Review: Tapatio Excelencia XA (2019, 2016)


Tapatio Excelencia XA


Two different lots of Tapatio Excelencia. One is Lot 2 - US release from February of 2016. Lot 1 was released between 2013-2015: limited to 300 cases, distilled in 1996, aged for 4 years, and glass rested for 13 years. Lot 2 was distilled in 2000, aged for 5 years in the Lot 1 Excelencia barrels, and glass rested for an additional 10 years. 2019 is clearly a different Lot, but I haven't found any information online for when Excelencia transitioned to Lot 3.


Color bias is a real thing. The 2016 was noticeably darker and significantly more expressive on the nose. I figured it was going to bulldoze the 2019 in a side-by-side tasting. But as with most assumptions, it didn't exactly hold up to further investigation.

Tapatio Excelencia XA - 10/21/19 - 40%


Beautiful and bright. Reminds me of old-school El Tesoro repos. Watermelon. Mint. Pineapple. Citrus. Honeydew. Juicy Fruit Gum. The finish drops some crisp florals and minerality. Overall it's light and gentle, but still offers long ride.


Score: 7 (Highly Recommended)

Tapatio Excelencia XA - Lote 007 2/23/16 - 40%


Way more barrel on the nose and palate. Some tropical fruit still comes through, but it's earthier, brinier, more herbal and accented by barrel sweets. Weightier and slower moving. Salted sweets. This one is bigger all around.


Score: 8 (Stash One)

Final Thoughts:


I always worry that the XAs I love from Carlos Camarena are going to change. And they always do. But the quality has yet to suffer. I may slightly prefer the 2016 or even Lote 1 of El Tesoro XA to the 2019. But at the end of the day, these are all bottles I'd happily buy and rebuy.


I would like to know more about the later lots post-Lot 2 if anyone has info.


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 - Anything Else To Drink?

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour

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