Thursday, January 14, 2010

Extra Anejo Tequila without the Extra Anejo Price

Costco is often a great place to buy liquor, especially when stocking up for a party or looking for cocktail basics. While their premium liquor selection is often small, the prices are hard to beat. Recently, Costco has entered the realm of private label spirits under their Kirkland label, starting with a vodka made by the same company that produces Grey Goose. The next spirit in this line is an extra anejo tequila, which hit the shelves late last fall.

The extra anejo category is a new one for tequila, only existing as a classification since 2006. These tequilas have been aged for a minimum of 3 years in oak barrels, more than regular anejo tequila that must be aged for a minimum of 1 year. At 3 years, tequila loses most of its fresh agave flavor, and takes on a taste closer to bourbon. Some well known extra anejo tequilas include the Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia and Don Julio 1942. In addition to the aging requirement, most extra anejo tequilas have in common a premium price. The Reserva de la Familia and the 1942 both retail for $80 to $100 per bottle, a high price for a 3-year old spirit.

Enter Costco. Their recently released Extra Anejo tequila breaks this price barrier and retails for $23.99. It's aged for 3 years in American oak barrels in the town of Tequila, Jalisco, by the Fabrica de Tequilas Finos. This company also makes the upscale Tonala brand. While not as smooth as Reserva de la Familia or Tonala, the Kirkland brand does have nice oakey tones, good vanilla sweetness, and a peppery finish. Though it is drinkable straight, an ice cube or two will tame the slight burn. Overall, it is an excellent bargain at this price, and is cheap enough to use in a margarita or other tequila cocktail. It is also the same price as a decent bourbon, and might be a good way to introduce a bourbon drinker to aged tequila.

No comments:

Post a Comment