Minerva Imperial Tequila Ale
4 out of 5
I first found this beer at a local Superama while they had a special display for the "100 Best Beers in the World." While Superama should probably be held accountable for false advertising, I'm not complaining since they did introduce me to this wonderful beer from Minerva. Generally, I'm not typically impressed by Minerva's brews (see this previous post), but this Imperial Tequila Ale is definitely an exception.
I'm still puzzled by this beer, although I have had it several times now. When I first tried it, I had to tell all my beer enthusiast friends about it and I was completely enamored. Now, each time I drink it I want just a little bit more from it. It has a very light body, making it very easy to drink. But, I am always expecting it to be an imperial IPA aged in tequila oak barrels, not a mild ale aged in tequila barrels. Maybe it is because of the name. I love hops and I think some more hop flavor in this beer would make it spectacular. The tequila flavor is there, mostly in the finish, which to me is the best part of this beer. There is a lot of potential here, either for Minerva, or other brewers, to use tequila barrels to age their beers. Minerva´s ITA is definitely a good start, but I can imagine something better, which is why I've only given this beer a 4 out of 5. I´ve seen a picture of a beer made by Cucapá aged in tequila barrels but I've never yet seen it for sale in D.F. Hopefully I will be able to find one soon, as I can imagine Cucapá nails it. Still, Minerva's ITA comes highly recommended.
At Superama I paid 50 pesos a bottle for this, but good luck finding any at a Superama now. Luckily I stocked up and still have several bottles, but if you are looking to try it, you can find it for sale at El Deposito in Condesa for 70 pesos (takeout price). You can also order one to drink at El Deposito but I think it will cost you at least double, if not more. Unfortunately, La Belga doesn't carry this beer and I'm not sure why. I´ve asked them if they will get it in (since their prices are always a little lower than El Deposito), but so far I haven't seen it there for sale.