Must say I'm surprised this has received such mixed reviews. Of course everyone has different tastes, but it seems like some consensus generally forms. I'm wondering if there is some inconsistency in the product.
As for me, I think this is a superb blanco - very fresh, crisp, refined and just delicious. It is very smooth, especially for a blanco (in some ways it goes down like a good rep or an anejo), yet complex and rich too. All that with a sweet but prominent agave presence.
Very nice nose on this with spice, pepper, earth, warm agave, subtle pine, and a hint of astringency.
Entry is delectable with a very sweet, warm, semi-oily and almost a little nut flavor, perhaps just the oak, but a wonderful entry full of agave.
Body is full and complex with each of the characteristics above present, and a touch briny.
Finish is super smooth, although a nice little burn will develop after a few sips to remind you it's tequila, but sip by sip this is super smooth and goes down like a nice anejo. The finish is smooth, but nice and long, and pepper, and agave are the flavors that lasted the longest and were most pronounced for me.
Again, not sure about the consistency, but for me this was a great experience.
My favorite tequila by a long, long mile. CN Crystal is among the truest, purest tasting tequilas when it comes to agave flavor elements. The "new" version (out in March '06) provides a cleaner, more direct agave experience with slightly sweeter notes and less alcohol bite, a feature that made some of the old fans frown. I miss the "old kick" a bit myself, because many of us who prefer BLANCo tequilas as the purest form of tequila look for that potent and delicious kick from the powerful agave/alcohol notes. The flavor structure is full of delicious fresh agave elements right at first contact, but as your tastebuds get used to the Crystal, the beautifully tasty notes of pure, fully cooked agave sweetness settle down in your palate. Some slight citrus/herbal elements linger in the background (green lime and grapefruit, along with a mild touch of rosemary, chamomilla and damiana), making this a fabulous, refined and now smoother tequila that will please even the un-initiated. Im my book, this is the best blanco you can buy right now. Worth every dollar!
Casa Noble has a very extensive web page (www.casanoble.com) where I was able to get a great amount of information regarding the company, its history and products. Casa Noble has a very interesting history starting in 1700s as a small distillery, which was part of this hacienda in Jalisco. Now it has remained a small distillery, which is based in the City of Tequila. Wilson Daniels represents it in the United States, which is a company better known for there up scale wine portfolio (www.wilsondaniels.com). What makes Casa Noble so special is the care they have in all details. Starting with the basics, their own agave fields (3000acres), selection of the best blue agave (12 to 14 year old plants), natural fermentation (One of two distilleries that do it), triple distillation (Fist tequila to do this) and just a devotion to making the best tequila. Casa Noble Crystal is a full body tequila, I would say it is as a very thick shiny spirit with a lot of light but I like better how lirubis puts it: Once in contact with the tongue, you will feel a mild caress of the satiny smooth consistency of Crystal: a lavish coat of pure tequila teeming with sweet, delicate notes from the natural and slow fermentation process (at lower temperatures, the "mosto" acquires greater flavor from the mashed agave fibers and potent juice), so it is possible to trace the basic elements of traditional tequila: earthy, peppery tendencies on an ample bed of raw, fully matured agave plants. The aromas I get are very strong cooked blue agave with a lot of citrus and a nice sweet touch but what is most amazing is the balance and complexity. The taste confirms the aromas with the blue agave always present, even long after the tequila is gone, the citrus is there also, some herbs and a touch of pepper. Casa Noble Blanco (Crystal) is not just one of the best tequilas but one of the best spirits I have tasted. Some of the recognition this tequila has obtained is the double gold medal at the World Spirit Competition in San Francisco (all judges gave it a perfect score), New York Times selected CN Blanco as best spirit in the market, New York Post finds it one of the finest spirits, Testing Institute selected Casa Noble Crystal as best silver tequila and it goes on and on. The presentation is elegant in a hand blown bottle with a special aluminum label and metal top, will look very elegant in any bar.
Tasted on 08/04/08 out of snifter. So I finally got around to tasting this blanco. I'm sad to say that i don't really think its all that great. It's not bad by any means. But I don't think it's the best either. It seems that I'm just not a huge fan of what comes out of this distillery.
Aroma: Agave, earth, spices.
Initial Taste: A little sweet, but weak. Yet no bitterness.
Body: Tasted very basic to me. Basic agave and earth.
Finish: Of medium duration, with no burn.
Love Casa Noble Crystal, I am a blanco drinker most of the time and to me this tequila is the example of what a blanco should be. Casa Noble Crystal has wonderful cooked and raw agave notes together with peppermint, citrus and other flavors that combined make it incredible!