A Cognac-Cask Reposado from Herradura

Like most things in life, too much of a good thing can all too easily devolve into being…well, a bad thing. Remember the dark days when the quality of a Chardonnay was, in the popular imagination, inextricably tied to the amount of oak it had been subjected to? That unfortunate decade when overripe fruit was ritually flogged into some sense of perceived submission at the hands of overzealous winemakers responding to the overwhelming (yet inexplicable) yearning for a beverage that tasted more like a liquefied popsicle stick than wine?

Yeah, I’ve tried to blot it all out of my mind, too.

But what does all of this have to do with the tequila under consideration today? Nothing, thankfully. Because just like wine, spirits, too, can find themselves thoroughly overwhelmed by wood, losing most of the character that made them so special in the first place.

This tequila, however—part of Herradura’s excellent “Collectión de la Casa”—gets it just right, and could easily serve as an example for other producers who dream of spicing things up with their spirit but don’t want to jump the proverbial shark.

Which is something that Herradura doesn’t have to worry about: The deft touch exhibited here is calibrated finely enough that the tequila itself is still the driving force behind each sip; the oak simply helps it all along, imparting even more character, and an unexpected twist, on a spirit that you may not have thought needed the extra Cognac-cask prod, but that absolutely benefits from it.

Tequila Herradura Colección de la Casa “Cognac Cask Finish” Reposado Reserva 2013

Aromas of caramel and green herbs, all edged with a hint of clove and a subtle whiff of saffron, lead to butterscotch, pepper, and apricot mingling with crème brûlée and a lingering note of cedar. Well-crafted, and a nice addition to any tequila collection.