The luckiest day of the year, some would say, but not so for Tequila Aficionado.
On July 24th, the FedEx man delivered a box of doom to our door. Let’s start at the beginning… Arta Tequila will soon be launching a Limited Reserve, Triple barreled, Extra Anejo:
“Meticulously aged for five years (three years in American white oak, then split between French Cognac and Spanish Sherry barrels for another two years, and ultimately reunited) this limited reserve vintage (only four batches, 1,000 Bottles produced) has pushed tequila distillation and aging to an art form.”
The combination of chemistry and art involved in aging a great extra anejo sometimes verges on the magical. When Arta so kindly approached us with the prospect of a sample, you can guess our mouths were watering in anticipation. As if on cue, the package arrived on National Tequila Day.
That’s when tragedy struck. Mike Morales did the honors of opening the FedEx box. Inside was a lovely light wooden crate. Little did we know it was a Pandora’s Box of heartbreak. Following is my letter of thanks to the wonderful people at Ground Floor Media who handle the promotion of Arta Tequila:
Thank you so much for sending the beautiful gift box with charred barrel coaster, etched glass snifter, branded metal flask, extra dark chocolate, and what smells and feels like a superb cigar. The thought given to pairing this Arta Extra Anejo properly, the generosity of the gifts included, and the workmanship in creating a lovely gift crate have not gone unnoticed.
But I am near tears at the tragedy that lies before me: Broken glass, chocolate that has been melted and matted with straw, and a flask that raises too many questions about the indignities that may have befallen the painstakingly crafted spirit within.
The heartbreaker here is the fact that we can’t possibly review what must certainly be a delightful spirit. The liquid inside the flask has been heated and cooled innumerable times on its journey from office to aircraft, to warehouse, to truck and on and on. We have no way of knowing whether the flask was cleaned prior to filling or even who filled it where.
We can only assume that the spirit’s flavor has been compromised in such packaging and couldn’t, without compromising our own integrity and the reputation of the Arta brand, consider reviewing it.
Thank you so much for all your efforts. We’re so sorry we can’t provide a review for what reads like an amazing product.
We understand the expense involved in providing the gifts and accessories you have, so please know that we do this for the love of the agave spirit, not for the schwag.
If you are ever disposed to send us sealed glass samples of this product, please don’t hesitate to do so. We at Tequila Aficionado would love to taste what your master distiller has so lovingly created.
Very Sincerely Yours,
C.O.O. Tequila Aficionado Media
Allow me to explain, dear readers, the depth of the tragedy here:
Mike and I always pair tequilas with foods, cigars, and chocolates.
If you’ve seen any of our Tequila Test Kitchen articles, you understand that I love mixing tequilas into recipes to use for special pairings. I have collections of pinboards on Pinterest that include hundreds of recipes I’m dying to tweak with just the right tequila.
Mike loves a good cigar and I enjoy shopping for them. The feel of a good roll, the scent of lovingly grown tobaccos, mixed and rolled by experienced artisans are all delights for me.
And fine chocolates, the darker the better, are truly gifts from the gods.
For Arta to include a cigar and dark chocolate with their sample of Extra Anejo was sheer genius.
Did I mention we have an ever growing collection of well-used and much-loved snifters?
Arta thought of nearly everything in this amazing presentation, even including a coaster made of the barrel itself!
I did say “nearly”.
The flask. The beautiful, and likely costly, flask. The metal flask. *Oh, the humanity!*
Ground Floor Media was quick to reply:
We so appreciate your kind and gracious note below, and we feel terrible that the chocolate melted and the glass broke.
Talk about a perfect storm!
In our excitement to provide you with an advance taste of our Extra Anejo, we neglected to explain the flask. The Arta Extra Anejo in the flask is from the company’s president’s and vice president’s private reserve, and they hand-filled them into the cleaned flasks. Unfortunately, we won’t have sealed product available until mid-September, which is why we provided this sample to you in the flask.
We have you at the top of our list to receive a sealed glass sample of Extra Anejo as soon as it’s available, and we hope that you will still consider Extra Anejo for review at that time.
Of course we’re going to taste the nectar they included in the flask, but we can’t know how the heat and metal storage might have changed it until a bottle arrives for comparison. We’ll be sending little prayers on puffs of cigar smoke to Mayahuel in hopes that this estate-grown, pesticide-free, uniquely aged extra anejo tastes every bit as delightful as the tasting notes say:
Aromas of toasted seeds, roasted cocoa, coffee and almonds with wild acorns, intense vanilla and oak developing into jasmine and intense cinnamon greet a taster’s first sip in the glass. The sweet, silky, rich Arta ultra–‐aged taste confirms roasted seeds with its very long mouth finish.
We’ll keep you posted…