Although this new tequila is from established maker 1800, the most important number to keep in mind is 100. 1800 Black Label Select Silver Tequila is reportedly the first 100-proof premium tequila on the market. It’s 100% agave and distilled twice to make it “100% smooth” according to their marketing. We Snobs don’t put much faith in marketing, so we needed to take a taste test to substantiate the claims. Frankly, I’d never sampled 1800’s wares before, personally considering them to be a cut below premium due to their lower price point and as such only useful for mixing into maragaritas. Turns out I was wrong, at least about the Black Label product.
At first whiff, the Select Silver smells like a high-quality product, and thankfully it’s no deception. Unlike most silvers, 1800 blends in a touch of aged tequila to give it added depth of character without sacrificing its crystal-clear color. Okay, so it looks good and smells enticing, but how’s the taste? Well, first of all, if you’re accustomed to downing shots of 80-proof tequila, rest assured that the bump up to 100 proof is most definitely noticeable. This baby burns going down, but it’s a good burn, mixing in a touch of pain to go with its overwhelming pleasure. You’ll want to keep your favorite curse word handy when you come up for air, because that first shot is definitely a doozy. Feel free to mix it up or go with the same curse again on round two, you’ll still need it.
But here’s the thing: the taste is fantastic. The blend of clear silver with a hint of more robust aged tequila produces a sensory delight that will make you want to go back for more even as you’re fighting back tears from that first shot. You’re guaranteed to feel completely alive and invigorated as you experience this new concoction, just take it easy since that 100 proof could sneak up on you quickly. You could use it as a mixer, and maybe that’s even the recommended method of ingestion, but in this reviewer’s opinion it makes no sense to dilute this pure pleasure with anything else save maybe the classic lime and salt accompaniments.
The tequila comes housed in 1800’s classic standard glass bottle design, although it’s instantly recognizable as a different beast thanks to its classy new black and silver label. The weighty stopper offers a bit too much resistance during extraction due to its snug faux-cork plastic bottom, which may cause some unfortunate party fouls by careless fiesta animals, but definitely keeps the bottle’s precious contents secured. No word on whether or not reposado and anejo varieties are forthcoming in the new 100 proof Select line, but they would seem to be naturals once this excellent silver conquers the market. For more information, visit the 1800 website.