Every year in the month of January The Spirit Business stages the Tequila and Mezcal Masters awards and for 2022 it’s that time.
The Tequila & Mezcal Masters competition is a drive to find and reward the finest tequila & mezcal brands on the world stage. Chaired by The Spirits Business and a panel of leading spirits specialists, the tequilas and mezcals are judged in a blind tasting, to discover the Tequila & Mezcal Masters of the year. The awards are distributed on the basis of categories.
First panel of 2022: Nicola Carruthers, deputy editor of The Spirits Business magazine, Michael Fichtner, head bartender at the Coburg Bar at The Connaught hotel in London, Bryan Rodriguez, wine and spirits buyer at Harvey Nichols, formed the first panel.
Second panel of 2022 : Bernadette Pamplin, freelance spirits writer and founder of the Under the gInfluence blog, Dimple Athavia, founder of All Things Drinks, and David T Smith, spirits writer, consultant and co‐founder of the Craft Distilling Expo, formed the second team.
Third panel of 2022 : Matt Chambers, co‐founder of the Whisky for Everyone blog and the North London Whisky Club, Evan Prousaefs, bar manager and assistant general manager of Los Mochis restaurant in London’s Notting Hill, and Chris Tanner, bar manager at Milroy’s. Melita Kiely, the editor of The Spirits Business, chaired the panel.
Here are the grounds on which the drinks were judged :
The Beginning Round:
In the Mixto Tequila Blanco category, the silver awards were won by El Sueño Tequila Silver and Sierra Tequila Silver. They said El Sueño Tequila Silver was “light and bright” on the nose, with “delicate citrus and a peppery palate”.
In the 100% agave category, the most expected Tequila Exotico Blanco secured the top award for offering “fruity” aromas and “lovely spice on the palate”.
Moving on to the next category that is 100% Agave Tequila Super‐Premium Blanco Terman Tequila Blanco was discovered.
El Mayor Tequila Blanco also won a Gold medal for complex aromas of “ripe stone fruits and dried florals”, leading to “chilli, pepper and citrus” on the palate.
“These Tequilas were worth the price point. If I were able to buy any of these in the lower, mid‐range of the price point especially, I’d be stoked.”By Tanner
The next round was about Mixto Tequila Reposado wherein Sierra Tequila Reposado secured Silver for aromas of “fruit, vegetal notes and the other one that took silver medal was El Sueño Tequila Gold for delivering “some grassy notes” on the palate, and a “nice spiciness”.
The 100% agave tequila ultra-premium Reposado opened up with a number of surprises. El Tequileño The Sassenach Select Double Wood Reposado won the first medal for “clean and fresh palate with increasing savoury notes, honey, vanilla, late pepper and bitter herbals”.
Mixto Tequila – Blanco
|Sueño Drinks||El Sueño Tequila Silver||Silver|
|Borco International||Sierra Tequila Silver||Silver|
100% Agave Tequila – Premium Blanco
|Luxco||Tequila Exotico Blanco||Master|
100% Agave Tequila – Super‐Premium Blanco
|Siete Bucks Spirits||Teremana Tequila Blanco||Master|
|Diageo||Tequila Don Julio Blanco||Gold|
|Pernod Ricard||Olmeca Altos Plata||Gold|
|Fraternity Spirits||Corralejo Blanco Tequila||Gold|
|Borco International||Sierra Tequila Antiguo Plata||Gold|
|Luxco||El Mayor Tequila Blanco||Gold|
|Proximo Spirits||1800 Blanco||Gold|
|Vivir Drinks||Vivir Tequila Blanco||Silver|
|Proximo Spirits||Jose Cuervo Tradicional Plata||Silver|
100% Agave Tequila – Ultra‐Premium Blanco
|Borco International||Sierra Milenario Tequila Fumado||Gold|
|Borco International||Sierra Milenario Tequila Blanco||Gold|
|Calirosa Tequila||Calirosa Tequila Rosa Blanco||Gold|
|Otaca Tequila||Otaca Tequila||Gold|
|Tequila Diamanté||Tequila Diamanté Blanco||Gold|
|Proximo Spirits||Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia Platino||Gold|
|Altos Planos Collective||Mijenta Blanco||Silver|
|Pernod Ricard||Avión Silver||Silver|
Mixto Tequila – Reposado
|Borco International||Sierra Tequila Reposado||Silver|
|Sueño Drinks||El Sueño Tequila Gold||Silver|
One for the complexities
In the añejo categories what won the hearts of the judges were two of the topmost drinks. The first Sierra Tequila Antiguo and El Mayor Tequila Añejo. The judges quoted that the former had a brilliant nose full of earthy spice, pepper” and “very well integrated oak” while the latter had “bright agave on the nose, salted caramel notes; great balance of spirit and wood”.
Three of the extra añejo Tequilas were the deserving winners of a master medal. First of all, Avión Reserva 44 received the Master award for its “nutty” aroma, and “moreish” flavours of “chocolate, toffee and citrus peel”.Sierra Milenario Extra Añejo also received the top award for its “complex” profile.
100% Agave Tequila – Premium Reposado
|El Silencio||Tequila Dahlia Cristalino||Master|
|Luxco||Tequila Exotico Reposado||Gold|
|Fraternity Spirits||Corralejo Reposado Tequila||Silver|
100% Agave Tequila – Super‐Premium Reposado
|Pernod Ricard||Olmeca Altos Reposado||Master|
|Lobos 1707 Tequila and Mezcal||Lobos 1707 Reposado Tequila||Gold|
|El Tequileño||El Tequileño Cristalino||Gold|
|Siete Bucks Spirits||Teremana Tequila Reposado||Gold|
|Vivir Drinks||Vivir Tequila Reposado||Gold|
|Proximo Spirits||Gran Centenario Reposado||Gold|
|Proximo Spirits||1800 Reposado||Gold|
|Proximo Spirits||Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado||Gold|
|Proximo Spirits||Jose Cuervo Tradicional Cristalino||Gold|
|For The Love Of||Tiempo Tequila||Silver|
|Diageo||Don Julio Reposado||Silver|
100% Agave Tequila – Ultra‐Premium Reposado
|El Tequileño||El Tequileño The Sassenach SelectDouble Wood Reposado||Master|
|Altos Planos Collective||Mijenta Reposado||Master|
|Borco International||Sierra Milenario Tequila Reposado||Gold|
|Brown‐Forman||Tequila Herradura Reposado||Gold|
|Proximo Spirits||Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia Reposado||Gold|
|Proximo Spirits||Dobel Diamante||Gold|
|Tequila Diamanté||Tequila Diamanté Reposado||Gold|
100% Agave Tequila – Super‐Premium Añejo
|Borco International||Sierra Tequila Antiguo||Master|
|Luxco||El Mayor Tequila Añejo||Master|
|Diageo||Don Julio Añejo||Gold|
|Pernod Ricard||Avión Añejo||Gold|
|Pernod Ricard||Olmeca Altos Añejo||Gold|
|Proximo Spirits||1800 Añejo||Gold|
|Proximo Spirits||Gran Centenario Añejo||Gold|
|Vivir Drinks||Vivir Tequila Añejo||Silver|
|Fraternity Spirits||Corralejo Añejo Tequila||Silver|
|Proximo Spirits||Jose Cuervo Tradicional Añejo||Silver|
100% Agave Tequila – Ultra‐Premium Añejo
|Fraternity Spirits||Corralejo 99,000 Horas Añejo||Master|
|Calirosa Tequila||Calirosa Tequila Añejo||Gold|
|Fraternity Spirits||Corralejo 1821||Gold|
|Proximo Spirits||1800 Cristalino||Gold|
|Tequila Diamanté||Tequila Diamanté Añejo||Gold|
Some of the most sassy notes
100% Agave Mezcal Category began with some of the funkiest notes. Master medal was awarded to Mezcal Artesanal Noble Coyote – Coyote de Amatlán. Two Gold medals were given to “classic, earthy” Matra Mezcal and “very smooth” Mezcal Artesanal Noble Coyote Espadín‐Tobalá, with “ripe banana” notes. A Silver medal went to Mezcal Artesanal Noble Coyote Jabalí.
100% Agave Mezcal – Joven
|Pacific and Lime||Mezcal Artesanal Noble Coyote –Coyote de Amatlán||Master|
|Matra Mezcal||Matra Mezcal||Gold|
|Pacific and Lime||Mezcal Artesanal Noble Coyote – Espadín‐Tobalá||Gold|
|Pacific and Lime||Mezcal Artesanal Noble Coyote – Jabalí||Silver|
At the end
It was a game for who will be the winner of the Tequila and Mezcal Masters awards and then the judges came in a conclusion to give the title to Sierra Milenario Tequila Extra Añejo.
“Five or 10 years ago, nobody would put investment into research and development for Tequila, but now producers are in a position to start messing around a bit more, which means they must have confidence in the consumer.”By Tanner