G4 Tequila recently released a limited edition, ultra-premium new bottle: the Reserva Especial. Only 1,000 bottles are available across the U.S. of the 6-Year Extra Añejo. Master Distiller, Felipe Camarena’s signature is emblazoned on the Bazilian Parotta wood boxes that encase each bottle.
Felipe is a fourth-generation master distiller and is commonly known as the “Mad Scientist of tequila.”
Perhaps the scientific process that sets him most apart from others in the industry is the setup of the brick ovens in his distillery, El Pandillo. Apart from the setup of the ovens in other distilleries, which are typically only fitted with one steamer, El Pandillo’s brick ovens are fitted with two steamers–one on the top and one on the bottom. Felipe believes that positioning two steamers in this way cooks the agave more evenly.
Another interesting feature of El Pandillo is that 95% of it is powered only by solar panels. Felipe practices sustainability in other ways, too, such as collecting rainwater year-round, which he later uses to make tequila.
But Felipe’s creativity and innovation don’t stop here. Here comes the Mad Scientist part.
Felipe also built the famous “Felipestein.” This machine is otherwise known as a mechanical tahona, which Felipe constructed out of miscellaneous tractor parts and a 1HP engine. When those are put all together, the “Felipestein” uses the 1HP engine to slowly move the tahona back and forth. This process crushes the shredded agave hearts into somewhat of a mash.
Felipe started with only ONE tequila, but he has come so far since then. In fact, there are now six active brands at his distillery. The only difference in all of the brands coming from El Pandillo is the water source that is used to bring the tequila down to proof. Remember that rainwater Felipe collects? It comes into play for G4 Tequila, which is a 50-50 mix between rainwater and spring water.
Even though Felipe is fourth-generation, there are still firsts for him. Most recently, Felipe released the G4 Blanco Madera, and it is the first time he fermented his tequila in wooden barrels. One of Felipe’s trademarks is that he uses extremely old barrels when aging his products, and he doesn’t rechar the barrels.
Now that you know more about the man behind the tequila, let’s get to the review…
G4’s 6-Year Extra Añejo ‘Reserva Especial’ Review
MSRP: $499 (in the secondary market, this expression is already reaching $1,500)
Barrel Type/Source: Old George Dickel Barrels (an American oak) for six years.
Aroma: A blend of the fruitiness of a green apple, an orangey citrus, and a grapefruit’s peel is balanced by the leathery traces of tobacco and a caramel sweetness. Overall, a beautiful nose.
Flavor: This oily mouthfeel immediately coats your entire mouth. The first notes I picked up on were nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Then, the flavors mellowed into the distinct fruitiness and floral taste that I really love from the G4.
My Rating out of 100: 92-100. You may be wondering why there is such a range there, and I can explain. I understand that the G4 Extra Anejo Reserva Especial is an extremely rare expression, and there is no doubt that it comes with a beautiful presentation. But like I mentioned in my review of El Tesoro’s 85th Anniversary Tequila Extra Añejo, this price also leaves most of the Tequila aficionados out of the loop. This, combined with the secondary market of tequila beginning to take the bourbon route, makes it even harder for some people to even try this.