Chinaco blanco, reposado, anejo, & “Negro” (episode 58) tequila review

Get ready to make some history, people!  In this episode Lippy runs down the flavor profiles of one of the most respected and historic gourmet tequila brands on the market: Chinaco – the mighty!  As perhaps the FIRST gourmet tequila to be introduced in the US (mid-80’s) this brand has seen a lot of competition come and go, yet it remains a top contender for Best of Category in all ages and expressions.

Old Chinaco is one of the most sought after “Treasure Bottles” as far as “Dusty Bottle hunting” is concerned.  Look especially for the import information on the back to read, “Imported By Robert Denton & Company LTD” or “Imported For The U.S. By Fielding & Jones LTD”.  These were the two original importers of Chinaco and both of these companies were shipping stellar juice.  But what about the CURRENT expressions of Chinaco, you say?  Watch the show and be comforted that though the newest bottles have a slightly different “edge” to them, they are completely worthy and worth your seeking them out!

TEQUILA Details:


NOM: 1127



Chinaco has always had a reputation as a “fuerte-tasting” (strong/macho) brand.  We’re happy to say that this tradition continues to this day.  The blanco has a sort of fruit-like (pear?) attack on the mid palate with some spicy heat being generated in the back of the throat.  As more blanco is consumed, this heat starts to have more and more interplay on the tongue until it creates a sort of NEW flavor which combines the two elements!  A neat trick, Chinaco.  The reposado is a wholly different beast.  It brings on a thick, solid plank of spice that is wonderfully integrated and balanced.  It’s very hard to discern individual flavors in this solid “chunk” of flavor.  Rather, the repo just coats the mouth and throat with a full blast of spicy flavor spikes that are at once buttery and jagged.  A dichotomy to be sure, but one that is ultimately completely pleasing.  The anejo introduces both citrus and vanilla to the “taste party”, though there is an acrid, peppery-vegetal underlying flavor that is (surprisingly) quite unbalanced.  It’s as if the two flavor groups are pasted on top of each other rather than being wholly integrated like the blanco and repo.  Not our favorite expression, this anejo.  Finally we come to the 5-year extra anejo, “Negro”.  This is a product that’s aged in multiple kinds of barrels over its “lifetime” and has the curious and pleasing trick of presenting a full-bore mid-palate attack as well as a deep finish, but having little to no back-of-the-tongue stimulation.  This creates a sort of on-off flavor visual in the mouth!  It sounds more complicated than it is, and ultimately this interplay between regions of the palate are (again) a great trick created by the Negro’s Master Distiller.  This is very refined tequila that rewards slow and considered sipping.  Enjoy with abandon!

FLAVOR Profiles (out of a possible 4 points)

Music Picks From This Show:

“My Cello” – Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks

[audio:|titles=My Cello]

“You Got To Believe” – Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks

[audio:|titles=You Got To Believe]

7 thoughts on “Chinaco blanco, reposado, anejo, & “Negro” (episode 58) tequila review”

  1. Lippy! I don’t drink but I need to learn more about tequilas for a new job…your shows are a blessing. I watch you and I get all the benefit of the knowledge, fiery palatial euphoria, and camaraderie without any of the, uh, “other.”


  2. Hello Mr. Lippy,

    Just started enjoying tequila within the past few months, after a decade + of passionate whisky drinking.

    I could use some advice in selecting some tequilas that are full flavored, earthy & not overly sweet nor contrived. I’ve tried maybe 7 or so brands so far and my easy favorite is the Fortaleza Repo. I’ve also been enjoying the Sol de Mexico Repo.

    I currently have Chinaco, Partida, El Tesoro, Casa Noble & Corrido on my short list.

    Anyway, any advice would be appreciated.

  3. hola Shaun!
    Thanks for watching. Check out Milagro Select Barrel reserve repo, Casa Noble repo and T1 _Tequila Uno anjeo.
    Let me know how you like ’em!

  4. I have an unopened case of 1984 Chinaco that I purchased around that time. Can you tell me how much that case of 12 bottles are worth?

    They are the tall, clear bottles with dark green labels, each of which is signed & numbered. I know this because (despite the fact that the cardboard case is unopened) at the time I purchased the case, I also acquired a 1/2 case of the same bottling. I initially wanted 6 more bottles to fill-out that case and contacted the distributor on the label Robert Denton, who told me there were no more to fill out MY 1/2 case. He explained, his company had spent 2 years searching for a replacement for Chinaco that because of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding its owner Chinaco was unavailable and his company had finally settled on a brand called El Tesoro.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *