Something new, well at least for us, was to get our hands on some flavoured tequila from Tanteo. Normally we'd advise avoiding these sort of things as the flavour is usually an additive that's been thrown in, but Tanteo are infusing their tequila to get these flavours so, along with it's attractive packaging, it entices you to see what it's all about.
Flavoured tequila was previously prohibited by the CRT, but in 2006 the rules surrounding the infusion of tequilas with various flavours was relaxed allowing for the production of these drinks.
Name: Tanteo (Blanco)
Distillery: Tequilera Don Roberto, S.A. De C.V.
Location: Lowlands - Central
The first notable things about all of these tequilas is the bottle, it manages to encompass a modern look yet there is a clear authentic Mexican feel to it all as well. It's worth mentioning however that there's a small flaw in the craftsmanship of the bottle, a slight nub of glass on the bottom causes them to wobble a bit when you stand them up. One bottle in particular had this problem more than the others. I'm not trying to be negative, I just don't want my tequila to topple over if someone happens to knock the table.
I was drawn to the Tropical Tanteo first, the combination of fruit and tequila has always been something that I have appreciated. There is a reddish hue on the tequila from the infusion process, but to all intense and purposes it's a blanco. The fruit aromas are not as strong as I had expected them to be and I'm sitting on the fence here as to whether the absence of these aromas is a good or bad thing. In this case I think I'm leaning towards 'good' as the result is that the aroma of the agave can still be picked up but yet with a somewhat stronger than usual lime and sour citrus aromas. Notes of citrus aromas are fairly typical in blancos and I'm glad that it's not too overpowering, I want to drink tequila and not fruit juice.
As I taste the tequila the fruit tastes are there, in particular the guanabana. There are other citrus fruit tastes are also present, but it's the guanabana that's prominent. I'll admit to thinking of these as liqueurs when I first started out, but these tequilas are much more than that. Calling them a liqueur would be an unfair comparison. The Tropical Tanteo seems to have the mix just right.
The Jalapeño is somewhat different to the Tropical, the agave aroma is clearly masked by the very strong jalapeño smell. It's almost as if someone is cutting them in front of you, it's that potent, and in no way do you feel that it might be chemical or artificial. There's an interesting green hue to this blanco and the taste really wakes up your pallet. The jalapeño flavour is quite remarkable. I can't help but think that this would be a great sort if drink to be used in a Martini style bar. It makes me think of all this flavoured vodkas that are out there on the market and how mixologists could use this type of alcohol in their creations or that it would be great as an aperitif.
It's probably obvious, but the Cocoa Tanteo is slightly darker in colour than the others. Chocolate and tequila are generally a match made in heaven, but regrettably this time it's not the case. You can smell the chocolate on the tequila and regrettably that comes at the cost of the agave nose. The taste is very sweet to begin with which then leads on to a very dry taste. Of all the three tequilas this has to be my least favourite. They've somehow managed to remove all traces of agave in this version, which is a real shame.
The other two versions are both excellent, with the Tropical being a clear favourite. I was surprised as I had expected to prefer the Jalapeño. It's worth mentioning that all these tequila contain no artificial flavours.
As I said at the beginning this isn't something that I would have usually considered drinking. When you're talking tequila it's best that it's 100% Agave and that no one's gone and done anything odd to it. The fact that the CRT have relaxed their laws shouldn't be indication that people can do what the hell they want with tequila, and I feel that Tanteo have approached this is the right way. The result is a high quality product that is both fun to drink and yet manages to still respect the tequila in the process!