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Tequila and Mescal awards

Tequila & Mezcal Masters 2022 By The Spirit Business 

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

CompanyProduct Medal
Sueño DrinksEl Sueño Tequila SilverSilver
Borco InternationalSierra Tequila SilverSilver

100% Agave Tequila – Premium Blanco

CompanyProduct Medal
LuxcoTequila Exotico BlancoMaster

100% Agave Tequila – Super‐Premium Blanco

CompanyProduct Medal
Siete Bucks SpiritsTeremana Tequila BlancoMaster
DiageoTequila Don Julio BlancoGold
Pernod RicardOlmeca Altos PlataGold
Fraternity SpiritsCorralejo Blanco TequilaGold
Borco InternationalSierra Tequila Antiguo PlataGold
LuxcoEl Mayor Tequila BlancoGold
Proximo Spirits1800 BlancoGold
Vivir DrinksVivir Tequila BlancoSilver
Proximo SpiritsJose Cuervo Tradicional PlataSilver

100% Agave Tequila – Ultra‐Premium Blanco

CompanyProduct Medal
Borco InternationalSierra Milenario Tequila FumadoGold
Borco InternationalSierra Milenario Tequila BlancoGold
Calirosa TequilaCalirosa Tequila Rosa BlancoGold
Otaca TequilaOtaca TequilaGold
Tequila DiamantéTequila Diamanté BlancoGold
Proximo SpiritsJose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia PlatinoGold
Altos Planos CollectiveMijenta BlancoSilver
Pernod RicardAvión SilverSilver

Mixto Tequila – Reposado

CompanyProduct Medal
Borco InternationalSierra Tequila ReposadoSilver
Sueño DrinksEl Sueño Tequila GoldSilver

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

CompanyProduct Medal
El SilencioTequila Dahlia CristalinoMaster
LuxcoTequila Exotico ReposadoGold
Fraternity SpiritsCorralejo Reposado TequilaSilver

100% Agave Tequila – Super‐Premium Reposado

CompanyProduct Medal
Pernod RicardOlmeca Altos ReposadoMaster
Lobos 1707 Tequila and MezcalLobos 1707 Reposado TequilaGold
El TequileñoEl Tequileño CristalinoGold
Siete Bucks SpiritsTeremana Tequila ReposadoGold
Vivir DrinksVivir Tequila ReposadoGold
Proximo SpiritsGran Centenario ReposadoGold
Proximo Spirits1800 ReposadoGold
Proximo SpiritsJose Cuervo Tradicional ReposadoGold
Proximo SpiritsJose Cuervo Tradicional CristalinoGold
For The Love OfTiempo TequilaSilver
DiageoDon Julio ReposadoSilver

100% Agave Tequila – Ultra‐Premium Reposado

CompanyProduct Medal
El TequileñoEl Tequileño The Sassenach SelectDouble Wood ReposadoMaster
Altos Planos CollectiveMijenta ReposadoMaster
Borco InternationalSierra Milenario Tequila ReposadoGold
Brown‐FormanTequila Herradura ReposadoGold
Proximo SpiritsJose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia ReposadoGold
Proximo SpiritsDobel DiamanteGold
Tequila DiamantéTequila Diamanté ReposadoGold

100% Agave Tequila – Super‐Premium Añejo

CompanyProduct Medal
Borco InternationalSierra Tequila AntiguoMaster
LuxcoEl Mayor Tequila AñejoMaster
DiageoDon Julio AñejoGold
Pernod RicardAvión AñejoGold
Pernod RicardOlmeca Altos AñejoGold
Proximo Spirits1800 AñejoGold
Proximo SpiritsGran Centenario AñejoGold
Vivir DrinksVivir Tequila AñejoSilver
Fraternity SpiritsCorralejo Añejo TequilaSilver
Proximo SpiritsJose Cuervo Tradicional AñejoSilver

100% Agave Tequila – Ultra‐Premium Añejo

CompanyProduct Medal
Fraternity SpiritsCorralejo 99,000 Horas AñejoMaster
Calirosa TequilaCalirosa Tequila AñejoGold
Fraternity SpiritsCorralejo 1821Gold
Proximo Spirits1800 CristalinoGold
Tequila DiamantéTequila Diamanté AñejoGold

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

CompanyProduct Medal
Pacific and LimeMezcal Artesanal Noble Coyote –Coyote de AmatlánMaster
Matra MezcalMatra MezcalGold
Pacific and LimeMezcal Artesanal Noble Coyote – Espadín‐TobaláGold
Pacific and LimeMezcal Artesanal Noble Coyote – JabalíSilver

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
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