For the 3rd consecutive year, the Best Western Hacienda Hotel in Old Town San Diego was the venue of choice for the Polished Palate Spirits of Mexico Tasting Competition, which was held on Thursday & Friday, September 10 & 11. A total of 111 entries included Tequilas, Sotols and Mezcals.
A strategic element to the Spirits of Mexico Festival, the Competition was co-hosted by Robert Plotkin/Bar Media and Jack Robertiello/Drinks Ink. Judges included Charlotte Voisey/William Grant & Sons; Junior Merino/The Liquid Chef, Mario Marquez/Café Coyote; Patrick McCarthy, Bayway Liquors; Larry Auman, Cantina Mayahuel; Diana Barrera, AgaveGal; Carlos Ruiz, Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa; Zack Romaya, Old Town Liquors; David Grapshi, Gemini Spirits and Wine & Michael Morales, Intimate Tequila Tastings, who furthers ‘it was the most amount of Tequilas I’ve tasted but never consumed!'
The blind tasting took place in the El Pueblo room. Entries were judged on 5 key elements including Appearance, Aromatics, Flavor, Mouthfeel & Finish, with a rating system totaling a maximum possible score of 100 points. Nine ‘Best of Category’ Awards were given as follows: Tequila, Blanco: Corazon & Nocaut (pronounced KnockOut) (tie); Reposado: Pueblo Viejo; Anejo: Milagro Anejo & Oro Azul (tie); Extra Anejo: Clase Azul Ultra; Sotol: Hacienda de Chihuahua Silver; Mezcal: Forever Oax Reposado; Flavors/Creams: Casa 1921 Cream (2 consecutive years).
Of particular note, five brands received Gold Medals across the board for their Blanco, Reposado & Anejo entries including Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol, Pueblo Viejo, newcomers Nocaut & El Grado and the newly re-launched Suavemente. According to Jack Robertiello, “San Diego is perfectly poised, historically and culturally, to be the proving grounds for agave spirits in the US. We are honored that the world’s best Tequilas, Sotols and Mezcals were presented this year. It gave us the opportunity to showcase their history and future.”
The 2009 Polished Palate Spirits of Mexico full Tasting Competition results can be viewed here.