Reviews Tequila/Mezcal Reviews

Tequila Review: Jose Cuervo Cinge

Flavored vodkas and whiskeys have been all the rage in the spirits world over the past several years. So why not a flavored tequila? Leave it to Jose Cuervo to give it a try.

It was with some trepidation that I sampled this. I’m not a fan of Jose Cuervo¬†Especial, the distillery’s mainstay mixto tequila that is used as the base for this product. So the idea of taking that tequila and infusing it with cinnamon didn’t light up my taste buds.

In the glass, Jose Cuervo Cinge is clear and viscous, with an overpowering aroma of sweet cinnamon. It reminded me more of a cinnamon schnapps like Goldschlager than anything resembling tequila.

The taste is loaded with artificial cinnamon and the very sweet flavor of agave nectar. It takes like an alcoholic Red Hots candy. I couldn’t detect any tequila flavor, although I could taste some alcohol in it. It’s cloying and very simple, lacking any sophistication or complexity.

There’s the sweet cinnamon upfront and a slight alcohol burn on the finish, but that’s about it. Is that good or bad? I suppose it depends on what you’re looking for. I didn’t dislike it, per se, but I can’t imagine when or why I would drink it.

On the other hand, I can imagine that a lot of people — mostly young people, I suppose — would enjoy this as a shooter. I can also envision some cocktail uses, although I doubt I would use it that way myself.

In the end, I think the distillers at Jose Cuervo produced exactly what they were attempting, and thus they succeeded on that level. However, I still don’t see enough here to justify recommending it.


New Booze: April and May 2012

The redoubtable Camper English has a regular feature on where he rounds up the New Booze that's coming out. It makes for an interesting read, both to admire the latest cool stuff, and to cringe at the dreck the marketeers are foisting on the public.

Here's a list of the last two months' worth of new products. Click through to read more about each item.


Spirits Reviews Whiskey Whiskey Reviews

Whiskey Review: Red Stag Spiced Bourbon Whiskey

Redstag_spicedRed Stag Spiced Bourbon Whiskey
Flavored Bourbon Whiskey
Final Grade: B
Price: $18 (750ml)

Red Stag Spiced builds on the popular line of flavored whiskeys that Jim Beam began with their original Red Stag product, Black Cherry Bourbon. For this new spirit, the distillers start with their flagship four-year-old bourbon (Jim Beam White label) and infuse it with cinnamon and other spices.

At first whiff, it's all cinnamon. Upon further review, it's still cinnamon, and lots of it. That flavor carries over into the spirit itself. A somewhat artificial, but not unpleasant taste of cinnamon candy. Kind of like a Red Hot, but without the overpowering spiciness. It makes itself known, for sure, but it doesn't overstay its welcome.

Red Stag Spiced is warm and sweet with a touch of oakiness, but I found that the bourbon got lost in the background. You can taste a little of the whiskey in there, but not as much as I'd hoped for. I don't think that's a drawback for a lot of consumers — after all, you don't buy a spirit like this if you're expecting fine bourbon. But I was hoping for a little more of the whiskey to assert itself.

The finish is fleeting, ending on a somewhat funky (musty?) note that, fortunately, fades quickly. This is where the flavor really leaps out as being too artificial. It's possible that this would not be as noticeable if you drank it mixed with something else, perhaps Coke.

I had a conflicted reaction to Red Stag Spiced. On the one hand, it's a successful version of what the distillers (apparently) set out to do. It's uncomplicated bourbon that tastes like cinnamon. On that basis, it's a success. But even so, I don't see myself drinking it very often. However, if it sounds like the kind of thing that you'd enjoy, you should definitely give it a try.

Report Card

Quality Grade: B-
Value Grade: B
Final Grade: B