Last spring, comedian, lifestyle influencer, entrepreneur and proudly short person Kevin Hart launched his new tequila brand, Gran Coramino, with a cristalino expression. For those agave spirits fans who are dubious about this unofficial category (and I count myself among them), there is now an añejo expression available that is actually pretty damn good.
At an event before his headlining appearance at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center this summer, Hart met with a group of media to hawk his tequila wares. And despite the fact that this is yet another spirits brand with a celeb name attached, Hart seemed incredibly enthusiastic about this venture. It’s no small endeavor, as he chose to partner up with 11th generation tequila producer Juan Domingo Beckmann, CEO of industry giant Jose Cuervo. While the cristalino is a bit on the sweet side and meant for mixing, the añejo is a complex sipper that should appeal to whiskey and Cognac drinkers.
There’s a reason for that last part—this is a blend of tequila initially aged in both French and American oak for a year and “añejo reserves,” according to the brand, that were aged in ex-Cognac casks. “Our first tequila, Gran Coramino Cristalino, was finished in Cabernet Sauvignon wine casks to give it a sweet berry finish,” said Beckmann in a statement. “But the magic touch to our añejo is its incredible maturation process, using American and French oak barrels as well as reserves from ex-Cognac casks. This is one of the most complex and robust anejos I have created, and will be attractive to both tequila enthusiasts and Cognac drinkers alike. I am truly proud to bring this tequila to the US.”
The añejo is a full, rich tequila that, truth be told, veers more to the palate of other brown spirits like the aforementioned scotch and Cognac. But there’s still a burst of earthy, grassy agave peeking out behind the dominant notes of dark chocolate, butterscotch, espresso bean, oak and sweet vanilla. This is certainly more of a sipping tequila than a mixer, but you likely wouldn’t regret making an Old Fashioned with it.
Remember, there are plenty of excellent tequila choices that are worth your money and time without any famous pitch person behind them that you should try. And, obviously, there are (too) many different celeb-backed tequilas to choose from these days, some better than others. Fortunately, the new Gran Coramino Añejo falls into the “better than others” category.