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When you hear Hotel California, one cannot help but automatically think of the classic Eagles hit song. When, rather three bottles of Hotel California Tequila came into hand, I knew I had to try them and see if they, themselves, would become a classic. The bottles, themselves, stand out beautifully as they are each handcrafted. Hotel California uses 100 percent Weber blue agave selected from the Jalisco Highlands, even though most tequilas are required to only have to use 51 percent blue agave. It’s the difference you can taste. Once you have a bottle comprised of 100 percent blue agave, there will be no turning back.
Their Reposado is aged to a minimum of six months. Upon sipping, you entice your taste buds with the floral aromas and the sweet flavor of toasted vanilla. The finish has a moderate taste of the agave. I prepared their signature “California Iced Tea” cocktail recipe with the Reposado tequila. This was the perfect summertime splash. I could not get it down fast enough. Cool and refreshing without being too overbearing to take away from the distinct flavors within the Reposado itself.
I was a little nervous upon first opening and catching a whiff of the Blanco. I was pleasantly surprised when, after tasting it, seeing that the alcohol content and intensity of it was not as strong on the mouth as it was on the nose. After sipping, the flavors of the fruit and lemon with a hint of the white pepper are left on your tongue. One of Hotel California’s signature cocktails using their Blanco is their Baja Bloody. It is the perfect way to complement your Sunday brunch. Consider it a refreshing twist on a Sunday classic.
Hotel California’s Anejo is aged 28 months in Jack Daniels barrels. The Anejo is rich and golden, showcasing and emphasizing the 28 months of aging that it instills. Just as in the Reposado and the Blanco, one can smell the aroma of the agave upon first opening. Do not be alarmed by the initial intense aroma of the alcohol upon opening and pouring. After letting the tequila settle in the glass for a minute or two, the tequila’s truest features comes out. Anejos ideally are meant to be enjoyed neat or “on the rocks.” I gave Hotel California’s signature cocktail “Penthouse Martini” a whirl with exquisite results. The citrus, oak and caramel in the Anejo are complemented with the orange and pineapple juice.
Hotel California has put all the necessary steps together to create beautiful and rich, full bodied tequilas for everyone to enjoy during your summer BBQs and get-togethers as well as any time throughout the year. The craftsmanship of the bottles perfectly matches the craftsmanship that was put into the making of their tequila. It is no wonder their Reposado won Gold at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and was named a Top 10 tequila by The Critico for 2012. For more information on their tequilas, as well as the recipes for the above mentioned signature cocktails and more, please visit their webpage at www.hotelcaliforniatequilausa.com.