$$ — 40% ABV — unaged
This bottle might draw some quizzical looks simply for its stereotypical Mexican look: a stark white banner, lots of thick gold trim and that bold red font type that screams, "This is the frontier!" There's even a carro-con-burro, weighed down with what must be barrels of aguardiente. Their website states their wish to, "underscore their Mexican identity," and they've certainly done that. Funny, then, that Corralejo is one of the most progressive distilleries in Mexico!
Located not in Jalisco, but to the east in Guanajuato, Corralejo's only been making tequila formally for about 20 years. They soon distinguished themselves with gold metals at the San Francisco WSC and now their tall and colorful bottles can be found across the States.
And it's easy to see why. Just from the base spirit alone, Corralejo has a lovely taste that can easily be described like grilled and salted zucchini. There's a bright sweetness that's only as powerful as its salinity, which means it might be sipped just as often as it's mixed. And priced just outside the $25-and-under crowd, that's a very good bargain!
For the more adventurous, Corralejo's reposado expression is a must-try as it has probably one of the most unique approaches to maturation you'll find. There is also of course an añejo expression and also a triple-distilled reposado that's hard to find but is a great buy for fans of Casa Noble. But, for a punchy mixing tequila, it's very hard to beat Corralejo's blanco, either on price or on taste.
Corralejo is located in Pénjamo, Guanajuato in North-Central Mexico. Established in 1996 by Hidalgo Corralejo, it remains an independent distiller.