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Riazul Añejo 100% Blue Agave Tequila Review

riazul-anejoI’ve reviewed Riazul Silver and I was impressed but the Añejo is another beast, it’s got the aged quality that makes a great sipping tequila, can Riazul hold its own against other Añejo styles?

First, it’s got a great polished gold coloring which is impressive. I had expected it to be a bit browner like a few Añejo’s I’ve had in the past but Riazul holds a very polished color, it must have cost them a pretty penny to polish it up! The color is beautiful, that’s excellent, but let’s talk about the nose… the bouquet.

The scent is unique because it doesn’t have the stereotypical sea-salt and agave nose. Riazul Añejo has a citrus style playfulness in its bouquet which is exciting and fresh. After the initial citrus burns off I get a neat white chocolate profile with very little sugary presentation. In some ways I’m envisioning the makings of a salty sprite with a hint of black pepper.

My excitement at the nose lasted at least five minutes, continuing to pick out new flavors and using my senses to present the images of the profile in my head. Alas, it was time to take a sip of the gold spirit. The initial flavors were very light, very subtle tropical fruits, perhaps a young pineapple flavoring? Expecting an initial strike of alcohol, I braced myself but was left with a smoother liquid viscosity and no true burn.

My wife took a sip and said “good but potent” so I told her to try it again and the alcohol attack dissipated quickly. The lesson, take a few sips before you begin to build your impression of the liquid so your senses can catch up with the experience. Three sips later, you can start explaining the flavors. My tongue didn’t tingle until the very finish of the Riazul Añejo.

The mid-palate transition is an undeniable dark chocolate mingled with a bit of agave leading to a dry finish with notes of the chocolate reoccurring again. A few ounces of sipping later and I’m picking up more tropical fruits, a black pepper mango followed by a little Clementine orange.

The thickness is perfect, leaving a thin layer on the glass which stands on the edges for many seconds before whisking away to meet the contents once again. The flavor profile is massively complex with no one flavor dominating and many new flavors appearing as you sip. Riazul Añejo resembles a 15 year old wine in smoothness and completeness and can easily compete with the best aged whiskey on the market today in complexity.

Riazul’s structure and flavors define a good Añejo Tequila while keeping it approachable for both novice and expert Añejo drinkers. There are many great Añejo’s on the market today and Riazul competes with the best of the top shelf and should give pause to all competing brands. If you don’t play at the top of your game you’ll have no chance against the complex inner workings of Riazul Añejo.

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