header home Backbar Bar Station Recipe Database Month's Feature "Drink-o-pedia" Mixology Contact

Gran Centenario Anejo 100% Agave Tequila

Gran Centenario Añejo
100% Agave Tequila


By Robert Plotkin

Gran Centenario is considered among the grand crus of Jalisco founded by one of tequila's forefathers, Lazaro Gallardo. He started making tequila at his tavern/saloon—called a taberna—in 1858, an undertaking that eventually led to the founding of the Gran Centenario brand at the turn of the 20th century. In 1920, Gallardo's son decided to begin packaging Gran Centenario tequila in a bottle.

What distinguished Gallardo's efforts from others was the development of a process called selección suave (smooth selection), which involved adding mature, well-aged tequilas into younger tequilas for an added dash of character. The technique is carried on to this day, and to a large degree, explains the extraordinary depth of Gran Centenario Añejo 100% Agave Tequila.

The entire Gran Centenario range 100% agave tequilas is handcrafted in small batches at the Los Camachines Distillery (NOM 1122) in Los Altos de Jalisco. The blue agaves used in production are cultivated on the distillery's Highlands estate. After harvesting, the agaves are steam baked in adobe clay ovens for 72 hours. The resulting must is allowed to slowly ferment before being double-distilled in copper pot stills. Gran Centenario Tequilas are aged in new French oak barrels and bottled at 40% alcohol (80 proof).

Luxurious Gran Centenario Añejo is aged for up to 18 months in lightly charred, Limousin oak casks. The charring increases the interaction with the wood for greater maturation. The tequila has a gold/amber hue, a velvety medium-weight body and generous bouquet of nutmeg, citrus and ripe plums. Its smooth, gentle entry gradually fills the mouth with waves of semisweet flavors, including vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest and dried herbs. The long, protracted finish is laced with the added flavors of cloves and toasted oak. From start to savory finish, the añejo is a sublime pleasure.

In 2006, the distillery extended its world-class range with the release of Gran Centenario Leyenda Extra Añejo 100% Agave Tequila. The ultra-sophisticated añejo is matured an average of 4 years in French Limousin barrels, after which the Maestro Tequilero adds in older reserves to complete the blend. The ultra-premium añejo is a masterful achievement. It has a dark amber color, a medium-weight body and a spicy, nutty and oaky bouquet. The palate is richly flavored with vanilla, maple, cinnamon and clove. The finish is long and thoroughly satisfying.

Gran Centenario Reposado Añejo 100% Agave Tequila is aged for up to 10 months in new French Limousin oak, during which it develops a light amber hue and a wafting bouquet of vanilla, cinnamon, citrus and red fruit aromas. Its soft entry bathes the palate with the balanced and long-lasting flavors of baking spices, semisweet fruit and toasted oak. The delectable reposado represents the artistic mid-point between the exuberance of the plata and the elegance of the añejo.

Long-time favorite Gran Centenario Plata 100% Agave Tequila is matured for 28 days in French oak, a creative twist that distinguishes it from the crowd. The Plata has a satiny medium-weight body and a lavish herbal, citrus and spice bouquet. Its dry, almost tart palate is brimming with pepper, spice and fruit flavors. The crisp finish is spicy and warm. Here's a spirit perfectly suited for use in upscale cocktails.

Launched in 2009, Gran Centenario Roseangel 100% Agave Tequila is a bona fide treat for the senses made by infusing barrel-aged reposado with sweet Hibiscus flowers. Afterwards, the tequila is transferred to ex-port pipes for further maturation, which allows the flavors to become fully integrated. Roseangel has delectable floral notes and an alluring sunset pink hue derived from its stay in portwood.

Few distilleries have produced such a consensus all-star line-up as Gran Centenario. From the blanco to their extraordinary aged marques and the inimitable Rosangel, all are unparalleled in their individual class. Salud!