The last time we encountered Gran Centenario’s Plata tequila was way back in 2008! Has 12 years changed anything about this unique joven-esque tequila, which spends a short 28 days in French Limousin oak barrels before bottling (and rendering it a very pale yellow in color)? (One thing that’s changed is the price, driven down by a flood of solid 100% agave tequilas on the market.)
Let’s give a fresh bottle a whirl. Cocktail ideas from Gran Centenario follow after the rating.
The nose is a flood of pepper and fresh agave, green and herbal and full of rustic spice. It doesn’t smell “mellowed” at all, but rather comes across a lot like a standard blanco — and a huge one at that.
On the palate things change. The vanilla and caramel one expects from a reposado are evident here, filtered through notes of white pepper, rosemary, and Mexican chocolate. The tequila deftly rides the line between blanco and reposado, but at times it feels like it hasn’t grabbed onto the most compelling aspects of each. The blanco side can be overly pungent, the reposado side a bit overly sweet on the finish. The herbal pungency of the blanco wins out in the end, with a conclusion that’s fiery with pepper and spice. There’s a nice slug of lime, though, as the tequila opens up with air.
So, for better or worse — it doesn’t seem like there have been any real changes to the tequila since our last review. Which is a little comforting, at least.
B+ / $28 / grancentenario.com
Gran Centenario Cucumber Lime Margarita
1.5 oz Gran Centenario Plata
1.5 oz Fresh lime juice
3 oz Cucumber juice
0.5 oz Simple Syrup (2:1) or 0.75 Simple Syrup (1:1) for less sweet
1/2 Sliced jalapeño, seeded and diced
Place jalapeño slices in a shaker and muddle. Add rest of ingredients, add ice. Shake and strain into an ice filled 12 oz rocks glass. Garnish: Lime wedge and jalapeño.
Gran Centenario Mango Margarita
8 oz. Gran Centenario Plata
2 Mangos, peeled and diced, blended
2 Oranges, juiced
2 Limes, juiced (plus extra for garnish)
2.5 oz. Orange liqueur
3 cups Ice
Margarita salt, to rim the glasses
Place all ingredients in a blender except for the ice and salt. Blend until mango is puréed. Add the ice. Flash blend for 3 seconds. Repeat two more times. Pour into ice filled and salt rimmed rocks glasses.