Tres Generaciones, one of Sauza’s premium Tequila brands, has announced two new additions to the brand’s historic lineup: Batch Plata Tequila by Tre Generaciones Cenobio and Añejo Cristalino. These are the first additions to the Tre Generaciones range in the last quarter century.
The history of Sauza, one of the oldest and largest producers of Tequila, is closely linked to the history of Tequila. Over generations, Sauza has been one of the industry’s leading innovators and continues to do so today.
It was Cenobio Sauza, for example, who pioneered the use of steam to cook agave piñas in stone ovens (hornos). It was also among the first Tequila producers, along with Cuervo, to export Tequila to the United States for the first time. Cenobio was also the first major producer to promote the exclusive use of Blue Agave, then called Blue Chinese, for the production of Tequila.
In 1973, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company’s founding, Sauza published Tre Generaciones in honor of the three generations who had run Sauza since its inception: Don Cenobio, Don Eladio and Don Francisco Javier.
The new phrases are part of a packaging redesign that features refreshed graphics as well as a new distribution push in the North American market.
Cenobio’s Batch Plata is the first entry in the planned Tres Generaciones Legacy series, a set of limited-edition Tequilas that the distillery says will “celebrate the rich and illustrious heritage of the Sauza family.” In addition, Tres Generaciones also announced the release of a new ultra-premium offer: Tres Generaciones Añejo Cristalino.
Cenobio’s Batch Plata tequila contains crushed tahona Blue Weber agave. A tahona is a large stone wheel used to crush cooked agave to extract its juice.
This process is slower than typical automated roller mills or diffusers. Roller mills grind cooked agave piñas to remove the fibers and crush the pulp to extract the juice. Roller mills typically spray water over the crushed agave to maximize the extraction of sugars.
Diffusers work by shredding piñas, cooked or uncooked, although uncooked is typical, pulverizing the shredded material with a series of jets of hot water to extract the sugar, then, usually, cooking the liquid in an autoclave . An autoclave is basically a large pressure cooker.
Although very effective, both processes have been criticized for losing some of the more subtle flavors of agave. In comparison, crushing with a tahona is less harsh and, according to many tequila enthusiasts, better preserves the full range of aroma and flavor elements in the resulting tequila.
Like the other Tequilas in the Tre Generaciones range, it is triple distilled. Triple distillation is unusual for Tequila but not unheard of. There are approximately 73 different expressions of Tequila across several dozen triple-distilled producers. In addition to Tre Generaciones, some of the other well-known brands that triple distill include Casa Noble, Esperanto, and Milagro. Not to be outdone, Luna Sueño is distilled four times.
According to Rashidi Hodari, General Manager Tequila at Beam Suntory:
It is a tall order to make a spirit worthy of one of the fathers of tequila…Made using traditional processes similar to those employed in Mexico in the 19th century, when Don Cenobio was the pioneer of his heritage family-friendly, this still potent Plata delivers bold flavor and unmistakable character, honoring Don Cenobio’s extraordinary impact on the history of tequila.
He added, “This limited edition Tequila is just the start of exciting things to come.”
An ultra-premium Añejo Cristalino is also planned to be added to Tre Generaciones’ basic lineup. A Cristalino is a Tequila, usually an añejo, that has been filtered after aging to remove any color. The result is a crystalline liquid, smooth but which highlights the influences of oak, in particular the notes of vanilla and caramel, created by aging in oak barrels.
Luis Navarro, Senior National Brand Ambassador for Tre Generaciones, said:
Although the liquid is absolutely crystal clear, our filtration process allows us to retain the unique complexity of Tequila. The result is a pristine and impossibly smooth tequila, balancing light woody notes with a sweet, creamy taste that’s best enjoyed neat, over ice, or in a craft cocktail.
Hodari added, “Cristalino Tequila is the fastest growing sub-category in the market.” In Mexico, the introduction of Cristalino Tequilas has led to a new growth spurt in the tequila market that has attracted many female consumers, especially millennials. In fact, in Mexico, women now outnumber men among tequila drinkers.
Below are tasting notes on the core Tres Generaciones range, including the two latest additions.
Tres Generaciones, Tequila Plata, 40% ABV, 750ml
On the nose, there is a characteristic sweetness with a slight minerality. The Tequila is fruity with additional notes of citrus and cooked agave, as well as tropical fruits, green vegetal notes, a hint of anise and hints of spice.
On the palate it is very soft and creamy, with a very light but persistent pepperiness. There are green vegetal and herbaceous notes of green pepper and tobacco leaf. There are noticeable agave notes, both cooked and raw, as well as some earthiness.
The finish is medium, slightly sweet, with a distinctive and lingering note of green pepper.
Tres Generaciones, Tequila Reposado, 40% ABV, 750ml
The Tequila is aged for at least four months in virgin (new) American oak barrels. All of Sauza’s Tequila production is aged in new American oak barrels. The toast can vary from a medium toast for the barrels destined for Tres Generaciones to a deep char for the barrels destined for Hornito Black Barrel.
On the nose, there are light woody notes, accompanied by vegetal, citrus and spice notes. There are additional notes of Japanese pear, cooked agave and hints of caramel.
On the palate, the Tequila is smooth, soft and creamy with green, herbal vegetal notes that feature green pepper and raw agave, along with flavors of cooked agave, Japanese pear, caramel and spicy notes cinnamon, ginger, cracked black pepper, allspice and a hint of earthy white pepper.
The finish is long, sweet, with a distinctive earthy character and lingering vegetative and black pepper notes.
Tres Generaciones, Tequila Anejo, 40% ABV, 750ml
This Tequila is also aged in new American oak barrels for at least one year.
On the nose it is very fruity with notes of tropical fruits, as well as hints of vanilla and pepper. The vegetal and tropical fruit notes become more pronounced as the Tequila opens up in the glass. There are additional notes of baked agave, caramel, spice, as well as citrus, some smoke and a touch of saddle leather.
On the palate it is soft and creamy, with sweet notes of tropical fruits of mango, papaya, melon. a hint of coconut, and just a touch of banana and pineapple. There are additional vegetal notes, although less pronounced than its younger siblings, as well as light wood, citrus, brown sugar, caramel and vanilla. There is also a pronounced pepperiness, although it fades quickly.
The finish is long, sweet, with persistent fruitiness and pronounced pepperiness.
Tres Generaciones, Cenobio’s Batch Plata, Legacy Edition Tequila, 45% ABV, 750ml
Unlike other Tres Generaciones expressions, which use a diffuser to extract the sugars from agave piñas, a process that Sauza calls “soft extraction,” the piñas made for the Cenobio batch are baked in traditional stone ovens, then crushed using a tahona.
On the nose, Tequila is very intensely scented. There are distinctive notes of baked agave and caramel, as well as earth, citrus and black pepper.
On the palate, the sweet notes of cooked agave and creamy caramel are very pronounced, as is the pepperiness. There are additional notes of earth and dried mushroom, with a hint of minerality.
The finish is long, smooth and creamy, with noticeable weight on the palate and lingering notes of cooked agave and caramel, and a pronounced pepperiness.
It’s a wonderful Tequila. Much more intensely flavored than other Tres Generaciones expressions, and an excellent candidate to drink straight or over ice.
Tres Generaciones, Añejo Cristalino, 39% ABV, 750ml
Like its three original Tres Generaciones siblings, this Tequila is produced by diffuser extraction with the extracted sweet liquid then cooked in an autoclave. It is aged in new American white oak barrels and then filtered, using charcoal and diatomaceous earth before bottling, to remove color.
On the nose, it has a slight vegetal note, accompanied by vanilla, caramel and black pepper.
In the mouth, it is soft and viscous. There are notes of caramel and cooked agave, some fruit, as well as black pepper, and some light vegetal flavors. There is also a very slight hint of smoke and a bit of woody spice.
Tres Generaciones is an exceptional range of soft, creamy and tasty tequilas. Limited addition expressions promise to deliver exceptionally concentrated and very flavorful tequilas, which make great drinks and will do double duty as both an appetizer and an after-dinner drink. Worth exploring.