Updated: Jan 22, 2021
Tequila Ocho Plata
Before I started taking tasting notes on the older bottles I found. I tried a couple bar flights of G4, Tequila Ocho, and Fortaleza side-by-side. Fortaleza was the profile I favored; Ocho and G4 went back and forth depending on the expression. My general impression was that Fortaleza was the most expressive, then G4, then Ocho. There were times I preferred the subtly and restraint of Ocho. When I look at my purchases over the last couple years, I have a ton of Fortaleza but haven't stashed any Ocho or G4. Makes me wonder how much those early side-by-side tastings influenced my future purchasing decisions.
2014 Tequila Ocho Plata - La Magueyera - NOM 1474 - 40%
Nose: Rich floral honey - really digging this. Backed by minerality and citrus. Caramel. Aged cheese. Dry earth.
Flavor: Florals are great here - clippings and pollen. Light honey as a base. Finish is clean with a touch of the earth from the nose. Faint residual honey.
Structure: Plays light and dry. Clean. Plenty of mid-palate top notes. A little short.
Alcohol Integration: Great clarity. Medium weight. Medium length.
Score: 8 (Stash One) Nose is layered and complex - really impressive. Great clarity and structure on the palate. Wish it was a little longer or complex into the finish, but a small price to pay. As expressive as the Fortalezas and Olive Oil Tesoros I love.
2016 Tequila Ocho Plata - Los Patos - NOM 1474 - 40%
Nose: Bright. Fresh. Crisp. Minerality and light agave. Lime. Green beans.
Flavor: Bright/fresh again. Citrus. Light sweetness beneath the minerality and vegetal notes.
Structure: Pleasant depth. Good weight. Top notes have a lot of action but never read hot or choppy. Long, chewy finish.
Alcohol Integration: Full and long on the palate with a nice structure.
Score: 7 (Highly Recommend) Nose is awesome. Palate didn’t have the same clarity. Finish is fantastic.
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Tequila drinkers are often skeptical of people looking for smooth tequila. As Lou Agave's pointed out, if smooth means no bite and less flavor, that's not what well-made tequila aims for. Ocho is bright, clean and well rounded. Maybe a little less dynamic and assertive than Fortaleza or El Tesoro, but the balance it provides is a great introduction for "smooth" tequila drinkers as they enter the world of quality tequila.
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