Spicy spirits are genuinely difficult to pull off as not everyone's idea of enjoyable spice is the same. It can also be quite difficult to capture the essence of a spicy chili pepper without it coming off artificial. Several brands have attempted to tackle the spicy spirit challenge, including Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper Stoli Hot & Sticki, and even Absolut Peppar, but none have quite managed to capture a pure and natural pepper flavor that's still enjoyable to consume.
The nose of Ancho Reyes smells wonderfully like roasted ancho chiles. The nose captures both the roasted chile essence as well as a slightly green and vegetal spicy pepper. Underneath the pepper is cinnamon and sweet honey. The balance in the nose leans more towards sweet than spicy. The entry of Ancho Reyes is also fairly sweet with strong honey notes leading the pack. The honey sustains but it's joined by roasted ancho chile, solid cinnamon, and dark chocolate. It isn't until the end of the midpalate that Ancho Reyes gets really spicy. It's a nice sharp spice that balances out the otherwise sweet character. Hot pepper spice sustains for quite a while on the palate. It's spicy but not uncomfortably so.