From it’s squared-off bottle to its regal blue labelling and typeface, Bribon Blanco ($20), produced in the heart of tequila country in the village of Tequila, Jalisco, appears to be a rock-solid classic execution of unbarreled agave spirits. But, looks can be deceiving. The word “bribon” is Spanish slang that loosely translates into “rascal.” And while the distillery produces terrific and equally accessible reposado and anejo executions, the blanco especially evidences some decidedly unique qualities.
Using fully matured, 7 to 10 year old agaves as its source, an 18-hour cooking time to release as much flavor as possible, and both pot-still and column distillation, Bribon Blanco is a remarkably smooth sipper that carries an unexpected amount of botanical nature, both in its nose and tongue. So much so, that the flavor approaches a very crisp reposado (which uses light barreling to bring out those potent herbal notes).
A crystal-clear potion that still delivers some herbal intensity? Rascally, indeed. The aroma carries almost no alcohol-forward fumes; it’s all soft, sweet, grassy, and even a little citrusy. On sipping, you get a nice white pepper note right away, almost like a mezcal, that quickly melts in herbaceous smoothness with clean finish. This is a blanco that will bring some strong new undercurrents to a traditional margarita, to be sure, but do yourself a favor and appreciate the expert distilling…neat or with a single rock. At around two bills, your inner rascal will consider it a steal.