Hey, there's another 100% agave tequila on the market. El Grado tequila is available in California, Arizona, and Texas so far. The tequila is made at Productos Regionales de Atotonilco, a distillery where they also produce brands El Rincon, Los Kikirikis, and Sol De Mexico, according to Tequila.net. Atotonilco is the town where they make Don Julio and Siete Leguas, so lots of good stuff comes from there.
The press release is rather vague on production details. The agave is from the Highlands,they use ex-Tennessee whiskey barrels for aging, and the picture of the still looks like it's tiny and made of stainless steel, but other than that we don't know anything about the treatment of the agave: autoclave, stone ovens, diffuser, tahona, etc..
So we'll just have to go on taste. I received samples of the reposado and anejo. The reposado is aged 6 months and the anejo for a minimum of 15 months.At first sniff, the buttery wood notes are pleasant with the baked mango yam and black pepper notes typical of agave following. On the reposado I get a lot of unbaked vegetal notes like wet spinach and olive brine with a mouth that suggests peeled sticks (not in a bad way). On the anejo, caramel pickled mango chutney on the nose gives way to a thin texture in the mouth with dominating shallow spices on the palate.
Of the two I like the reposado better as the anejo seems a bit clumsy, but I'd like to try the blanco sometime to see what I think about that.
Also, I like the caps on these bottles- not just style-wise, but because they work like a cork but are made of plastic and super easy to remove and replace. I wish more brands used them.