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Partida Anejo 100% Agave Tequila

Partida Añejo 100%
Agave Tequila


By Robert Plotkin

Partida Añejo 100% Agave Tequila could well be the standard bearer of affordable luxury. This sensational spirit possesses every characteristic one could reasonably look for in a well-aged tequila— fetching looks, voluptuous body, enticing aromatics, a lavish palate and an extended finish. It's is a romantic gem, a museum-grade beauty.

Partida Añejo comes by its charm and winning personality quite naturally. The artisanal spirit is made from estate-grown agaves situated in the Tequila Amatitan Valley. Its microclimate and the rich, red volcanic soil are ideal for cultivating Weber Blue agave.

Prior to harvesting, Maestro Tequilero José Valdez scrutinizes each plant to ensure it has reached peak maturity (between 7 and 10 years old), has a sugar content no less than 27%, and the piña weighs a minimum of 30kg. In addition, its leaves—called pencas—must be trimmed no longer than 2cm to prevent their natural bitterness from influencing the finished distillate. To best preserve the agaves' freshness they are harvested and cooked all in the same day.

The sugar-rich piñas are baked for 20-24 hours in stainless steel ovens. It should be noted that Partida utilizes stainless steel equipment for qualitative reasons. The only way to protect the cleanliness of the finished tequila is to make sure that the equipment used in its production is spotlessly clean, which is attainable when they're made out of stainless.

After the agaves are baked, the extracted juice is allowed to slowly and naturally ferment. The wild yeast used to precipitate fermentation comes from the agaves themselves or are airborne in the environment. To maintain consistency from one small batch to the next, Valdez starts the process with juice that has the same concentration of residual sugar (11 brix).

Distillation takes place in two stages, both of which occur in traditional pot stills. The tequila is allowed to rest for two weeks after distillation and then again after it's rendered to 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof). These added steps allow its flavors to become fully integrated. Valdez adds no artificial coloring, sweeteners, flavor enhancers or glycerin to his tequila.

To make the añejo, the double-distilled tequila is then transferred into American white oak barrels and matured for a minimum of 18 months and bottled at 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof).

During its stay in wood, super-premium Partida Añejo acquires an alluring copper/gold hue, a lushly textured body and a generous bouquet of ripe red fruit, honey, almonds and cocoa aromas. Its palate is a layered affair featuring an array of honey, caramel, coffee, banana and spice. The bakery-fresh flavors slowly fade into a warm and satisfying finish. It's a bona fide pleasure from start to last drop.

To best appreciate this noble spirit, allow it to breath for about five minutes before sipping it neat. Every minute that goes by the tequila will further develop until it reaches its full potential.

The entire Partida portfolio of artisanal tequilas is praise worthy. Unadulterated by the affects of barrel aging, Partida Blanco is crystal clear with a silky smooth texture and a wafting bouquet of floral, citrus and spice. The palate is a well-balanced offering of herbs, honey and fruit. Partida Reposado is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of six months. It has an amber hue with a slightly sweet bouquet and a layered palate of vanilla, chocolate and almonds.

The capstone of the collection is Partida Elegante Extra Añejo. The tequila spends between 36 to 40 months in once used Jack Daniels barrels. It is a highly sophisticated spirit with a deep amber hue, a luxurious body and a bouquet of dark chocolate, dried fruit and vanilla. The palate is highly nuanced with floral, spicy and fruit flavors that gradually subside into a memorable finish.

Partida—it's the tequila world's version of the Fab Four. Salud!