Qui Tequila is a new spirit with the distinction of being the only clear extra anejo tequila. Filtering out the color from aged tequilas isn’t new (just look at Milagro Unico or Maestro Dobel), but in this case, all the juice is aged for more than 3.5 years in American whiskey casks and French Bordeaux barrels.
From there, the tequila is filtered nine times to change that dark amber color into what we see here, which is crystal clear. And it’s also supposed to eliminate some of the “harshness.” The problem with filtering too much is that you can lose the tequila’s original character along the way. But let’s see for ourselves.
On the nose, Qui (pronounced “KEE”) has a surprising amount of agave. Surprising in a good way, as both aging and filtering can strip out some of those earthy, vegetal notes. But here they’re in tact. Alongside the agave is a bit of vanilla and spice. Things are off to a pretty good start. On the palate it’s medium-bodied with a slippery nature that coats the tongue with flavors of agave, mild pepper and caramel. Things turn drier and more savory toward the finish, which is smooth and easy. There’s no harshness here, as promised, and there’s also very little wood. But there is plenty of flavor, which we appreciate.
I still don’t quite understand why people filter aged tequilas. A brand guy once noted that colored spirits create inherent bias, as you expect them to taste a certain way. So by removing the color, you remove the bias. But… don’t clear spirits also bring some bias to the table? Either way, Qui Tequila is an easy-drinking proposition, regardless of the color.
– 40% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★★