Updated: Jan 21, 2021
Context: Horno cooked and tahona ground with a 19,000-pound reclaimed steamroller, this estate grown Highland tequila is distilled using, among other things, salvaged machinery and collected rainwater. At El Pandillo, Felipe Camarena cultivates biodiversity on the property, planting cinnamon trees, strawberry guava trees, fig trees, and several citrus trees to attract birds and other natural pollinators. The tequila byproduct (potentially harmful to the soil) is adjusted with calcium carbonate so it can be used as sustainable fertilizer.
The first time I tried G4 was at a distributor warehouse tasting. I wasn't into tequila at the time. The bottles of mezcal drew me in, but the G4 ambassador got a glass of the blanco in my hand. I was blown away with the complexity - the fruit, the minerality. I got a lot more interested in tequila after that tasting.
Below are two limited release extra anejos. Both retain an elevated ABV at 45%.
G4 Extra Anejo 5 yr. - 2019 - NOM 1579 - 45% Nose: Oak is drier here than in the 55 mo. Fresh paint and hot glue (these are enjoyable notes for me and add to the depth and complexity here). Buttercream frosting. Faint tropical fruit - bruleed banana. This nose has a lot more going on than the 55 mo. Flavor: Banana carries over from the nose and transitions into strong oak before the frosting returns. Eventually it settles into oak and espresso. Palate Structure: Mostly linear and high on the palate. Even when things dip with the frosting or espresso they dry out quickly in the light oak notes. Alcohol Integration: The higher proof adds some action mid-palate and contributes to a longer, satisfying finish.
Score: 7 (Highly Recommend) There’s something similar to 1960s-1970s vintage armagnac in the finish with all the oak and espresso notes. Plays very linear and high on the palate.
G4 Extra Anejo 55 mo. #140 - NOM 1579 - 45% Nose: Really light char and wood. More agave forward. Faint vanilla cream. Flavor: Fruiter on the palate - pear skins. Vanilla and steamed/foamed milk toward the back of the palate. Finish dries out with sandalwood and retains some of the vanilla and sweeter pear elements. Palate Structure: Still pretty linear. But this one is more full up front and more layered in the finish. Alcohol Integration: As with the 5 year, the higher proof makes the mid-palate more dynamic and layers flavors. Here the mouthfeel is creamier.
Score: 7 (Highly Recommend) If I could only buy one, the creamier mouthfeel and lighter oak touch with the "55" would get my money. That said, I did prefer the nose on the 5 year. At the end of the day, these are both fantastic especially if you're into lighter profiles. The oak in these is never heavy or deep. Everything drinks pretty clean and light. You’d Dig These If You Like: Bourbon: lighter, sub-100 proof, 9 year
Scotch: unpeated, fruit forward, ex-bourbon BenRiach 10 yr.
Archived Scores Rating System 10 - Reevaluate The Budget 9 - Stash Two (If Able) 8 - Stash One (At The Right Price) 7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers 6 - Solid - Above Average 5 - Acceptable For The Situation 4 - Not Vocally Complaining 3 - Wish I Was Drinking Something Else 2 - Nothing Nice To Say 1 - Drain Pour