Review: Insolito Tequila, Complete Lineup
New tequila brand Insolito (Spanish for “rare” or “extraordinary”) is distilled by Octavio & Alberto Herrera at Premium de Jalisco, which lays claim to being the highest-elevation distillery in Mexico, at 7200 feet above sea level. There’s a curious partnership with the Herreras: Midland, a Texas-based country music trio (and former bartenders).
While the distillery is located high in the mountains, Insolito is blended from both highland and lowland blue agave (though of course it’s 100% agave) and aged at the distillery. The three standard expressions are on offer, each packaged in a color-coded bottle.
We tried the lot. Let’s talk about them. All are 80 proof.
Insolito Tequila Blanco – Quite earthy and herbal, this really focuses heavily on the lowland agave in the spirit. While aromatically green and astringent, there’s a note of mint that livens it up just a bit. On the palate, the tequila is aggressively green and peppery, and it can be quite rough at times. The finish fortunately sees a squeeze of lemon to brighten things up a little, but it’s never a spirit that strays far from its earthbound core. B- / $40
Insolito Tequila Reposado – The reposado is aged up to 10 months in American white oak barrels, and it’s clearly just what the blanco needed to temper its pungency. It’s still showing herbal elements on the nose and some of that mint, but there’s a lacing of blood orange and vanilla that gives it a much-needed lift in both approachability and complexity. The palate finds a nice balance between citrus and vanilla, with the pepper fading into a milder white pepper note. A hint of banana is evident periodically, with Mexican chocolate notes emerging on the finish. Supple, lengthy vanilla lingers for quite a while. A- / $46
Insolito Tequila Anejo – Aged between 18 and 24 months in both American and French white oak barrels. The French oak spins this into another dimension, with a significant baking spice character emerging on the nose. Cinnamon and nutmeg are available in abundance, as is a stronger pepper character than in the reposado. Some barbecue beef char in the mix, too. The palate is bold but seductive, heavy with agave notes but also tons of sweetness. Again there’s ample banana in the mix, here showing as well caramelized and a bit nutty. Lots of topical fruit melds with a bold caramel and vanilla core, though the finish shows a fairly heavy layer of charred wood that dulls some of its impact. B+ / $56