I feel extremely privileged to have been one of the first to touch my tongue to 901, a 100% de Agave tequila. I’ll warn you up front, the minute I learned Justin Timberlake was going to launch his own tequila brand I became an instant skeptic. Sure, the high profile stature of a celebrity can’t hurt a brand but, from a tequila reviewer, I was worried this would be a heavily marketed product with very little substance.
Was I correct? Let’s see!
901 Tequila launched in New York in early May and will be creeping across the US in the future. The suggested retail price is USD $40.00, attacking the premium tequila market. However, there are varying levels of pricing in the premium tequila market, a market full of crazy tequila bottles, names and gimmicks.
The 901 coloring is perfectly clear, excellent start to a Blanco tequila style. We’ve yet to see a blanco tequila that hasn’t held a strong clear coloring so we’re on par with all other non-rested alternatives. So far, it fits the bill and passes the first test.
Once I poured it into my sipping glass I was shocked at the scents, bright salty briney pineapple smells. There is a great deal of character in the nose alone, separating itself from a few other mass market tequila’s like Patron, which often goes without a scent. First impressions mean a lot to me, a silent tequila tells no story. 901 Tequila tells a tropical story of beaches and bright sun with hints of sugary agave.
The initial attack is bright and tropical in flavor profile with an agave-like salty mid-palate transition ending with a tongue numbing burn with a light vanilla aftertaste. The pineapples in my first impression continue through the length of the sip enforcing 901‘s character and differentiating style. The liquid is both smooth and graceful on the palate with a great visocity, leaving you yearning for another sip.
I’ve yet to try 901 Tequila in a cocktail but it’s high on my list of priorities this week, it will happen and I’m sure I will be impressed. When a tequila brings its own personality to the table it carries that personality into its mixing partners as well.
I’m going to have to take back any initial hesitations, 901 Tequila is for real and competes at a good price point. 901 Tequila puts Patron to shame in terms of nose and smooth gracefulness, although both will light a fire in your tummy. Up against a Cielo Blanco or Partida Blanco, 901 falls a bit short but not by much. The tequila brands that beat out 901 Tequila in taste also beat it out in price, leaving 901 to compete against the $40.00 alternative in which their is very little competition against this clear spirit.