Did you know that the sense of smell is the most important sense in tequila/wine tasting? Many of us believe that tasting is just literally tasting it, savoring it or drinking it, but it is nothing like that, really. It's also smelling it. I've been working at Casa Sauza for seven years now, and during this time I have come to realize that my nose is an invaluable tool for of recognizing the best tequilas.
How to taste a tequila?
The way we perceive the aroma of a tequila here at Casa Sauza is by first, filling a third of a glass up with the tequila, we use must be special glass used for tasting purposes only -in terms of its shape- then, the tequila has to be sniffed without moving the glass, only by slightly inclining glass towards your nose.
*Riedel glass, perfect for tequila tasting
Try not to bring your nose too close to the glass, since due the concentration of alcohols of the tequila, it may seem a little aggressive.
How to appreciate tequila?
What I learned from my first tastings is to start with the bottom part, then the middle and finally, the top. This is achieved by gently rotating the tequila in the glass in order to increase the aromatic surface and discover all of the drink's profiles.
What are aromas?
We can only perceive 5 different basic flavors, with our sense of taste, but with our sense of smell, we perceive a whole lot more of aromas. All of Casa Sauza's tequilas have representative aromas. We achieve all these different profiles based on several chemical reactions which in the end offer different herbal, spicy, floral or fruity notes.
Tequila's own aromas
Our tequila is distilled in distillation towers and stills in order to separate its components, we then continue the process to give each tequila its own profile. In a tequila, we find primary tequila aromas, which come from the raw material (raw or cooked agave), secondary tequila aromas, mainly fruity, from fermentation and distillation and finally, tertiary tequila aromas, usually sweet, spicy and woody, which come from resting our tequila in oak barrels.
The main characteristics of a good tequila are its colors, flavors and smells. Why or how does the barrel where we rest our tequila give this spirit its specific colors, tones and aromas, which can vary between rested, aged, or ultra aged tequilas?
The barrel is key to the different tones of tequilas that we have. During its manufacture, barrels are given a toast that can go from light to medium or ultra toasted. The material they are made with, white oak, is also key to the aging process since it is due to the contact that tequila has with this wood, that it takes its color. The more roasted the oak barrel is, the more intense and smoked tones are achieved.
You now have more information about the aromas of tequila, if you want to know more, we also recommend the following articles:
Come and visit Casa Sauza, our chef will prepare the best tequila-based dishes you'll ever have. Have a tequila-based dish right at Tequila, Jalisco!