When a company markets a tequila in a shapely, elegant bottle it should be implicit that the product inside be as beautiful as the package. Well, aficionados need not worry. Even though its tear-shaped bottle is quite fetching, t1 Tequila Uno Añejo Estelar 100% de Agave Azul is simply stunning, a timeless beauty that would make almost any bottle look unworthy.
The tequila is the handiwork of Germán González Gorrochotegui, former master distiller at Chinaco, the brand created by his father, Guillermo Gonzalez Diaz Lombardo. Germán worked closely with his father most of his life and learned how to handcraft tequila using traditional techniques now considered too expensive and labor intensive.
After years serving as their master distiller, Germán left Chinaco and began making tequila at La Tequileña  in Jalisco. One of the gems of the portfolio is Tequila Uno Estelar. The añejo tequila is crafted from agaves cultivated on estates in and around the Highlands of Atotonilco. After harvesting, the agaves are cooked and the extracted juice is allowed to ferment naturally for around 72 hours. Like his father before him, he slowly and methodically double-distills the fermented wash—called mosto—in a traditional copper pot still. Only a small, narrow cut of the distillation run is used so as to produce a clean, crisp and highly flavorful spirit.
Shortly after it exits the still, some of the tequila is immediately bottled as Tequila Uno Blanco Ultra Fino 100% de Agave Azul. The balance is earmarked for aging and put into oak barrels used previously to mature fine Scotch whisky. Tequila Uno Estelar is left in the wood between 20 and 24 months; after which it is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof).
This universally appealing añejo is an artisanal work of art. It has a deep golden hue, a velvety, medium-weight body and an alluring bouquet laced with the aromas of dark chocolate, toffee, vanilla, plump raisins and dried herbs. Every minute that passes the añejo reveals more tantalizing aromas. The gentle entry bathes the palate with a thoroughly delectable offering of caramel, vanilla, red plums, brewed coffee and semisweet cocoa with spicy herbaceous notes. The long, lingering finish is the epitome of luxury.
Fans of world-class reposados may have a new go-to brand in t1 Tequila Uno Reposado Excepcional 100% de Agave Azul. It is matured in ex-Scotch whisky oak barrels for 6 months to just under a year and bottled at 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof). The light golden tequila has a satiny, medium-weight body and a generous bouquet of cinnamon, allspice, citrus zest, sliced apples and toffee. The aromatics are enough to seal the deal. The soft entry quickly fills the mouth with spicy, herbaceous flavors that persist long into the finish. Reposado tequila just doesn't get better than this.
Both of these exemplary aged expressions when poured neat should be allowed to breathe for upwards of five minutes. Your patience will be well rewarded.