Review: 123 Tequila
123 — pronounced, of course, “Uno Dos Tres,” is a new, 100% organic tequila from David Ravandi, a 15-year veteran of the tequila business. I won’t expound on his past successes, but Ravandi knows his stuff, and he does it again with this high-quality series, which I had the fortune to try recently.
Using 100% Lowlands agave (4200 feet qualifies as “low” in Jalisco, by the way) from tha Amatitan Valley, these tequilas were designed with the wine connoisseur in mind. You’ll find each of the expressions has a very different character to it, though they all contain the same DNA.
Here are thoughts on each. All are 80 proof and bottles are hand-numbered.
123 Blanco Tequila (Uno) – Unaged and clean. Vibrant with lemon peel, black pepper, and minerals. Smooth as silk, with a slight sweet kick on the finish, which is so easy it’s criminal. The cleanness makes it perhaps my favorite tequila in this lineup, though it’s awfully close (as the grades will indicate). A- / $40
123 Reposado Tequila (Dos) – Aged 6 months in oak, which gives it a very light color and no real hint of wood. Rather here we see salted caramel, creme brulee, and toffee notes. There’s agave on the nose, but it quickly dissipates as you head for a light dessert course, complete with minty finish. Probably the most complex tequila in the lineup. A- / $45
123 Anejo Tequila (Tres) – After a year in oak, Tres’s wood character is more prominent, and on first blush it is heady on the nose with tannin and wood oil notes. This fades after time in the glass, revealing richer versions of those characteristics in the Reposado: Caramel, and some chocolate notes. A lovely anejo, it really opens up if you give it time. A- / $50