Tequila That Tastes Like Tequila: Herradura Blanco

Whether it's old-school, old-fashioned, or just cranky old guy, when it comes to my beverages, I'm a bit of a purist. Wine should taste like the grapes used to make it, beer should taste like barley and hops, and spirits ought to follow the same pattern. Regrettably, new product introductions across all beverage alcohol categories seem to gravitate towards bastardizations which barely resemble the beverage these new products intend to imitate. For example, bourbon barrel aged wine is exploding, same goes for fruit flavored beers, and a plethora of new spirits that have more in common with a Starbucks Frappuccino than whatever it says on the label. Case in point is the Clase Azul Reposado ($150) I sampled last week. While I'm sure it's a quality product, its sweet, creamy vanilla overtones mask what is almost certainly exceptional tequila. Shame that you can't taste it. As a retailer told me this week, "It's expensive tequila made for people who want to be seen drinking tequila, but who don't really like it."

Imposters like this have set me on a quest to find straightforward, superlative-worthy, unaged tequila. You know, tequila that tastes like, well, tequila. Stop one on this journey is the Herradura Silver ($44) bottling. Though my palate gravitates towards the bright, saline end of the flavor spectrum, the Herradura's slightly sweet, round flavor profile isn't in my personal wheelhouse, but make for a very approachable and sippable package. No heat or bite in this one, it goes down smoothly and would probably welcome a squeeze of lime to energize its relaxed posture. Neither cheap nor pricey for this category, the price/quality combo earns it 89 points.