At the end of the 17thcentury, the Swedish naturalist, Carl Van Linneo, began the scientific investigation of the agave plant. At that time, it was named agave, which means “magnificent” or “admirable” in Latin, and “Noble” in Greek. In Jalisco, around 1898, a botanist named Weber was the first to identify the “agave tequilero” or blue agave. In 1902, the name Agave Tequilana Weber was proposed. The “blue” was later added to the name since it was the color that the plants would present when they were healthy. This is what makes Tequila.There are 1.2 million acres of Mexico planted with Blue Agave that are tended by over 200,000 agave farmers. There are 142 registered tequila distilleries in Mexico producing 1,155 certified brands with over 2,000 brand names.
Now, I must admit to having tried plenty of Tequila during my life, but I can guarantee you that I have not even come close to trying 2,000 brands – although there were many a Monday morning I felt like I had tried several hundred over just that weekend.Most tequila starts with agave bought on the open market from multiple sources and then distilled at one of the many distilleries. However, Partida Tequila stands out among this gaggle of agave because it all comes from one source , the Partida family fields near Jalisco, and is distilled at their own distillery giving them unique and total control over the Tequila production from start to finish.This attention to detail, along with a little help from Jack Daniels and his bourbon barrels, has garnered this Tequila accolades year after year accumulating Gold and Silver awards at numerous competitions and high compliments from the likes of The New York Times, Time Magazine, The Robb Report and way many more. Wine Enthusiast hails it as the world’s top rated tequila. That’s all good and well, but George’s Rants and Raves has yet to weigh in, and as we all know, my opinion is the only one that really matters, especially to me!
Partida Blanco: $50.00
Warm and welcoming nose of muted vanilla and agave with subdued citrus notes, a surprisingly laid back nose especially for an un-aged tequila. It is thick and clings to the glass. It is not sharp like other blanco’s or silver’s I have tried. Bright and pleasantly peppery on the tongue it reminds me of a sweet and delicious lime flavored cheese cake I once tried. It is thick and syrupy and dare I say sweet. The finish is very, very smooth and leaves a lingering tingle on the tongue. I am beginning to see what the others saw.
Partida Reposado: $55.00
Rested six months and pale yellow in color, it has a sweeter and more developed nose than the Blanco but that’s certainly not to take away from the Blanco. It has elegant agave and floral highlights at the front and a creamy buttery butterscotch back. Toffee smells very similar to this when it first comes out of the oven. I can even perceive a hint of lime and I must say that this Tequila does not need the traditional slice as it would just get in the way. Now, this is true sipping tequila! It is warm and gentle on the tongue with tropical notes and agave flavor but quite laid back like a great scotch, not overpowering but powerfully convincing like an “I love you” whispered in your ear. The finish is restrained and even delicate leaving a warmth in the mouth. Maybe, just maybe all those other guys were on to something here.
Partida Anejo: $60.00
Aged 18 months and honey golden in color, a strong nose of agave and oak up front and pepper in the back. This is a definite statement whereas the Reposado was more of a whisper yet there is no shouting, it is very convincing. It is peppery with agave and floral highlights and hints of vanilla and bourbon and bolder than the Reposado yet just as smooth. The finish is firmer than the Reposado yet quite pleasant. I have to agree with my peers that this hooch ROCKS! Definitely among the very best on the market and really quite reasonably priced. I would have of course loved to have tried and rated their Elegante Tequila that they age for 40 months and sell for $350.00 per bottle, but the cheap bastards didn’t send me a sample.
By George Brozowski
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