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Don Diego Santa Añejo Tequila
About Don Diego Santa Añejo Tequila
Don Diego Santa Añejo Tequila is produced by Tequila Don Diego Santa, a brand created by a Spanish, family-owned company with a background in wine-making. In the late 20th century, the family set their eyes on Mexico and began crafting their own tequilas at the Destilería Río de Plata in Guadalajara, Jalisco. All of their tequilas use hand-made techniques and are produced in small batches using a very time consuming production process. On their official website, Don Diego Santa boasts an authentic and traditional process to create a truly artisan product.
This particular tequila is distilled using small batch double distillation. After that, it is aged for a minimum of 12 months in white oak casks, and then blended with even older tequilas to create the final product. The company claims that the average age of the final blend is around 18 months.
❖ ABV: 40%
❖ Distillery: Destilería Río de Plata
❖ Aging: blend average 18 months
❖ Price Point: moderate
Here are the official tasting notes of this Tequila Añejo according to the Don Diego Santa website:
❖ soft oak
❖ fresh tobacco
❖ mouth filling
My Tasting notes
Prior to my official review tasting, I had been making my way through this bottle for quite a while, so I was already familiar with it. In my head, I often think of this tequila as “that yogurt-y one” because of the unique yogurt-like aroma.
Still – I always take an official sniff for good measure when I sit down to describe the notes of any spirit. As I took a deep whiff, the nose notes smelled very fresh and sweet. The vague yogurt-like scent is present as usual. By the third sniff, I could make out more woodsy notes which must be the Oak. Overall, the smell of this tequila is very smooth and pleasant. I continued smelling for a while – trying to make out the other listed notes. It wasn’t until the 10th sniff that the strong vanilla notes came out quite abruptly. As I continued, I could make out some extremely subtle plant notes. Having never been around fresh tobacco, I wasn’t quite sure if that was the scent I was picking out. It could have simply been the agave, but it was so subtle that I couldn’t determine this clearly.
I took my first sip, and found it to be pretty smooth. There was a burst of alcoholic brightness that was strong but not at all burning. I could feel this brightness in my throat as an after effect, but even in the throat it did not feel like a burn. The second sip was just as smooth. Everything felt sweet and pleasant, but at that point I couldn’t yet pick out any individual notes. As I took my third sip, it tasted a bit spicy. Though there aren’t any spices listed as notes, the flavor felt clear and unmistakeable – almost like black pepper. This spicy note tingled on my tongue. During my fourth sip, I tasted the spice again, but this time I also began to feel a sense of warmth in my mouth and chest. There was a plant-like aftertaste that could be the tobacco notes. Even after several sips, I couldn’t make out the listed vanilla notes at all. Nevertheless, I found the experience of tasting this tequila straight to be very pleasant.
For my cocktail, I couldn’t help but try out the recipe listed on the official Don Diego Santa website in association with this Añejo Tequila: The Bird of Paradise. I originally had a different cocktail in mind, but I immediately changed course when I saw how delicious this recipe looked. I certainly was not disappointed – and you won’t be either!
Bird of Paradise
❖ 3/4 oz Tequila
❖ 3/4 oz white créme de cacao*
❖ 1/4 oz amaretto
❖ 1 1/2 oz heavy cream
Add ingredients to a shaker filled with ice.
Shake until chilled.
Strain into a cocktail glass.
Inside of a cocktail, Don Diego Santa Añejo Tequila is very smooth and adds a subtle sweetness to the recipe. In fact, this drink went down so easily that I almost forgot it had alcohol in it. The tequila’s flavor notes are not very prominent against the cream and cocoa flavors. However, it certainly adds dimension to the overall flavor mix. The Bird of Paradise tasted a bit like a tootsie roll – except much more balanced than the actual candy and not overly sweet.
Overall, I think this is an excellent tequila for the price range. I’ve tried this tequila in several different cocktails now, and I find that it always upgrades the taste of the drink significantly – even compared to tequilas that I already like. In fact, I enjoy it so much that it barely bothers me that the company is not Mexican-owned. It’s clear that the Spanish owners did their research and made an effort to capture the spirit of traditional tequila. You can taste it in every sip.
Don Diego Santa Añejo shines best as a cocktail tequila, but it is also a decent choice for sipping. It’s about as smooth as one would expect for the price range, and tasting it alone was a really good experience. All-in-all, I would recommend this tequila for both purposes.
As always, drink responsibly.
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