Agave Plantation in Tequila

Source: Robert Landau / Getty

The mere mention of tequila among those who imbibe will immediately garner a flurry of responses, many of them flooded with disdain for the spirit. While the distilled beverage has the unfair distinction of being the harbinger of hangovers, Jose Cuervo‘s premier line of tequilas known as Reserva De La Familia bears just a faint resemblance to the spirit as most know it.

To personalize this piece, I’m breaking the fourth wall here to explain my journey with tequila, namely Jose Cuervo. It was the first brand of tequila I’ve tried as a much younger person and I most certainly overindulged as is the folly of many twenty-somethings. As my tastes developed and the focus switched to the craft of cocktail making, tequila played a role in adding to the different ways to play with the spirit.

However, I learned that many across Mexico aren’t slamming shots of tequila with lime and salt as we do here in many bars across the United States. In fact, tequila, like many other spirits, is typically sipped neat alongside food that pairs well and fosters the concept of “Slow Food,” which has exploded in the nation and across the globe. Reserva De La Familia was my first time experiencing sipping tequilas and has transformed not only how I view the spirit but enjoying beverages overall.

Jose Cuervo was gracious enough to send us the entire Reserva De La Familia range, and we’ll share our first impressions below.

Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Famila Platino

Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia Tequila

Source: Jose Cuervo / JC

The unaged tequila offering of this range follows the Reserva De La Familia formula of only using agave plants that have been harvested after 10 to 12 years. This results in bold aromas from the piñas or pineapple of the massive plants, and the flavor is mind-blowing. Again, any thoughts of tequilas consumed in the past will immediately melt away upon the first sip, which begins like a baked dessert before finishing with sweet melon and a touch of honey. Ceviche, grilled fish, seafood, and lightly sauced pasta would make sense as a food pairing for this beautiful bottle.

Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Famila Reposado

Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia Tequila

Source: Jose Cuervo / JC

Reposado, which translates to “rested,” is an aged take on tequila and Jose Cuervo’s approach to the aging process stands out. The distilled agave base is then aged in toasted oak barrels, and lightly toasted American and French oak barrels, bringing out those warming flavors indicative of barrel aging. On the nose, the Reposado is delightfully sweet, warm, and spicy. Either served neat or on the rocks, this is the perfect after-dinner sip. It also pairs excellently with something hearty and bold like a well-marinated steak or even something like snapper or Mahi Mahi.

Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Famila Extra Añejo

Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia Tequila

Source: Jose Cuervo / JC

The Extra Añejo version of the lineup is decidedly different than its siblings due to its “aged” characteristics. This is the first of the Reserva De La Familia range to be shared dating back to 1995. The spirit is aged in the private family cellars Jose Cuervo under the watchful eye of Master Distiller Alex Coronado. The final product is something that drinks closer to bourbon or cognac. In fact, give a pour of this to any of your associates who say they’ve moved on to aged spirits and watch their minds get blown when they discover that tequila can taste like this. For pairings, we recommend sweet treats like fine dark chocolate, fruit tarts, and the like.

To learn more about the Reserva De La Familia line from Jose Cuervo, please click here.

Photo: Getty