Los Arango Tequilas & Improved Palo Negro

I already announced it in the last article, but today it’s finally time for another chapter in the world of agave spirits. Today, I am focusing on what is probably the best-known sub-category of Mezcal: tequila. To be precise, on two different tequilas, or rather two tequilas with different degrees of maturity. However, both come from the same distillery and under the same name: Los Arango (provided test products)*

According to the manufacturer, Los Arango tequila is produced in (unspecified) limited quantities using traditional craftsmanship. The Hacienda Corralejo, where this tequila is produced, was originally built in 1700 and is located just outside the town of Pénjamo in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. The hacienda is surrounded by blue Weber agaves. Accordingly, the bottlings presented today are also two 100% agave tequilas made exclusively from this agave variety. The agaves are harvested after 8 to 12 years.

However, anyone stumbling upon the name Corralejo will probably think of the Corralejo tequila, and rightly so, since that particular tequila brand is produced and bottled in the same distillery.

For the Los Arango tequilas, the hearts of the agaves are slowly cooked in clay ovens for around 38 hours after harvesting and then fermented with a special yeast strain during a 12-hour rest period. This is followed by a double distillation: first in a column still and then in a copper pot still. Finally, each batch is bottled in mouth-blown glass bottles in the same place where it was produced. In contrast to the Blanco, the Reposado from the Los Arango series matures for a further six months in American oak barrels. Both ages are bottled at the classic abv of 40%.

Tasting Notes “Los Arango Blanco”:

Aroma: The nose immediately reveals typical, earthy-spicy agave notes, white pepper, but also a little black pepper, as well as a very fine and downright fresh sweetness like vanilla, and a little cinnamon can also be detected. Above all, however, green herbal notes resonate here, which ultimately play with minimal smoke associations.

Taste: A beautiful, clear, not too complicated blanco tequila. The alcohol is very nicely integrated, gentle notes of pepper, vanilla, earthy agave and citrus fruits alternate on the palate and offer associations of a certain honey sweetness, I also have to think of candied lemons and minerally sparkling salt crystals.

Finish: the finish is spicy and fresh, not too long for a blanco, as expected, but pleasant

Tasting notes “Los Arango Reposado”:

Aroma: The Los Arango Reposado is quite close to its unaged brother on the nose, here too I find the agave notes, pepper, vanilla, cinnamon and herbal tones, but the vanilla is noticeably more prominent. I am also reminded a little of fennel tea, although this is no more than a fleeting, subtle association.

Taste: The palate shows once again why I actually like Reposados best on the average: the elegant blend of freshness and somewhat more complex, spicy and aromatic tones also hits my nerve with Los Arango. Agave, pepper, salt crystal and a herbal honey definitely know how to please here.

Finish: a little longer, spicier and softer

Naturally, these tequilas are ideal for use as a cocktail ingredient. I opted for a variation of the Palo Negro by Ivy Mix from Leyenda, NYC. However, I used both tequilas, two different sherries, a Jamaican rum and sugar cane honey instead of the demerara syrup from the original recipe. Because I think this is an improvement, but I don’t want to detract from the outstanding original recipe by using a new name, I have simply called the drink “Improved Palo Negro”.

Improved Palo Negro” recipe (based on the Palo Negro from Ivy Mix):

3 cl Los Arango Reposado Tequila
2 cl Los Arango Blanco Tequila
1 cl ester-heavy Jamaican rum (e.g. Hampden Estate)
1.5 cl Amontillado sherry
0.5 cl Grand Marnier
0.75 cl Pedro Ximenez sherry
One bar spoon (0.25 cl) of sugar cane honey

Preparation: Stir all ingredients on ice until cold and strain into a pre-chilled glass.

Glass: Goblet, Nick & Nora or Coupette

Garnish: dried orange wheel

Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online

*The fact that these products have been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.


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