, along with a product that we believe truly deserves such elegance.”
Defined by its purity, the tequila is distilled using a clean, environmentally-conscious method, fuelled using reused agave rather than fossil fuels. During production, each 100 per cent blue agave plant is laboriously checked for sugar concentration before heating. This is then distilled with spring water that passes through a volcano. Enemigo’s 00 Extra Añejo expression is then decanted into the American Oak barrels and left to rest, undisturbed, for over three years, under the watchful eye of distillers. During this time, the spirit takes on the deep colour and flavour of the wood, eventually yielding an extremely limited tequila, available in 70cl bottles at 40 per cent ABV.
When poured, Tequila Enemigo 00 Extra Añejo is dark amber and sticky, aesthetically evocative of young Scotch whisky. On the nose, the spirit is notably sweet, with unsurprisingly prominent aromas of vanilla and charred oak, joined by some feint green apple, honey and nuts. This marginal nuttiness continues on the palate with some delicate spice, complete with further savours of natural vanillin extracted from the ageing process. Most noticeable, however, is the spirit’s astounding smoothness and easy drinkability, complete with the taste of honeyed agave and a clean, lasting finish. Vive le tequila revolution!
Tequila Enemigo 00 Extra Añejo is available from The Whisky Exchange, £145, 70cl.