Tequila, by its very nature, is known to be fiery and, at the very least, a spirited spirit. Granted that over the years, it’s gotten smoother, tamer and tastier, so why in the world would anyone infuse Anejo Tequila with Serrano peppers and cinnamon? To most folks that would seem like a step backwards but not to David Weissman, who I’m guessing has a palate and stomach made of steel.
After two and a half years of R&D, David and his team finally came up with their secret formula, as well as their secret distilling process. However, they do share that their tequila is small batch, hand crafted, ultra-premium, 100% blue agave and fermented with Chilean winemaking yeast and aged 28 months in American white oak and then macerated with locally sourced Mexican green Serrano peppers and cinnamon. Soltado Tequila, 80 proof, is available at about $39.00 per 750ML bottle, so let’s stop dilly dallying and open a bottle and see if Mr. Weissman got it right!
Soltado Tequila comes in a black bottle emblazoned with licks of red flames, and very close to the bottom of that bottle, there is a small red pepper with the word PICANTE all in caps: fair warning! In the nose, the peppers and cinnamon take a back seat, aroma wise, to the tequila scent that bears a touch of oaky flavor. The nose is not really spicy, as such, but quite aromatic. On the palate, the picante remains somewhat tame and features the tequila, a touch of cinnamon a hint of the roasted peppers and roasted agave. However, all hell breaks loose picante wise when you swallow. The sweetness and spice and PICANTE all rush to fill the back of the mouth and throat. You really get a big blast of the Serrano peppers followed by the cinnamon with the tequila and oak sheepishly bringing up the rear, leaving a spicy and tingling tongue and throat. What started out as a pleasant, flavored tequila ends up with a spicy bang at the finish line.
I don’t know that I’d make this my stand alone tequila, as I really like the simple taste of agave and oak, but I sure wouldn’t hesitate to make a mess of mixed drinks with this tequila. As crazy as it might sound, I think I would substitute Soltado Tequila for vodka in a Bloody Mary. The spiciness would be perfect in that drink. If you think starting your day with vodka is a kick, you ought to try starting your day with this tequila!!
By George Brozowski