Continuing my recent (and completely informal) "What's in Matthew's mailbox" series ... this past week I received small samples of a new tequila product that just hit shelves in Colorado.
It's named Costa Tequila, and claims to be the "first ‘Hi/Lo’ blend of tequila in the world."
What does that mean?
"The unique Hi/Lo blend of Costa Tequila is made from 100-percent Blue Weber Agave plants sourced from two distinct locations: “Los Altos” (the Highlands) and “Valle de Tequila” (the Lowlands). While traditionally these two regions produce tequila separately, Costa’s Hi/Lo blends bring the unique flavor profiles of both regions together."
Cool — they've got my attention. So what's that supposed to taste like?
From an accompanying press release: "Tequila from the Highlands’ mountainous region comes from higher altitude plants and produces fruitier, sweeter, and softer notes and characteristics, while tequila from the Lowlands is produced at relatively lower elevations and delivers distinct peppery, earthy, spicy notes and characteristics...
"Costa’s signature Hi/Lo tequilas are a quintessential illustration of successful blending. The two styles take turns playing feature and supporting roles on the palate: an engaging floral and fruity, but not overly sweet, initial taste and smell (Hi), that transitions to a silky texture and subtle peppery finish (Lo). This perfectly balanced Hi/Lo pairing delivers an unprecedented depth of flavor and complexity of character, resulting in a longer-lasting and more appealing taste profile than traditional tequila."
I start my sampling with a nip of the blanco, recommended for sipping and cocktail making, and as described, it's definitely smooth. But I'm not overly impressed with the flavor otherwise, for all the apparent effort. Like, I wouldn't realize this was a novel blanco for any reason.
I am, however, quite happy when I taste the reposado, which sees American oak barrels for eight months. The description lists hints of caramel and vanilla, which I'd agree with on the caramel, but the vanilla's actually more than a hint — it's big. The reposado holds a long lingering, also-smooth finish, during which both flavors show up, with a nice spicy/peppery bite. It's almost mature enough to be mistaken for an añejo — which Costa Tequila doesn't produce, in case you're looking.
Expect to pay around $37 for the blanco and a fair $40 for the reposado, considering the extra aging (warehousing) time.