Recently Pops attended a business dinner where the hosts brought in several tequila brands for a tasting. One of the brands, Codigo 1530, followed up with Bourbon & Banter and asked if we would be interested in sampling their entire line for a review post. Never one to turn down a chance to #drinkcurious, I volunteered to take on the task despite being unfamiliar with the brand.
If you’re unfamiliar with the brand as well here’s what you need to know. Codigo 1530 is an all-natural product with no chemicals, sugar, or flavoring added. They only use organic local yeast and all of the water they use in the production of their product is from freshwater pools and rainwater that has been filtered through the volcanic soil of the Los Bajos region. But instead of me reciting all the facts, take a minute to watch their brand video to get the full story.
Codigo sent samples of each expression of tequila that they produce. Below are my personal tasting notes and thoughts on each as well as the retail pricing that I found by searching the retailers listed on their website as well as an internet search.
Unrested/Unaged | MSRP $46.99
Nose: Nice nose (smells great) Very floral. Lots of bright citrus notes (lemon and lime specifically). A few hints of vanilla and coconut.
Taste: Wow. Very impressive for a blanco. Very nice flavor. Delicate on the palate bit it was a bit underwhelming when compared to the nose.
Thoughts: This is one of the better expressions of a blanco tequila that I’ve ever had. I know I said the taste was a bit underwhelming compared to the nose but that isn’t a bad thing, it’s just that the nose was so amazing. Usually you think of a blanco for mixing cocktails. I think using this as a mixer would be a tragedy. Use some big brand mass produced silver to put in your drink and enjoy this one neat with a bit of fresh squeezed lime or a glass of fresh made Sangrita and you may have a new favorite sipper to enjoy while dining on your south of the border cuisine.
Rested 1 Month in uncharred Napa Cabernet French White Oak barrels | MSRP $59.99
Nose: The nose is like the Blanco but much more intense. Amazing nose. I can’t stop sniffing this one.
Taste: Very smooth but the flavors are much more muted than the Blanco. The earthy and agave flavors seemed to be masked by the Cabernet notes.
Thoughts: This would be an amazing entry level tequila, especially for people who have a negative perception of the spirit. I’d even say this would be a good one to start with for beginners if tasting neat. The easy drinking nature of this one may really appeal to women when combined with the flavors of the Cabernet barrel.
Aged 6 months | MSRP $59.99
Nose: Lots of agave on the nose.
Taste: There is a delicious sweetness on the palate, light caramel notes, complex. There is a lot going on here but it’s hard to pin down to specific flavors. None of them jump out at you but you can tell they are there. The flavors are a bit softer and rounded as compared to the Blanco but not in a negative way.
Thoughts: This is a very impressive Reposado. The barrel aging process really shines here, where the Blanco was very forward on the palate, the Reposado is much more complex. There is a lot more going on but the flavors are all a bit muted but not in a bad way. I wish I had more so I could compare the Blanco to the Reposado and I could really get into the differences that the 6 months in the barrel made.
Aged 18 months | MSRP $99.99
Nose: The nose is not nearly as intense as it was on the previous three samples. There is a hint of oak which is to be expected after 18 months in a barrel. It was hard to find anything that really stood out on the nose with this one.
Taste: This one was saving itself for when you drink it as opposed to when you smell it. It’s a flavor bomb. Very smooth, there is no burn or any of the typical harsh flavors you get when drinking most tequilas.
Thoughts: This is a really special tequila. The Anejo has won multiple awards and I can see why. It’s spectacular. A friend that was tasting with me called this the “greatest tequila that he’s ever tasted.” If you’re going to spend up on a bottle of ultra-premium tequila, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Origen – Extra Anejo
Aged 6 years | MSRP $269.99
Nose: This smells like what you’d envision an amazing tequila would smell like. It has a much more of a nose than what you’d expect from a tequila. There is also a stronger agave nose than with the previously tasted expressions.
Taste: Some slight vanilla notes as well as a hint of spice on the finish. It was hard to pin down the spice. I kept going back and forth between black pepper and cinnamon.
Thoughts: This one was really good as well. I had no idea how limited or how expensive this one was until I researched the suggested pricing the day after I did the tasting. 6 years is a long time to age a tequila and you can really taste the effect the barrel aging has on this tequila. Again, it’s really good but you’d have to be really into tequila and/or ultra-aged spirits to spend up for a bottle of this.
I am in no way shape or form anywhere close to a Master Tequilero. Most of my knowledge is bourbon based but tequila is my second favorite spirit and I really do enjoy it. This tasting was fun and I discovered not only a new brand that I had never heard before, but I discovered at least two amazing bottles that I’ll be purchasing for personal consumption. The Codigo Blanco is great. I’m usually not a Blanco fan but this one really opened my eyes. If you like tequila, you need to try this one. By far and away, my personal favorite was the Anejo. It was just flat out amazing and not just for a tequila. This one is a must try if you like sipping tequilas. It’s not cheap but do yourself a favor and find a bar or a restaurant with a good tequila selection and try this. You’ll be glad you did. I’m going to be looking for a bottle of this ASAP for my home bar. The Origen was really good but I can’t justify spending $250+ on a bottle of almost anything, especially a non-bourbon.
Hopefully this article has encouraged you to branch out and try something new or unfamiliar. The Bourbon & Banter team always want you to #DrinkCurious and we will continue to branch out in the upcoming months to give our readers a bit more coverage beyond bourbon. Don’t worry, there will still be PLENTY of bourbon content. We just want to give you some content on other spirits from the perspective of bourbon enthusiasts.
Disclaimer: Codigo 1530 provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their products for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.