Jose Cuervo recently entered the fast-growing cristalino tequila category with its new Jose Cuervo Tradicional Cristalino. It’s a nuanced expression that looks clear at first glance, but tells a deeper story when you really dive in.
It’s the first entry by Jose Cuervo into cristalino tequila, a category that’s been picking up steam in Mexico and has continued to make inroads in the United States in recent years. That might be an understatement: Cristalino is growing at four times the rate of the tequila category itself, according to Cuervo.
Now is as ideal a time as any for them to get into the game, so to speak. Jose Cuervo’s expression, built on 100 percent Blue Weber Agave plants from the Volcán de Tequila, blends three famed Cuervo expressions: Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo, Reposado and Añejo.
Reposado and Añejo are both matured in American Oak, while Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo is aged in French oak and American oak barrels. The blend goes heavy on Reposado, imparting cooked agave and a balanced, light herbal essence.
The real key, however, is Cuervo’s signature refinement process, which removes the amber color and leaves behind a clear tequila you might more commonly associate with the spirit itself.
“Cristalinos are exciting because they offer an incredibly smooth, yet complex tasting experience that’s unlike any other tequila expression,” said Alex Coronado, Head of Production and Master Distiller for Jose Cuervo. “When creating a Cristalino for Jose Cuervo, we wanted to make sure the liquid stayed true to the original Cuervo family recipe.”
On the palate of Jose Cuervo’s Cristalino, you’ll find cooked agave and light citrus notes, with silky, herbal flavors and touches of hazelnut and toffee.
On the finish, the slow distillation process imparts what Cuervo calls a “lingering sweet taste,” a nice touch that again reflects the craft and care put into each bottle of Jose Cuervo.
The process takes place at La Rojeña, the oldest active distillery in Latin America, following the same Cuervo recipe that’s been used since 1795 — not bad for carrying on heritage and history, right?
Call it the perfect balance between a new-school trend and old-world craftmanship, with all the flavor and quality you’d expect from the esteemed distiller.
The best part, though, might be the fact that Jose Cuervo’s latest tequila is highly accessible: Get your bottle of Tradicional Cristalino for an MSRP of $34.99, then enjoy it sipped neat, on the rocks or in your favorite tequila cocktail.
With a tequila this versatile, there’s really no wrong way to go. We’ll toast to that.