Milagro Unico Tequila - Review
Something Old, Something New...
For many aged spirits, older implies better, with makers touting twelve-year-old Bourbon, eighteen-year-old Scotch whiskey and twenty-year-old rum. Tequilas are labeled based on the time they spend in a barrel: plata (unaged, also called blanco or silver), reposado (aged at least two months) or anejo (aged at least a year), with the oldest usually the most expensive and most coveted. But Milagro, which produces tequilas in all three categories, has come out with Unico, a super-premium tequila that blurs the lines between these strict demarcations, blending the different age groups together.
Milagro Unico is made from 100 percent blue agave grown on their Jalisco highlands estate, then slow-roasted in brick ovens. The company claims that while most tequila makers will produce seven liters of spirit from thirteen kilos of agave, they use that same amount to make but a single liter. After a triple-distillation, the new tequila is blended with their aged stock, and the mixture is barreled for 30 days before filtering and bottling. Since the 80-proof tequila is not aged for the minimum two months, it can only be labeled as "joven," although priced as a venerated elder statesman.
We found the taste profile to be very agave-forward, with strong aromas of cooked agave on the nose and an overall vegetal flavor. There is a slight burn on the lips and tongue, but none in the long, smooth aftertaste. The unique blend is playful on the tongue, with a supple mouthfeel.
Only 1,200 bottles of the first release of Unico were made, and each is individually numbered. Like the spirit itself, the bottle is distinctive and proud of its agave roots, sporting the shape of the piña — the heart of the plant — in its bottom. It will be interesting to see if a market exists for this limited release product.
by Jeff Hoyt