By Chris Wright
on 4.12.13
Photo by Qui

Last Cinco de Mayo you ended up in the gutter with an extra-large sombrero shading your bloodshot eyes. Ready to grow up a bit for this year’s celebration? May we recommend Qui tequila ($57), sipped straight and from a reclined position while you fight waves of taco-induced heartburn.

Qui is the first ever platinum extra-añejo tequila (it also just won gold in the extra añejo category at the Spirits of the Americas competition), but that distinction doesn’t mean jack if it tastes bad. Rather, we’re fans of its pleasant body, which strips away some flavors and gives others a little extra vamos. It’s a clear drink with an impressive resume: it’s made using agave grown in the highest region of the Los Altos highlands of Jalisco, aged for 3.5 years in both American whiskey and French Bordeaux barrels. As you’d expect, that extra hangout time mellows its flavors and turns it from a hard-raging frat boy to a mature, good-conversation-with-good-friends type.

So how does it taste? It certainly has a pleasant nose of, well, tequila. On the tongue, too, there’s all the familiar creamy agave notes that come with any clear tequila; those are quickly supplemented, however, by big vanilla sweetness, anise and slight smokiness. There’s a notable lack of citrus. In its lingering finish, there’s a dry bitterness that shifts into a very pleasant mild sweetness. Overall, it’s a very restrained drink, with absolutely none of the eye-watering burn that comes with cheaper tequilas. It’s mellow without becoming boring, providing the perfect lack of harshness for a relaxing sipper drink. Keep that lime and salt well away, Amigo.

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