Cabo Wabo Tequila Blanco, 100% agave azul, 40% ABV (80 proof)
By Bill Lau
Posted 5 January 2016
Greetings! Happy New Year / Felíz Año Nuevo, mis amigos! You may have noted I took a bit of a blogging break last month (I was shagged out after a prolonged squawk), but I’m back! Back, and in the mood for one of my favorite spirits, sometimes referred to as Vitamin T, hailing from Mexico (in this instance, the highlands of Jalisco, specifically), that’s right, our dear old friend tequila.
Now I’ve heard a lot of nonsense over the years about tequila, likely driven by drinking too much and (in my opinion) probably low quality stuff. Like with any alcoholic beverage, tequila will be more enjoyable if you drink in moderation, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, don’t drink on an empty stomach, and drink quality spirit.
Personally, if I’m drinking straight tequila, I sip it. I don’t do quick shots – not my style, and how can you appreciate the finer qualities and character of the spirit if you chuck it down in one gulp? When I’m enjoying a good tequila, it speaks to me of the land of its birth; I can almost feel the sun shining down, surrounded by large, spiky-leaved agave plants, and taste the character of the land itself in the product. That’s too good to pass up!
So, if I may address a couple of common misconceptions: there is no “worm” in tequila – some bottles of tequila’s cousin mezcal contain a gusano, or agave caterpillar, in them, but never tequila; and tequila does not “make you crazy” – that would be getting shit-faced stupid drunk and then suffering the resultant sickness and hangover, which can occur when overindulging in any product containing alcohol. We cool on that point, mis comprades?
Moving right along then, to the brand originally brought to us by the Red Rocker himself, Sammy Hagar, back when the selection of 100% agave tequilas was much more limited here in the US (which brings up another point – if the label doesn’t state 100% agave, then you have a mixto, made with up to 49% other sugars; these will obviously present less agave character than ones made with 100% agave). (Oh, and if the label says “gold” tequila – it’s caramel colored. If you’re looking for color imparted from wood aging, you want reposado or añejo tequila.)
Suffice to say the premium tequila market really exploded since Cabo first came out. (So did the prices of many new brands.) Cabo Wabo has thankfully remained pretty reasonable in that regard.
On with the review!
Cabo Wabo Tequila Blanco, Destiladora San Nicolas, San Ignacio Cerro Gordo, Jalisco, Mexico – NOM 1440
Appearance is clear, colorless, and bright. Lovely vegetal aroma with a floral edge and an earthy, sandstone note. Sings to me of the high plains of Mexico, arid country with hills and low mountains in the distance under a brilliant sun and clear, blue sky. On the palate the tequila is smooth, velvety, and has a viscous texture with some body.
Flavor starts slightly sweet with delicious vegetal & mineral notes and a light floral component. Good burn on the swallow, accompanied with light, dry lime. Leaves a lingering, pleasant mineral character behind. Great agave character. Excellent for sipping neat, but makes for a great upscale addition in your favorite tequila cocktail (Sammy would suggest a Waborita, no doubt!).
Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.