Let’s get something out in the open. I am, by no means, a tequila expert. I enjoy the spirit, but haven’t had a ton of experience with it. That said, I’ve been really disappointed by the number of tequila cocktails I’ve featured on Cocktail Hacker over the last couple years. Truth be told, there aren’t a ton of them out there to work with. Obstacles aside I promised myself to keep looking. So, when I was contacted about receiving some samples of a new tequila being launched in the US, Olmeca Altos, I jumped at the opportunity. Seemed perfect impetus for me to find a great tequila cocktail to mix them with. And, indeed, I’ve been using them for my Tequila Sunrises to great success.
Olmeca Altos is one line in the Olmeca family of tequilas that includes Olmeca, Olmeca Altos and Tezon. Olmeca Altos differentiates itself from the others in that all of the blue agave used in its production is grown in the Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico. The clay-like properties of the soil in this area make it particularly good for growing agave and the mineral content gives the plants from that region their own special character. All of the Olmeca Altos tequilas are 100% blue agave and they’re all 40% ABV. Pretty much par for the course for the premium tequila market.
Olmeca Altos Plata – 40% ABV
This tequila has a very clean, crisp aroma dominated by the nice smell of agave. Which, while dominant, is by no means overpowering. The flavor follows suit. It’s an extremely clean flavor. Agave is again the main player with the flavor lingering for quite some time on the palate. There is a very subtle sweetness present in the tequila as well that I found quite pleasant. Finally there is no “burn” per se, but rather a light warmth. Overall a very nice tequila and definitely my choice for mixing cocktails. The agave flavor is prominent enough to where it isn’t lost to other flavors but still very smooth.
Olmeca Altos Reposado – 40% ABV
The reposado version of Olmeca Altos presents a very warm golden color. The agave in the nose is less prominent than I found in the plata, but still present. This was paralleled by the flavor with a gentler agave taste and more flavors of the wood coming through. The pleasant sweetness that I enjoyed in the plata is still present here as well. This representation is very well balanced. The tequila maintains the agave core flavor, but mellows and increases in complexity during the barrel aging process. I could definitely see myself enjoying this as a sipping tequila. Finally, while this tequila also makes a great cocktail it’s much more subdued than the plata. For me I enjoy the agave flavor coming through in my cocktails so I’ll stick to the plata for cocktails and the reposado for sipping.
If you’re interested in learning more about Olmeca Altos and the tequila process as a whole you should check out the Olmeca Altos page on YouTube. They’ve released the first two of five short films and I really enjoyed them both. You get an up close and personal view of the land, the process and the people.
One last note. For those of you across the pond, Olmeca Altos is nothing new to you. And, that said, the stuff we’re just now getting in the US is the same that you’ve enjoyed for some time. I’m a bit envious.
† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy