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Peligroso Anejo 100% Agave Tequila

Peligroso Añejo
100% Agave Tequila


By Robert Plotkin

Artisanal Peligroso 100% Agave Tequilas are crafted in Atotonilco in the highlands of Jalisco. Of its many points of distinction, the aspect of its character most often referenced first is that it's bottled at 84 proof, rather than the standard 80 proof. Why the elevated strength? The higher alcohol concentration means that less water is used to dilute the tequila to its bottling strength. The result is a more flavorful spirit. Overproof styles have rich, luxurious flavors that consumers and mixologists find so appealing. Peligroso Tequilas seem to best typify the style.

The brand is produced at renowned Tequila el Viejito Distillery (NOM 1107). The agaves used in production are cultivated on a private estate in red volcanic soil. After harvesting, the jimadors take the extra step of cutting away the bitter/acidic center cone. It's a laborious, time-consuming process that significantly improves the quality and flavor of the finished tequila.

The agaves are then steamed in traditional brick ovens, slowly fermented and distilled in copper and stainless pot stills. Tennessee white oak whiskey barrels are used for aging. Peligroso Reposado is matured for 6 to 8 months, while the esteemed Peligroso Añejo remains in wood for upwards of 18-months. The tequilas are left unadulterated by caramel coloring, flavorings or added sugar, and as mentioned, are bottled at 42% alcohol by volume (84 proof).

The elder statesman of the range—Peligroso Añejo 100% Agave Tequila—is a sublime and sophisticated treat. It has a golden/amber appearance, a velvety medium-weight body and a generous nose of vanilla, toffee, dried fruit and toasted oak. The entry is gentle and smooth. It quickly expands, filling the mouth with the warm flavors of cocoa, ground coffee, baking spices and black pepper. The elegant spirit is graced with a lingering, flavorful finish. It's best savored neat from a snifter.

Peligroso Reposado 100% Agave Tequila is equally appealing. It has a pale amber hue and a satiny smooth body. Its enticing aromatics include orange zest, cocoa and a pleasant assortment of spicy notes. The initial approach is slightly prickly; no doubt a result of its elevated proof. The palate delivers long-lasting waves of dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, raw cashews and baking spices. The finish is long, warm and delicious.

The ultra-premium range also includes Peligroso Silver 100% Agave Tequila. Bottled directly from the still, the silver tequila is a fresh, exuberant spirit with ideal clarity, an oily textured body and a bouquet saturated with floral, spice and citrus aromas. The tequila is richly flavored with notes of cinnamon, black cherries, red fruit and cracked pepper. It makes an excellent case for sipping blanco tequila.

The hand-numbered bottles used for the three expressions are each distinguished by a different type of glass. For example, Peligroso Añejo is bottled in a satin black glass bottle to represent its complex layers and nuances. The glass bottle housing the Peligroso Reposado has a rustic look to match the tequila's pale amber appearance. The Silver is packaged in clear flint glass to reflect its purity.

Peligroso means "dangerous" in Spanish. The brand represents living life on the edge and identifies itself with the danger and beauty of Mexico, which according to the bottle label are "sketchy borders, dirt roads, smashed rental cars, federales, banditos, scorching sun, rugged coastline, perfect waves, fishing coolers, cold cervezas, and of, course, tequila." Salud!