Crotalo Tequila

| September 12, 2012

Here is another new Ultra-Premium Tequila that is hand picked and a limited production brand with a double barrel aging process that apparently requires special permission from the CRT (Consejo Regulador del Tequila). Based in Lake Elsinore California, the company distillery is located at Atotonico El Alto in Jalisco, Mexico, and the Master Distiller is the imperially named Ernesto Alonso Granados Cardoso.

Although the boutique liquor company was formed in 2003 by tequila aficionado Mark Carlston, they refused to enter the market until every class of tequila in the range was ready. The business is run as a family concern, and now looks like the time that the brand will be making some serious noise. Price range is $35-70 but I could not find any dealers on the internet, so you may have to call the company or check out the web site to find this stuff.
Crotalo Plata is triple distilled and aged for 45 days in French Oak Barrels and the Reposado is aged for 11 months. The first six months the distiller uses French Oak Barrels and then it is transferred to proprietary oak barrels. This switch apparently has a positive effect on the spirit, smoothing out the flavor and turning its color to a deep gold.

CrotaloAnejo is aged for two years with again the barrel split being 50/50.This is double the time that you legally need for Anejo. This has the effect of mellowing the aroma and flavor of the tequila which can be sipped like a fine Scotch or Brandy. Crotalo Extra Anejo Reserva is double barreled for five years and only 1500 bottles are produced each year and should be sipped from a snifter.

Crotalo Extra Anejo Gran Reserva is double barreled for seven years. Only 1000 bottles of this premium tequila is released every two years and is claimed to be the best tequila ever.
In 2011 the brand has won Silver Medals for the Plata, Repo, Anejo, Gold Medal and Best of Show for Extra Anejo Reserva at the Spirits of Mexico extravaganza in San Diego. To do this they had to beat out 105 competitors and face a panel of 15 experts on tequila.

I did acquire a bottle of the Extra Anejo Reserva and found the tequila very smooth naturally, but there was a hint of cognac flavor in the taste. I suspect that the other versions of the brand are equally as good in their own way, so if you are a dedicated tequila drinker then this is a must find for you.

Selected Recipe:

Shaken Snake Margarita:

1 ½ shots Crotalo Plata or Reposado
1 shot Cointreau

1 shot Venom Energy Drink

1 shot Water
Juice of large lime
1 tablespoon of Agave Syrup
Add all ingredients into a shaker. Shake well over ice. Serve straight up or on the rocks in a sugar rimmed glass with lime slice.

Filed in: Cocktail Hour