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Looking for a bottle of premium tequila? Read our expert review of a spirit with delicious peppery cinnamon notes, perfect for a Mexican negroni.
Straight from the highlands of Jalisco (a coastal Mexican state) is this deliciously balanced tequila, made with one eye on the past and one eye on the future. Truly an artisan offering, the distillery itself is based in the highlands, putting the operation close to where the agave is grown. Cazcabel Reposado is chewy with caramel and punchy with cinnamon and pepper – it makes an excellent Mexican negroni.
Agave plants grow best in the highlands – tequila makers head up there to harvest, then come back down to distil. Cazcabel goes the extra mile by both harvesting and distilling in the highlands. The firm is named after local legend Don Cazcabel, a ‘snake man’ famed for his healing powers and commitment to Toltec, Olmec and Aztec traditions.
The distillery sticks to strict processes passed down through generations, never cutting corners to save on costs or labour and only using the finest ingredients available. The agave used in distillation grows high up in the Jalisco mountains – the altitude ensures that the plants stay hydrated and the nutrient-rich soil helps them grow to a larger-than-average size.
When it comes to harvest time, the piña of the plant is used. The word piña translates to pineapple, but refers to the heart of the agave plant (which looks very similar to the tropical fruit). The piñas are taken back to the distillery where they are steamed in high-tech autoclaves, converting carbohydrates into fermentable sugars. These sugars are fermented for 10 days in steel tanks before being distilled in copper and pot stills. The distillate is then chill-filtered to remove any impurities.
Cazcabel Reposado is aged for at least nine months in American oak barrels. The influence of the maturation is immediately evident in the punchy cinnamon notes on the palate, tempered by caramel and figs, with agave wrapping the whole lot in a silky blanket.
This tequila makes an excellent Mexican negroni, a warmer and silkier twist on the classic. In a short glass, pour 30ml Cazcabel Reposado, 20ml each of sweet vermouth and Campari, and 10ml Aperol. Then add a large orange twist and a cinnamon stick to garnish.
This review was last updated in March 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.