Remember the Arch Deluxe? I would imagine that any value-centered distiller probably thinks about that particular ghost story when they create an up-market version of their flagship product.
For the uninitiated, Tres Generaciones is the fancy version of Sauza, the $10 gold tequila that most probably did yeoman duty at your last party when margaritas were served. I was always a bit curious about whether Sauza could make a capable (read: real) tequila, and the price point was always intriguing at a bit less than your standard bottles of Don Julio / Patron, which are fine, but overpriced.
I figured Tres Generaciones could go one of two ways. If it was what I was hoping for, the spirit range would shoot for providing good taste and value, perhaps by necessity of having to compete a little harder with the big boys in the premium tequila category. However, the cynic in me remembered the last time I sipped Sauza on its own. Like most gold tequilas, to describe it as "rough" is being kind. For that reason, I imagined that Tres Generaciones could might simply be posturing as a quality tequila thanks to a pretty bottle and an inflated price tag.
I mean, let's be honest: there's something inherently suspicious about being the cheapest of the "premium" options. I mean, you'd be a little leery if I told you I ran a "Discount BMW" dealership. Your first thought as a consumer would probably be: "Wait—What's wrong with them?"
The good news is that I think Sauza has pulled it off. The Tres Generaciones Añejo starts off with a pretty complex nose. There's a lot of initial nutmeg and nuttiness, but there's also a big agave vibrancy and freshness that lets you know the base spirit has some character. On the palate, it comes alive with really chewy, deep oak tannins. I'm actually surprised to get this much cask influence from an añejo, and especially at the price point, but I'm not complaining. It's both chocolate-rich and spicy, and develops from woody to semi-sweet. All pluses.
The only knock against the Tres Generaciones Añejo is that it makes only a middling first impression. Right out of the bottle, the finish had a bit of unwelcome sourness that fought against a lot of the nice wood spice I was tasting. It was also a little rubbery in the development and exit, which was similarly confusing. Fortunately, these rough elements faded away progressively as the tequila had more time to sit, giving way to that straightforward wood-and-chocolate combo from before.
All in all, I think the Tres Generaciones Añejo does very well as a sipping tequila at an affordable price, and I'm going to make it my next "call" tequila when it's available for a margarita. Put side to side with the Patron añejo, I'll take this every time.