Pros: Inexpensive, smooth, good flavor.
Cons: Not 100% agave, too much citrus ...
Lets take a ride to Tequila. I drove through there once well, twice if you count going and coming. It is a rather dusty town, not all that large somewhere around 50,000 inhabitants, although it is rather close to the very large city of Guadalajara. For those of you not into geography, that's state of Jalisco, in Central Mexico.
Surrounding this town are mountains that range from anywhere 4000 feet to 9000 feet. My kind of place. And in those mountains are the blue agave plant a large (6-foot) cactus-type things that look like an aloe plant. And it is these plants that provide the sugar for the beverage known as tequila.
In Tequila there are several stores where you can buy, amazingly enough, tequila. And not the fun stuff you buy in bottles there you can buy it by the gallon out of a milk jug. Thats something! There are hundreds of companies that make the stuff, most will not be found in your local liquor store. One of the largest and the one with the factory you can visit in downtown Tequila, is Tequila Herradura. Their symbol is a giant horseshoe, which you will find at the bottom of the el Jimador bottle.
But Tequila Herradura is owned now by Brown-Furman. You might recognize these guys by their slightly more famous brand Jack Daniels. They deal in volume. El Jimador, then, is a liquor based on volume and sold on price. This is not your full, well-aged, expensive tequila. On the other hand, it is not sold in 1-gallon milk jugs, either.
Tequila brands now come in five different styles: these are oro, blanco, reposado, anejo, maduro. Each of these stands for how long the tequila is aged. The oro and the blanco are not aged at all, although supposedly the blanco is a bit more pure because nothing is added. The reposado, anejo and maduro are all aged in oak barrels prior to bottling.
Now there is one more thing I should mention about tequila before I get into the flavor of this particular tequila. All tequila comes from the agave plant grown in Mexico. Agave juice is a bit expensive, however, so tequila only needs 51% agave juice. The rest can come from any type of grain alcohol you want to throw in there. The best tequilas will say 𣺜% agave right on the bottle, because it is more expensive to use 100% agave and because 100% agave is a bit of a selling point.
Now you know: el Jimador is a blanco (not aged) from Tequila Herradura (big company). Further, nowhere on the bottle does it say 𣺜% agave, so we can assume that it is less then 100% agave. Chances are that it is 51% agave. This makes it relatively cheap. But is it tasty?
Into the glass it goes It is very clear, like water, but a little bit thicker. Kinda pours like regular unleaded. There is a very strong citrus odor. It is not lemons more like lemon peel. Next to your nose there is also a masking alcohol odor it is very heavy and somewhat unbearable. You wont gag when you smell it, but you will wince a hair. Away from your nose, however, is that heavy lemony citrus odor.
Now for the taste: Smooth. For a cheap tequila, this is a very smooth beverage. Its not an 18-year old scotch, but for a cheap tequila, its about the best out there. There is very little burn. Instead you get a flavor of citrus maybe oranges mixed with lemon. A slight twist of sweetness will rise out of the flavor, too. But not much burn.
Now for the swallow. There is a heavy citrus aftertaste, maybe a little numbing on your tongue, and relatively little aftertaste. A few seconds after hitting your stomach you will get a decent burn in your stomach, but it is slower to arrive then with other cheap alcohols. The taste remaining is a bit lemony, with just a trace of jalepeno. Overall, a very pleasant experience, and drinkable straight if you are in the mood.
Lots of Americans like to drink their tequila shots with lemons and salt. Im not quite sure where this came from. This tequila, however, seems designed to do that. It already has a heavy citrus odor and a heavy citrus taste adding the lemons will only bring out that flavor further. This tequila will also mix well with a margarita, since it already has the lemony-citrus flavor associated with a margarita.
On the other hand, you could water it down with rocks and still have a pretty good beverage. Im not sure that it really goes with all that much perhaps tortillas or something. But it is still rather good. Before you go out and buy a bottle, however, youll want to note that citrus flavor/odor if youre a purist and dont want this smell in your beverage, you wont like this one. Ill give it four stars as tequila goes, its better than average.