If there’s one constant of the spirits industry that will always be true, it’s that there’s always room in the market for more high-value brands. Much of the push in the agave spirits world in the last few years has been behind premiumization, and many of the celebrity backed brands in particular have tried to position themselves as “super premium” tequilas without offering much rationale for why they should be treated that way. Given that, it’s always refreshing to see another brand enter the market where “value for the consumer” has clearly been made into a focus.
So it is with the likes of Tequila Zarpado, which launched its Blanco expression in 2021 for less than $25, to strong reviews. They’re now back with a reposado expression, with a nod to their ownership within Latitude Beverage, which also owns Wheel Horse Whiskey. Fittingly, this reposado is aged for 3-4 months in bourbon barrels that previously aged Wheel Horse brands. This is a product of Cavas de Don Max, a relatively small family distillery that is NOM 1554—the best known brand originating from this same distillery seems to be Cantera Negra.
Few details are provided on the production of Zarpado tequilas, but a representative of the brand reports that their agave is cooked via low pressure autoclave, followed by fermentation in steel vats and double pot still distillation. Regardless, at an MSRP of roughly $27, we’re just glad to see that diffusors weren’t involved. Its strength is a mere 40% ABV (80 proof), as one would probably expect.
So with that said, let’s get to tasting Tequila Zarpado Reposado and see if it delivers the sort of bang for your buck one would hope for.
On the nose, I’m getting sweet agave and baked apple, along with lime zest, vanilla and pie crust—the whole thing has a bit of “key lime pie” to it, and it smells fairly sweet as a result. One gets the sense that this is meant to be a very approachable rather than contemplative tequila.
On the palate, alcohol heat is very low as it should be, which allows one easy access to flavors of sweet green candy apple, lots of mint and vanilla, along with white pepper earthiness and fresh agave. It’s a little thin on the palate, owing to the low ABV at least in part, and it might be a bit sweet for some, but the mint/eucalyptus profile isn’t bad, and there’s just enough spice and agave to make it not ring false. All in all, this is an uncomplicated cocktail reposado, which is pretty much exactly what the price point is promising it should be. Bang for your buck? Achieved, I would say.
Distillery: Tequila Zarpado (Latitude Beverage)
Region: Jalisco, Mexico
Style: Reposado tequila
ABV: 40% (80 proof)
Availability: 750 ml bottles, $27 MSRP
Jim Vorel is a Paste staff writer and resident beer and liquor geek. You can follow him on Twitter for more drink writing.