Pros: $20 a bottle for a sipping tequila?! Great. Soft sugar and oak notes
Cons: none for this price
Jose Cuervos affordable ultra premium, Cuervo Black Medallion. Jose released this 40% ABV, 100% a?ejo tequila nationally this month. With a big brother like parent company Diageo plc., their campaign will mean ads in Playboy, Rolling Stone, themed parties, and even an offer to have fine-free endzone areas at NFL games, etc.
International Managing Director, Carlos Arana, says, This smooth, rich and versatile spirit shatters tequila stereotypes by offering consumers a step up in quality, taste and style while giving them a reason to stay in the tequila category. The Diageo rep that I got my sample from immediately tried to impress me with the aged at least 12 months in charred oak barrels, and the oak imparts a caramel and vanilla taste.
THE POUR - This tequila actually pours a darker gold color, almost an amber gold. The color immediately alludes to the aging and the charred barrel. I was thinking that I was talking about bourbon with the rep when he was pushing the aging, the oak, and the charred barrel qualities. Most spirits of quality do age their products (whisky, bourbon, rum, sherry, etc.) so I guess Cuervo decided to market an affordable top shelf product.
THE NOSE - This is the first time I inhaled the scents of a $20 tequila and did not have to wipe the tears away from my burning eyes. The Cuervo Blacks harsh, astringent tequila aroma was replaced with a smoother sugary scent. It was hard to pull out notes like one can with beers and whiskeys but the new process for Cuervo Black Medallion was pleasantly evident. The tequila almost had a scent like drinking in a library of leather-bound books and newly cut oak.
THE TASTE - The rep pouring the samples only offered them neat. I was thinking that I was too old for tequila shots and that I should at least have an ice cube or two. Their website even suggests drinking this with a splash of cola, lime, or on the rocks. But here goes drinking a $20/bottle tequila straight
Surprisingly, I was not knocked off my feet and the tears still had yet to come. Instead of the burn and numbing sensation one would expect with cheaper tequila, Cuervo Blacks alcohol warmth was coupled with slight sugar and oaks notes. The sweetness was nothing compared to the first Jack Daniels notes it was just enough to cover the tequila burn. This tequila can actually be sipped neat. I later went and got a glass of water and secured some ice cubes for another sample. You will not be surprised to learn that the water adds sweetness, it adds more oak notes, and it softens the alcohol burn even more.
THE AFTERTASTE - Even neat, the Jose Cuervo Black Medallion allows you to taste food and other beverages soon thereafter. The aftertaste is a sugary warmth with subtle nutty notes.
I would suggest that adding cola would result in a drink much like a Jack and Coke but with you guessed it tequila notes. I would even suggest getting one of those Cokes with Lime and try that it almost makes me want to get a bottle right now and experiment.
I would not suggest drinking this with sour mix - NO MARGARITAS. The notes in this tequila do not compliment the super sugary and tacky mixes out there. Cuervo will not promote Cuervo Black on margarita posters so what do you think they suggest?
Overall, I think Diageo and Jose Cuervo are really onto a blockbuster here. This bottle sells for just $20 and it is actually a sippable tequila that will not make you think of those college parties where you woke up drooling on the frat house floor.
Below is just some more propaganda from Diageo, Cuervo, and Tequila Aficionado:
Jose Cuervo is king. At 47 percent market share, nearly half of all tequila sold is a Cuervo product. But the bad news is 88 percent of all tequila, including Cuervo products, is consumed in one of two ways: Shots or Margaritas.
By the age of 25 the average man has cut his shots consumption by 20 percent.
The target consumers for Cuervo Black are men 25 to 34 years old evolving to sophisticated drink choices. Now these consumers are drinking whiskeys, rums, and vodkas, usually mixed with cola. For leading brands, about 60 percent of consumption is with cola. Compare that to tequila where 60 percent of consumption is in margaritas.
The tagline for the campaign is Dont Let Go. The idea is to encourage consumers to grab life by the horns. Hold on to your spirit. Hold on to the moment. Hold on to the party.
Diageo also owns: Johnnie Walker, Bushmills, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, and Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.