Why Jose Cuervo Tequila is Like an Old High School Hook-Up
Tell me if this has happened to you. Back in high school, you hooked up with a little slam piece from class: There was some making out, maybe you touched her where she pees, and, if you were lucky, you got a little BJ that you could tell your bros about even though it felt like a rabid squirrel gnawing off the tip of your man stick. Overall, it was an awkward and painful experience leaving you in need of a little ointment and a big hug. Now fast-forward several years later. You and this same birdie reconnect, have a few drinks and find yourselves right back where you left off back in high school, only this time she's DTF and, unbeknownst to you, trained up like a adult entertainment star. You initiate reluctantly, but by the end you're lying there in a pool of sweat, drained of all bodily fluids and realizing you just had the ride of your life and now have to clean an eight-roper out of your ceiling fan. I bring this up because I just had an identical experience with the world's most notorious tequila brand, Jose Cuervo.
In my early drinking years, old Cuervo Especial, a.k.a. Cuervo Gold, was the first and only tequila I drank straight. After countless hangovers and hours spent recklessly sucking limes like they possessed the soul of Zeus, I dropped tequila from the rotation. Later on, after working at a tequila bar, I learned that Cuervo Especial is actually a “mixto,” a tequila that blends well into margaritas and fruit based drinks, but because it's made with less than 100% blue agave and is flavored with caramel and artificial coloring, has a brutal finish when drank straight. Sadly, like the old hook-up, the mixto rubbed me the wrong way (pun intended) and I wrote off the entire Cuervo portfolio while drowning myself in other brands made of 100% blue agave. As most of you know by now, Jose Cuervo invited BroBible to Mexico for the launch of its 2010 Reserva de la Familia tequila. Just like the old high school hookup, I approached reluctantly, having no idea I was about to get my bed rocked.
The first salute-worthy surprise, like the tooth-free fluffer that took me from six to midnight while I hummed “My Country Tis of Thee” in my head, was Jose Cuervo Platino, an ultra-premium silver that launched back in 2007. Silvers are typically known for having some spice, but holy shit, this tequila is as smooth as silk with a nice long finish that enunciates the earthiness and sweetness of blue agave. It's made using a proprietary process called “Esencia de Agave,” a distillation method that optimizes the tequila's agave notes, resulting in a super complex and distinctive tequila with hints of nut (no pun intended), pineapple, honey, and green herbs. Retailing for about $50, it's on the expensive side, but well worth it for such a versatile tequila.
Now to the main event: Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia. To be honest, the invitation to Mexico was the first time I had heard of this extra-anejo (extra-aged) tequila, even though it was introduced back in 1995 and has won countless awards around the world. What makes this tequila so bad ass is that it's made from minimum 10-year-old handpicked blue agave plants grown in the estate's richest volcanic soils. Using an intricate double-distillation and aging process that lasts a minimum of three years, along with the addition of other private reserves that have been aged for up to 30 years, the unique flavors of Reserva de la Familia come alive. I got to sample this spirit in the family cellar of La Rojena (Jose Cuervo's distillery) in the presence of two of tequila's heaviest hitters, Executive Director and direct descendant of the Cuervo family, Juan Domingo Beckmann, and Maestro Tequielero, Franz Hajnal.
This crown jewel of Cuervo's portfolio was served in a glass specially designed for drinking tequila, enhancing the nose and emphasizing the dark amber liquor's ridiculous body and viscosity, which is exposed by tipping the flute and seeing remnants of the liquid stick to the sides of the glass and slowly drip back down (see above). After inhaling the spicy floral and oak aroma, the first sip draws a warm mellow taste of agave, vanilla, nut, and Cognac-like flavors. The layers of flavor build on each other after each sip, leaving you with an insanely robust experience, like getting finished off by the old hook-up reverse cowgirl style while slapping some air bass.
The handcrafted box that holds the Reserva is a story in itself. The short version is that each year since 1995, Jose Cuervo has selected an up-and-coming Mexican artist to paint the box in celebration of Mexico's culture. This year, it was a dude named Pablo Vargas Lugo and you can see the designs above. Visit the Cuervo site to see all the past artists. Hands down, Jose Cuervo has some of the finest tequilas in the world, which are products of over 200 years of love and innovation of tequila crafting. Even though most bros are introduced to Jose Cuervo through violent morning-after sacrifices of their very own “mixtos” of bile and chum complements of Especial, given the chance to taste and love the real Jose Cuervo, they'll be wondering where it's been all their lives — just like when we've had our socks knocked off from an old hook-up learning how to operate a boner. Now while I can't legally stuff the old hook-up in my liquor cabinet, I have loaded it with Tradicional, Platino, and Reserva. Tradicional Silver will join the band when it's released nationwide this year. Thanks again to the folks at Jose Cuervo for being such gracious hosts and throwing a killer party.