I certainly wasn’t intending to buy tequila that day, but there I was, in the booze aisle at Morrison’s, and it was the first time I’d ever seen a supermarket tequila that wasn’t Jose Cuervo or Sierra. I’ve got twenty quid. I’m out of tequila. I’m on it.
Now, at £19.99 for 50cl this is poor value for a tequila that isn’t even 100% agave – especially when it’s from a supermarket. 70cl of el Jimador was only just over £20 from Carrington’s, and soon after this purchase of Sauza I happened to be looking online, and saw that Waitrose were selling the el Jimador Reposado (gold) for £20… it just gets worse.
I’m not even kidding because then, I started looking for reviews of Sauza (38% ABV) and it looks like it is probably the worst tequila ever. Here’s some direct quotations:
“Skip this one. It's not even passable as a mixer.”
“Cheap, but really they should be paying you to drink it.” Frankly, the page this one is culled from is negative about all tequila, so perhaps take with a pinch of salt… and lime.
“Sauza is what the parents of other tequila brands use as a boogeyman to scare their children into being tasty. Sauza's a salty mix of hot garbage and all of your nightmares. If hate was a liquid that you could drink, you would use it as a chaser for Sauza.” Someone thinks they’re funny.
“Sauza Tequila doesn't go through the traditional distillation process that most brands go through. Instead, the bottlers wait for someone to get drunk on different Tequila, and then simply bottle that person's vomit and slap a Sauza label on it.”
It’s not all bad actually:
“The finest tequila I have ever found -- I have purchased only this one for decades.” So how do you know it’s the finest?
The general consensus though is that this is bad. But can anything actually be as bad as that? Let’s find out.
Firsly, let’s just be sensible ok? Nothing can be as bad as all that. This is the internet, and if you want people to read your work and enjoy it, you are maybe going to exaggerate a little. The point is that this is supposed to be particularly bad tequila. I suppose I’m saying that as a reminder to myself - to maintain some perspective before I start over-analysing.
So what happened at fulfilment time?
I opened the bottle, poured a little and went to the next room to get my camera. A few seconds later when I returned, the smell of alcohol had escaped, and I found that pleasing. Off to the living room, bottle and all where I think we were watching a documentary about former chess champion Bobby Fischer.
I followed the procedure of sip one, neck a couple, sip one to get a full impression of what it’s like neat and what I found was that, while it’s not that bad, it certainly isn’t good and it doesn’t even taste like tequila. I can’t detect any agave in there and there is little to enjoy – perhaps a slight citrus element, but mostly aniseed. It’s grainy and watery, and it’s certainly not something that is likely to replace my Stoli Blue (which, at time of writing was sadly on its way out and is now long gone) as an early evening mood enhancer.
Since it’s not a sipper (or even a shooter), that meant I would have to try two more tests – with lime and tequila sunrise. This would be something Mrs Cake could get involved in.
Yes, I can find a use for Sauza if I squeeze a little lime juice into it, but that’s not what I buy tequila for. You can squeeze lime juice into pretty much any bad spirit and make it palatable. What I’m looking for is something I can sip on its own and marvel at how horrible but how great it is at the same time. Sauza just tastes… dirty.
True enough, I do need something I can just throw down my throat before I head out the door in the morning… just kidding, I mean before I go on a heavy night out sometimes, but even then, there are so many more and better alternatives than this one.
Sorry, I didn’t even get around to trying it with the old orange juice and grenadine. That’s not really the point though, is it? If it was the cheapest tequila, and you wanted to mix it, then fine, but this isn’t even the cheapest tequila. There’s better, there’s better for drinking straight and there’s cheaper for if you just want to mix it.
Is it as bad as all that?
No. Not quite. But it’s not that much better than all that. Some people don’t like tequila anyway, but I do and this almost makes me forget why. So there you have it. If you’ve got £20 to spend on tequila, you can get the 100% agave Jose Cuervo Tradicional (which I’ll be looking at another time) or el Jimador. If you don’t even have that much, maybe just don’t bother. Eh? There’s a good lad.
Now, I’m off to Florida this weekend (don’t rob my house while I’m gone, will you?) where I’ll be visiting NASA, swimming with manatees and then feigning extreme enthusiasm (hopefully while suitably “merry”) all the way around Disney World. More importantly, I’ll be using the experience to pick up some bourbon brands that I might not be able to get at home. It does mean that there won’t be a post next week, but don’t worry. I’ll be back the week after that, and at the moment it looks like I’ll be looking at the Grant’s Sherry Cask Edition. Join me then. See you later.