There are three sides to El Cinco de Mayo: the fun side, the serious side, the tasting new tequilas side.
For many it is a fun holiday celebrated both here in the United States and in Mexico. It has become a day to kick back and get together with some good friends and celebrate by paying homage to Mexican cuisine and of course Mexican spirits. This for me has to include home made guacamole, soft tacos, filled with marinated flank steak and fresh tomato salsa. All this food has to be washed down with something and a cool beer or two is a must have. No Cinco de Mayo gathering would be complete without a glass of tequila being shared as the sun sets or rises or travels through across the sky.
There is of course a much more serious side to this holiday and it is celebrated no where more vehemently than in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is called El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla (The Day of the Battle of Puebla) This holiday originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War, and today the date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. In the state of Puebla the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory against the far superior French forces of Napoleon the third.
If like me you are a fan of aged spirits and have a penchant for the rare and unique I recently discovered an Extra Anejo tequila that will help make your Cinco de Mayo be one you’ll never forget.
The tequila in question is The Fuentaseca 12 Year Extra Anejo $299.96 and it is a connoisseur of tequila and a premium spirits dream bottle!
As you may know, Tequila this old is completely unheard of and only 40 bottles are available through a New York City store. Nobody has stocks like this at all besides Enrique Fonseca with perhaps the exception of Tapatio to a much smaller degree.
The Fonseca family are legends in the tequila world. For four generations they have been arguably the most important land holders and growers of agave as well as being one of the largest. They sold to all of the best and biggest growers for over a hundred years but stopped when the big boys set in place predatory minimum pricing schemes.
Basically since that point, over 25 years ago now, Enrique bought an old turn-key distillery in Tequila, from Bacardi and set out to make the family’s tequila. They have since been producing for other brands as well and with the surplus of agave on their hands, they have been barreling away small lots in used French Wine casks, used Cali wine casks, and used bourbon not knowing what would happen or what they would do with them. They now have an inventory of anywhere from 3 year old to 31 year old tequilas.
So how does it taste?
Nose: the first note amazingly after all this time is still agave. There is also pepper and spice which develops into almond butter and hazelnut and dried peaches.
Palate: silky and creamy, cocoa butter,espresso beans, honey and citrus peel.
Finish: Just a little wood spice of a kick!
This Cinco de Mayo, whatever you do, try and bring some agave into your life: you won’t regret it.