“We’ve enjoyed experimenting with our single estate tequila and barrels that held some of the most highly awarded whiskies. The result is a perfectly balanced, unique line of tequilas. This year’s release truly bridges the best of both worlds, whether you’re a tequila aficionado or bourbon lover.”
JIM'S DESERT ISLAND WHISKEYS
Expresiones del Corazon William Larue Weller Añejo TequilaBOTTLE DETAILS
NOSE: Roasted Pineapple/Cooked Green Apple | Honey Syrup | Lime Peel | Floral
TASTE: Mineral/Limestone | Butterscotch | White Pepper | Lemon Cookie | Charred Oak
FINISH: Disappears instantly before some oaky dryness emerges.
SHARE WITH: Any tequila fan, and any bourbon fan seeking to ease into tequila.
WORTH THE PRICE: Not when compared to añejos costing less and tasting markedly better.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bar for sure, bottle unlikely.
OVERALL: Over the past couple of years, I’ve tasted multiple iterations of Sazerac-barrel-rested Corazon tequilas, and with each, the influence of those barrels has increased. At first blush, I like that. I mean, why make a reposado or añejo unless you want to taste the oak influence? Again, that increase is a welcome addition to the Expressiones line.
I was a tequila lover long before I fell for bourbon, and I’ve grown more and more appreciative of well-made blanco tequilas (which aren’t aged) because of their abundant fruit and mineral aromas and flavors. In fact, blanco tequilas are nearly all I buy anymore because they best represent the agave and the distiller’s skill. Corazon blanco is a solid tequila, good in cocktails, but not a standout sipper. It’s simple and affordable, so it doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not—and heaven knows that happens way too often in tequila marketing. So, this spirit benefits appreciably from barrel aging and makes the most of the tequila. There also are Thomas H. Handy Sazerac and George T. Stagg añejo releases out there, and I hope to taste those eventually to compare. I have little doubt those barrels also will contribute goodness to Corazon blanco.
Corazón Tequila Releases Añejos Aged in Buffalo Trace Distillery Bourbon BarrelsLimited edition tequilas make up premium collection of 2020 Expresiones del Corazón
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Fans of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s highly regarded Antique Collection will have even more reason to celebrate this fall. Corazón Tequila is announcing the 2020 release of its limited line of Expresiones del Corazón, a unique lineup of barrel-aged tequila expressions which will arrive in stores in October. This year the lineup includes William Larue Weller Añejo, Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Añejo and George T. Stagg Añejo, all of which were aged in barrels that previously held coveted Antique Collection whiskies from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Also part of the lineup is the Artisanal Blanco.
The William Larue Weller Añejo was aged 15 months in William Larue Weller bourbon barrels.
TASTE: Chocolate | Intense Vanilla | Nut | Eucalyptus | Chamomile.
Only 1,675 bottles of this tequila were produced.
George T. Stagg Añejo was aged 22 months in George T. Stagg barrels, and tastes of cinnamon, chocolate and green apple. Just over 3,000 bottles of this añejo were produced for this release.
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Añejo was aged 19 months in Thomas H. Handy barrels and has a smooth, lightly sweet flavor and a dense texture with a soft, harmonious finish. A total of 4,311 bottles of this tequila were produced this year.
The Artisanal Blanco was held for 60 days in stainless steel, and with less aging, brilliantly expresses the terroir in the tequila. This expression has a sweet, soft, mint, eucalyptus and slightly tangy taste.
Many factors play a role in the creation of these tequilas, yet inside the barrel is where all the magic takes place. That is what makes the Expresiones del Corazón line so unique. These tequilas were aged in barrels that once held some of the most sought-after whiskies, each of which imparted its own unique flavor, creating one-of-a-kind tequilas.
The Corazón brand, which falls under the Sazerac umbrella, is produced in Los Altos de Jalisco at the Casa San Matías Distillery, which has more than 130 years of tequila making experience. That tequila-making wisdom paired with Buffalo Trace Distillery’s renowned whiskey-making expertise creates an exciting new lineup for this sixth release of Expresiones del Corazón.
The Expresiones del Corazón line has garnered a number of top awards over the years for various limited release expressions. Sazerac Rye Añejo was just named "Best Añejo" at the 2020 World Tequila Awards. Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Añejo was awarded a Gold medal at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and at the 2018 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition, and was deemed “Excellent, Highly Recommended” with 92 points at the 2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge. George T. Stagg Añejo was designated “Excellent, Highly Recommended” with 90 points at the 2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge and received a Gold medal at the 2018 Denver International Spirits Challenge. Artisanal Blanco was awarded a Gold medal at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2019 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition and 2018 Denver International Spirits Challenge.
“We’ve enjoyed experimenting with our single estate tequila and barrels that held some of the most highly awarded whiskies. The result is a perfectly balanced, unique line of tequilas,” agave marketing director, Megan Hurtuk. “This year’s release truly bridges the best of both worlds, whether you’re a tequila aficionado or bourbon lover.”
Using 100 percent blue agave from the highlands of Jalisco, the brix for Expresiones del Corazón are measured to determine sugar levels before harvest, rather than a traditional clear cut. Two sets of agave were harvested, one with a lower sugar content and flavored a little drier, and one with a higher sugar content considered a little sweeter for agave, resulting in more floral notes. The result was a harmonization of the two sets of agave in the Blanco, which was then used as the base for the other Expresiones del Corazón.
The agave is slow cooked in stone ovens before being distilled in stainless steel pots using fresh spring water from the Jalisco highlands. The filled barrels are stored in the first row at Casa San Matías’ aging facility in Acatic, Los Altos de Jalisco, where the barrels receive the ideal level of air flow to aid in the aging process. The barrels are then evaluated every two months until the desired characteristics are achieved. They are then bottled as single barrel tequilas.
Expresiones del Corazón are now available nationally, however quantities are very limited. The suggested retail price for the Artisanal Blanco is $59.99. Suggested retail pricing for the William Larue Weller Añejo, Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Añejo and George T. Stagg Añejo bottles is $79.99 each. All four of this year’s expressions are 80 proof. For more information about Corazón tequila, visit https://www.tequilacorazon.com/.
Disclaimer: Corazon provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.
Steve Coomes is editor of BourbonBanter.com. A Louisville restaurant industry veteran turned award-winning food writer, he has edited and written for dozens of national trade and consumer publications including Pizza Today, Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living over his 31-year journalism career. As a spirits writer, Steve's work can be found in Bourbon Plus, Bourbon Review, Bourbon & Banter, WhiskeyWash.com and other publications. In 2014, he authored the book, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and has authored other titles as a private ghostwriter.
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