Originally released in the year 2000 to celebrate the new millennium, under the name 1800 Tequila Edicion del Nuevo Milenio, 1800 Tequila have this year (2014) released a second edition of this cognac-finished extra anejo to compete in the 'ultra-premium' market that seems to gaining consumer interest at the moment. Sporting an elegant pyramid-shaped bottle, deviating from the classic 1800 bottle design, and package in a tall rectangular box that opens in a clam style movement this tequila certainly puts out the luxury feel.
Like its predecessor 1800 Milenio Tequila Extra Anejo is aged in oak casks for five years, however this time it is finished for four months in used French Oak Cognac barrels before finally being bottled. This resting time in oak is evident in both the colour and nose of this particular tequila, an intense amber hue and oak tones are in the forefront of the nose, with subtle essences of vanilla and spices. On the back of it all is just a faint suggestion of Cognac, but it has to be said that the influence of the oak cask dominates this tequila rather than its previous role holding Cognac.
Much like the nose the first taste is all about the oak. Once the oak flavours start to leave your palate hints of honey appear, not enough to make it sweet, just enough to make it detectable. There are notes of figs, spice and once again that subtle note of Cognac. What's interesting in the taste of 1800 Milenio is the slight tobacco flavour that's present, it really grabs your attention and I can't help but think that this would go well with a great cigar. Although the oak notes are very dominate upon entry at the midpalate this extra-anejo is more reminiscent of a reposado with roasted agave and white pepper coming through.
So often anejos and extra-anejos are all about the wood but lack complexity and I end up feeling like I'm chewing on a 'two by four', 1800 Milenio doesn't do that. What makes this tequila stand out, where others fall short in my opinion, is how the wood flavours are well presented but yet they still allow the agave and spices to come through.
Surprisingly I find myself liking this tequila much more than I had originally anticipated, although it's worth saying that it may not be to everybody's taste. It is an interesting expression of 1800 tequila and certainly worth taking a look at, regrettably though it may be just a little over priced to take hold in a market where Don Julio 1942 and Tequila Avion Reserva 44 are dominating. Had the folks at 1800 come in at a slightly lower price point that I think this could have been a real contender.