purchased 3/12/10, paid $40. I have been "sampling" since then ;-). I compared this and San Matias both NOM-1103 at the same time to detect subtle differences if any. I find this a good way to develop your palate. The bottle is nice if not a bit ordinary, corked top, thick quality clear glass, with plenty of info on the labeling. Color is light amber. Nice semi complex nose does not need to settle unlike its older sister. Hits the tongue with a burst of sweet caramel/vanilla and has a nice smooth swallow with a latent agave/alcohol finish that lingers for awhile, this is a quality I prefer over a quick burn. This is not as complex as this NOM's San Matias, for $5 more you get the extra character you may be searching for. Overall a quality product one that I continue to come back to because there is nothing disappointing and a great finish. I'll buy again.
Purchased a bottle from Top Line in Glendale, Ca for $35. Tasted on 11/19/08 out of a double ball glass. I decided to try this anejo based on it's previous reviews and on the recommendation of the owner of Top Line. In his words 'For what you pay, it's the best anejo you can get.' Nothing could be further from the truth. An excellent anejo that goes down super smooth. I'd recommend this one to new anejo drinkers. Yet another example of not having to pay top dollar for a top notch product.
Aroma: A very simple yet inviting aroma of vanilla, caramel and a little bit of floral. I guess what's simple about this one is that they are so present and obvious, making them easy to detect.
Initial Taste: A thin mouth feel (is that unique to an anejo?), upon entry it was nicely sweet with no bitterness, and no alcohol burn either.
Body: A great anejo body, complex but not too complex. Cooked agave, vanilla, floral and fruit, with woody and slightly spicy hints.
Finish: A nice semi heated finish of long duration with a lingering taste of fruity caramel.
This anejo is a clear medium amber color with a sweet medium aged pure agave nose. I also noticed some wood, vanilla, and carmel notes. The intial taste was what I expected from the aroma. It has a fairly light mouth feel with a strong complex alcohol burn. Its smoothness made it easy to sip but it changed going down with a long finish that left medium agave heat in the throat. There was more agave going down than on the tip of the tongue. I kept thinking smokey agave, spicy agave. Definitely not too sweet with a true agave dominance overall. It comes in a very nice bottle and a special cylindricial tube package that is high class all the way.
When examining whether or not to buy a new tequila, there's lots of factors to consider: NOM, Brand (if you've had other expressions), Price, Age. All of those led me to believe that this tequila was going to be good purchase. From NOM 1103, which houses other great brands like Rey Sol, Pueblo Viejo and San Matias, this "pride" of the brand is almost certain to be good, right?
Aroma: A nice rich mix of vanilla/caramel and light fruity/floral notes. Definitely heavier on the sweet scents.
Initial Taste: A nice complex entry: Caramel, Berries and Oak...all mixed together well.
Body: Medium-thin body. A nice anejo body full of vanilla and oak as the most prominent flavors with lighter notes of fruit and light spice.
Finish: A medium length finish with a nice bit of sizzle and lingering cooked agave, caramel and floral notes. Not as spicy/peppery of a finish as some might want, but the flavors work very well together.
This is a solid B+ level tequila. It's not quite good enough to be in the upper eschelon of tequilas, but it certainly good enough to sip with friends and be proud to serve it. At the price point, it's a solid purchase.