Clase Azul 20th Anniversary Reposado
It’s not common that I get to taste a product before it hits retail shelves, but every once in a blue moon I get lucky. The first time was Glenfiddich’s Project XX, the second release in their experimental series. This time I had the pleasure of trying Clase Azul’s 20th Anniversary Reposado bottling. I’m not sure how many other bloggers have had a chance to try this yet, but I think I’m one of the first, and for that I’m very honoured.
If you notice, most of my other posts start with “I arrived at this event” but this one does not. That’s simply because this wasn’t poured for me at an event. Rather, the gentleman representing Clase Azul specifically poured a sample that went to me because my coworkers at my day job (I work at a liquor store by day) knew that I was a spirits writer and wanted to make sure I got some of this new product to try. So a big thank you to Gus, Chamba, and Frank for securing this for me.
As the title suggests, this is a special bottling of their Reposado edition of their tequila in honor of their 20th anniversary. One of the many things that sets Clase Azul apart are their bottles. You’ve seen them in the Tequila section of your local liquor store, tall, white (except for their Mezcal which is Black), ceramic, and minimalistically painted while still managing to remain ornate. Each bottle of Clase Azul tequila is hand painted by people in Mexico employed by a charity organization run by Clase Azul. In addition, at least for their 750ml bottles, they are actually designed to be upcycled to be turned into a vase.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering why this bottle is so special versus their regular Reposado. The answer is simple, the casks. The regular Clase Azul Reposado is aged in used American oak barrels for eight months after it has gone through the distillation process, while it’s 20th Anniversary counterpart is aged for four months in reclaimed Bourbon barrels and then aged for four MORE months in reclaimed Sherry casks that blend a special mix from Pedro Ximenez (PX), Oloroso, and Amontillado casks. In addition the decanters are also different, the regular repo bottle is white, with the usual blue detailing and a gold Agave “leaf” in the center. While the 20th anniversary has a gold top (instead of the usual silver) and a medallion in the center that says 20th anniversary. If you’re a collector (which I dabble in) it’s a gorgeous bottle and will be a wonderful addition to your collection after you finish the juice inside.
Without further ado, let’s get to the tasting notes shall we?
Nose: There was a sweet agave aroma up front on the nose while at the same time it maintained a mellow characteristic. I picked up a very nice, almost honey note in the smell. There was a little bit of a peppercorn aroma to it as well but that only surfaced after inhaling the aromas for a few minutes. Following that was a smell that was reminiscent of an agave liquor called Espiritu (side note: If you can find out where I can get a hold of that stuff legally in the states I would be much appreciative! I can provide a photo but google has proved useless), and towards the end/finish this Tequila started to give off some bready notes, as well as some notes of either barley or grain, still not quite sure.
Flavour: This was a nice, smooth and warm Tequila, so much so that it goes down almost like water! It’s a sweet expression, but manages to be slightly bitter at the same time. The sweetness has some notes of honey in there which was a nice touch. It’s reminiscent of scotch actually, which is a welcome change from the intense and sometimes overpowering agave flavours you can get with a Tequila. Don’t get me wrong, this still has that typical agave flavour, but it’s not overpowering. There are flavours of what I can only describe as “fermented fruit” and maybe even some pineapple.