Country-western superstar George Strait comes by his tequila appreciation honestly, ma’am. And his Código 1530 tequilas and mezcals are cowboy-legit, especially a new limited-edition “Rosa” Reposado expression.
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We don’t know if Mr. Strait honed his love of good tequila on the road as a hard-working musician (and, later, actor). But we do know that his involvement with the Código 1530 distillery in Jalisco has given birth to some very special, inventive spirits, and at least one song. With his investment and endorsement, Código, which embodies some of the best qualities of small-batch tequila and mezcal making, is finding a bigger, and more rarefied, audience.
The distillery leans hard into traditional and pure distilling methods, with the occasional unexpected twist. For example, Código began barrel-aging their superb blanco tequila with a very light rest in French Oak barrels, former homes to Napa Valley Cabernet, lending a unique pink-yellow color, exquisite sweetness, and smoothness to its core Rosa Reposado expression. The new limited edition Código 1530 Rosa Reposado ($75) doubles down on the unorthodox barreling with an additional aging in Spanish sherry casks. The color takes on some extra depth, a kind of golden pink hue, but it’s the flavor profile that gets kicked up a gun notch or two with the finishing technique.
The approach just plain works. The nose is notably sweet, with a dominant cherry aroma from the sherry cask’s addition. On the first tongue-hit, the sweetness continues, in a broader honey/citrus vein, with enough welcome agave botanical notes to keep it all legit. The finish on this light, easy-sipper is remarkably refreshing, leaving a clean herbal/minty buzz in your mouth, and an unavoidable temptation to do it all over again in your mind.
At the price point, and given the unusual authentic-meets-new jack flavors, you won’t want to adulterate this with anything except a rock or two. Cocktail use would do this tequila a disservice. And the campfire-wood presentation box, plus an artful engraved image of Mr. Strait playing his guitar in front of a blooming blue agave on the bottle, give you plenty to contemplate. Strum and sip.
Order the special edition here.