Gran Centenario Tequila

NOM: 1079

Distillery: Destileria Morales, S.A. de C.V.

Region: Los Altos (Highlands)

Gran Centenario tequila is another of the numerous brands owned and produced by Jose Cuervo. With much limited production than other Cuervo brands, Gran Centenario competes in the premium tequila range with the likes of Don Julio, Herradura, and Tres Generaciones tequila, among others.

Currently imported by Skyy Spirits, Gran Centenario stands as an interesting choice for tequila aficionados.

Here’s my take on it.

Gran Centenario Blanco

Type: 100% blue agave.

Aging: 28 days in white oak barrels.

Price range: $ 40-50 (750 ml)

A yellow-colored blanco tequila? Indeed. Gran Centenario Blanco is aged for no more than 28 days in white oak barrels, enough time to smooth out the flavor but still call it a blanco. It’s also a 76 proof alcohol.

The very subtle wood fragrance and taste are followed up soft pepper and strong agave presence. I’d use it for mixing rather than sipping but that’s your call.

If you’re eager to try Gran Centenario Blanco then check out online store BevMo. They’re currently selling 750 ml bottles for $23.99, which amounts to a nearly 50% discounted price (store checked July 6, 2011).

Trust me, you won’t find this bottle at a better price.

Gran Centenario Reposado

Type: 100% blue agave.

Aging: aged at least 6 months.

Price range: $ 40-50 (750 ml)

A smooth tequila meant to be sipped. Expect intense herbal and vanilla notes followed by an enjoyable agave finish. It’s a significant improvement from Centenario blanco.

Same purchasing recommendation as with the blanco. BevMo sells underpriced Gran Centenario Reposado bottles at $25 or less.

Gran Centenario Anejo

Type: 100% blue agave.

Aging: aged 18 months in oak wood barrels.

Price range: $ 45-55 (750 ml)

Gran Centenario anejo has a longer bottle than the blanco and reposado, an attempt to visually differentiate it and... make it seem more valuable? Perhaps, but the visual impact works in its favor.

Gran Centenario Anejo has a sweet and enticing aroma. It’s got oak, vanilla, and an interesting spicy flavor. Do realize it’s not as sophisticated as other anejas though, but it’s still a solid pick.

Again, if you’re interested in buying it then check out BevMo. This one’s selling for $29.99.

Gran Centenario Leyenda

Type: 100% blue agave.

Aging: more than 3 years in oak barrels.

Price range: $ 200+ (750 ml)

The ultimate Gran Centenario tequila.

This tequila uses a technique called “Seleccion Suave” (soft selection), which blends recently aged tequila with more aged liquor. The technique was named by the company and is an unusual practice in the industry.

I’ve only heard of mixing aged and unaged to balance out flavors and overall aging.

While I’ve only had a shooter of this tequila, that was enough to perceive the orange and spice with a smooth finish. But at $200 + a bottle you really should expect no less.

Fantastic tequila, stiff price.

Summing things up...

Gran Centenario is a solid product with a clear purchasing value. One can often buy it in Mexico for $20+ though, so I’m surprised US prices make it compete with Don Julio, Herradura, and a few other premium brands.

All in all, hesitate with their blanco. All the other tequilas should be tried (expect Gran Centenario Leyenda, few budgets could handle that!).

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