A couple of weeks before a team meeting scheduled for Minneapolis, my team leader called me and asked me if I could help with a very important assignment that would be right up my alley. I was excited as I wondered what did he have in mind? A market study? New technology? Ha!
No, the assignment was to put together a tequila tasting at the Mexican restaurant we would be going to for dinner one of the evenings of our meetings. OK, so he was right, this was right up my alley!
The dinner was to be held at Barrios, a very nice Mexican restaurant in downtown Minneapolis that features small plates and hundreds of tequilas. I the bar manager a week or so before the dinner to find out what they did have and select two for our tasting. While difficult, I did manage to select two that covered the broad range of tequilas that are available.
The first was Herradura Anejo. Herradura represents the tradition of tequila. The distillery has been in operation since 1870, although is, unfortunately, no longer a family operation, having been sold to Brown Forman in 2006. However, the old ways are still followed with this lowlands tequila. It is aged for 25 months in oak, is 80 proof and is a wonderful example of a classic aged tequila. During our tasting it exhibited a vanilla and oak character with a touch of agave on the finish.
The second tequila of the evening was the Milagro Barrel Select. Milagro (Spanish for miracle) is a new comer to the tequila scene and has only been in operation since 1997. Founded by Danny Schneweiss and Moy Guindi, the objective was to have a tequila that retained the character of Mexico. This is a highlands tequila and was aged in oak for 35 days, although is still considered a Blanco (silver or white tequila). It is triple distilled which helps create the smooth character and leaves a charcoal flavor on the palate. Agave, herbal and vanilla notes on the back end round out the flavor profiles.
All in all it was an educational experience – we had an aged and new tequila, we had an old family product and one from a new upstart and we had a highlands and a lowlands tequila. Only 138 left to go on Barrio’s menu!