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Read our expert review of a tequila so fine, it's best drunk with just one ice cube. Expect a tequila packed with chewy fudge and creamy vanilla notes.
This 100 per cent agave tequila is on a mission to change perceptions of the spirit in the UK. An exquisite sipping tequila delivered in a striking bottle, it's best enjoyed with just a single ice cube and nothing more. It's packed with chewy fudge and creamy vanilla notes, as well as a mature, lingering smokiness.
When tequila was first regulated in 1949, the rules stipulated that it had to be made using 100 per cent agave sugars. These restrictions have since loosened. Now, tequila can be made with just 51 per cent agave, plus sugars from either sugarcane or corn – these are called 'mixto' tequilas.
Navindh Grewal and Paul Hayes share a love for 100 per cent agave tequila – Paul has even had allergic reactions to mixto tequilas. So, in 2016, the friends decided to bring a premium 100 per cent agave tequila to the UK to change the nation’s perception of the spirit.
They chose the Casa Maestri distillery – a fifth generation, family-run operation in Jalisco – to make VIVIR. The distillery uses only the highest-quality Highland Weber Blue agave, allowing the plant to grow to full maturity for eight or nine years before harvesting. This ensures a sweet flavour, and allows the plant to flower and seed, guaranteeing next year’s crop.
VIVIR is packaged in a less-traditional sleek, short bottle with a matte finish, and is emblazoned with a logo in tribute to Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec God who gave agave to the world.
The tequila is aged for 18 months in American oak barrels, imparting deep, decadent flavours (think caramel and cocoa) and a golden hue. The barrel also adds a sweet, smoky character, which is matched by the smokiness created by cooking the agave plant in a clay oven. The nose transports you to a summer barbecue – agave charred over an oak fire, with caramel and marshmallow in the distance.
The palate is full of chewy fudge, stretched caramel and vanilla. There are also earthy notes of dry thyme. Vanilla dominates an enduring and satisfying finish. Drink VIVIR Tequila Añejo in a short glass, with one ice cube – you don’t want to get in the way of greatness here.
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 email@example.com.