Inexpensive Tequilla - NICE!
Just spotted these very reasonably priced 100% agave tequilas at the local package store:
El espolon 20 <---- i think this is a nice product
El jimador 20
Azul by centenario 21
El charro 19
El Cazadores was around 20
Corzo was on closeout for 19.99 in all 3 varieties <----not a fan
They also got in Sauza Blue which is the low end 100% agave line. Think it was around $20
Not so long ago, a reasonably priced 100% agave was impossible to find. At these price points there isnt really any excuse to get a mixto.
Have the trend chasers moved on? There seems to be a sudden increase in trendy expensive Ryes...
I have a bottle of Azul reposado on my bar at the moment. I like Centenario products so gave this a try. It has a nice fresh taste and was easy to sip neat. Well it seems most things are easy for me to sip neat these days.
I am currently sipping a Bowman's single barrel rye. Not cheap :( I never thought of myself as a trend chaser :((
At my local Sam's Club, it carries a house brand 100 percent agave tequila called Calle Azul Anejo for $15.91, which is an excellent at the sub-$20 price point. Sam's also carries Jose Cuervo Tradicional [sp?] for $20.99, which is a nice bottle at the $20 price point.
My favorite in that price range is El Ultimo Agave - the blanco is $20 in NC ($17 this month) but is around $13 in the Atlanta area. The repo and anejo can be had for under $20 in Atl (N/A in NC though) and are also good, a little on the sweet side but a lot of agave taste and quite sippable neat.
30-30 repo is $20 here, also very good - not as much agave taste as the El Ultimo but smooth with some chocolate and coffee taste, reminiscent of Don Julio Repo.
Not a fan of El Jimador, El Charro was OK for the $14 I paid but I would not buy it again unless El Ultimo was not available.
I tried a small sample of Corzo silver once and thought it was pretty good, but this was after a spicy dinner and my palate was not anywhere near fresh.
Everyone seems to love Espolon, I find it kind of overly smooth and bland, though nothing unpleasant about it. Reminds me a lot of Patron at half the price.
I have bottles of Camarena blanco and repo, I liked them at first but the more I have tried them the less I am a fan. Both have estery noses and some off flavors, though not really bad - just not as good as some of the others in that price range.
I have yet to try Cazadores or Azul, but at those prices I would definitely bite. Given my experiences with anything by Sauza (namely Hornitos) I would likely pass on that.
I would add Luna Azul to that list. It's usually $20 and I've seen it as low as $16 in New Hampshire state liquor stores.
Right now our house inexpensive one is Espolon (one of which we bought, the other we were sent).
The one that is appearing a lot in Boston bars is Zapopan (around $18?). It tastes fine in cocktails. Would have to taste straight to get a better appreciation of it, but it seems a bit less vegetal and interesting than others.
I'm a fan of Espolon. I'd also add Hacienda Vieja to the list which is essentially the old Cazadores tequila. When the Banuelos family sold Cazadores, they only sold the brand not the recipe. They are now making the same tequila they always did under the Hacienda Vieja name and it's very good for a tequila under $20.