Gran Centenario añejo has been released in 3 different packagings, and can easily be identified by the wrap around label near the bottom of the bottle and the wrapper around the cork. The first release was gold in color, the second was green, the third (and current) release is blue. A common perception within the tequila community is that when a producer changes their packaging, it usually indicates that there was also a change to their production, and Gran Centenario is no exception. Produced at the Cuervo owned Los Camichines (NOM 1122), this distillery started using a modern and very "efficient" way of extracting the sugars from the agave with a difusor sometime in the late 90's or early 2000's (at some point I'll get an exact date). Instead of the traditional method of cooking the agaves then using shredders to extract the juices, a difusor shreds the agave raw and uses high pressured, hot water to extract the sugars. Some producers say that there is no difference in the quality of a tequila made with a difusor, but the proof is in the tequila...
The Gran Centenario añejo (Gold Label) tasted is a pre-difusor tequila.
Reviewed December 2010 from a freshly opened bottle.
Bottling stamp (lot number): 03:24 00128E004 W001183
Mexican bottling @ 38% alcohol
Tasted from a red wine glass, this tequila is golden orange in color with thin slow legs. It is very mellow and it does not have any alcohol or barrel burn on the nose but has plenty of vanilla and citrus tones. A relativly thin mouth feel, the taste starts off very woody that turns citrusy and spicy with vanilla and bitter dark chocolate overtones. A very long finish that finally reveals its earthy agave origins. This is a very tasty tequila, so if you can find a bottle - get it!
Rating; Very Good
photo courtesy of tequila.net