Don Julio 1942 Añejo Tequila Review
An easy-drinking aged tequila in a striking bottle.
Boozecask.com Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5
Don Julio 1942 is a complex, aromatic añejo tequila, aged longer than most añejos. Floral, candy and fruit notes accompany the expected grassy agave, oak, and brown sugar flavors.
Higher-end product from one of the most respected and popular producers in Mexico
Features bright, clean agave and tropical fruit notes with a lingering wood-menthol-pineapple finish
Great for sipping neat and also works well in umami-influenced cocktails
Elegant and unique bottle
May be too “light and sweet” for some añejo fans
Fruit and floral notes may not appeal to fans of aged brown spirits
May be considered overpriced for what you get
Color: Deep straw gold, which is comparable to many añejos, though lighter than some. Because they spend their rest in a warmer environment than most whiskeys do (in, say, Kentucky or Scotland), aged tequilas generally sit for just one to three years, often in second-, third- and fourth-use bourbon barrels, resulting in a lighter, clearer color than most whiskeys or rums.
Nose: Aged tequila can be a funny beast. Often the grassy agave notes are accentuated, sometimes they’re lost to the wood. In this case, the initial aromatics are floral and sweet fruit, almost like a cognac. Rose, pear, vanilla and brown sugar hit up front, with agave and a rich wet oak note following.
Palate: On the palate, there's a sweetness, though here the agave grassiness is more pronounced. Up front on the lips and gums are tannic spices and vanilla from the oak; mid-palate, it sits with a medium weight and slight chewiness with hints of apricot, agave, vanilla and clove.
Finish: The very long finish is one that some might not find to their liking, but others certainly will. There's a menthol brightness tempered with unctuous grapefruit, agave, wood and white pepper.
There really was a Don Julio Gonzáles, who began his tequila making journey in 1942. He and his family produced a popular label in Mexico called Tres Magueyes before releasing the "good stuff": his family’s reserve under the Don Julio label. The family (along with then-head-distiller Enrique de Colsa) released Don Julio 1942 in 2002, commemorating Gonzáles’ 60 years in the industry. In 2015, the label was fully acquired by Diageo.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Don Julio 1942 Añejo is a pleasant, sippable tequila. It strays a bit from the norm but is a welcome addition to the añejo category. It’s also an easy (if expensive) entry point for newcomers to the aged tequila category. Instead of appealing to scotch or bourbon drinkers, as many añejos and extra añejos aim to do, this one might instead attract cognac or aged-rum fans.