Tequila Aficionado Celebrates 15th Anniversary!

Tequila Aficionado Magazine

Tequila Aficionado Magazine began as a direct-to-consumer online magazine in 1999 and run single-handedly by founder, Alexander “Alex” Perez. The online magazine went through several incarnations and design changes over the years but what remained the same was Alex’s passion for Mexican spirits: Tequila, Mezcal and Sotol.

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In 2000, Alex met M.A. “Mike” Morales and, while discussing their tequila tasting during a podcast for Tequila Aficionado Magazine, Mike coined the phrase Sipping Off The Cuff™. From that day forward, Alex and Mike’s podcasts would be known as Sipping Off The Cuff™. As YouTube and Skype became more user friendly, Alex and Mike moved from podcast to videocast.

As often happens with labors of love, life’s labors called Alex and Mike elsewhere and Tequila Aficionado Magazine went on a short hiatus.

During this hiatus, Mike began hosting “Intimate Tequila Tastings”, tequila tasting events that introduced new aficionados to the finer points of tequila tasting and expanded the horizons of seasoned sippers.

He was then asked to host and co-produce a television program called “Last Tequila Standing.”

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Tequila Aficionado Media™

In early 2012, with Mike’s first season of Last Tequila Standing already completed, Mike and Alex were approached by a social media consultant and novelist with a taste for tequila and a desire to see Tequila Aficionado Magazine relaunch as Tequila Aficionado Media.

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Lisa Pietsch envisioned Tequila Aficionado Media producing and publishing podcasts, video programs, an extensive library of in-depth written reviews, books, magazines, apps, events and much, much more.

With Lisa’s vision falling in line with theirs for Tequila Aficionado, Alex and Mike agreed to take her on as a partner. The three would each utilize their special skills to create a media company focused specifically on the Mexican spirits of tequila, mezcal and sotol.

Sipping Off The Cuff™

Sipping Off The Cuff™ began as an audio podcast in 2006 and is Tequila Aficionado’s first and longest running tequila review program.

Sipping Off The Cuff™ is broadcast Fridays (and occasionally Tuesdays) on YouTube and on Tequila Aficionado Media’s many social networks. If you are a Tequila, Mezcal or Sotol brand owner and would like your product(s) reviewed on an upcoming episode of Sipping Off The Cuff(TM), please contact Mike@TequilaAficionado.com.

Click here to see all of our Sipping Off The Cuff™ programming.

Monday Madness

Monday Madness was created as a blooper by-product of our production process for the Tequila Aficionado exclusive video program, Sipping Off The Cuff™.

When M.A. “Mike” Morales and Alexander “Alex” Perez get together, whether in person or via Skype, to review tequilas for Sipping Off The Cuff™, something silly is bound to happen. Rather than present these clips with their reviews, we chose to respect serious viewers’ time and get right to business with each Sipping Off The Cuff™ episode to keep them each as close to ten minutes as possible.

The outtakes are often funny and show our silly side, so we chose to share them with you for your amusement, as well as ours, in our Monday Madness video feature. Monday Madness is the evidence of how very much fun we have doing what we love here at Tequila Aficionado Media.

Women in Tequila

M.A. “Mike” Morales found the growing population of women in the tequila industry a fascinating topic and decided to interview as many as he could contact. This was the beginning of the Tequila Boss Ladies and Women in Tequila series.

In this series, his interviews cover the contributions of these women, how they see the industry as a whole and advice they care to share with others in the industry, both female and male.

Founder’s Feature

Alexander “Alex” Perez loves interviewing people in all facets of the tequila industry. Over the years, he has interviewed some tequila superstars who share their personal experiences, thoughts on the industry, commentary on products and much more.

Over time, we’ve unveiled some amazing Founder’s Features that have been locked away in the Tequila Aficionado vault for years.

Brands of Promise™ Awards

The Tequila Aficionado Brands of Promise™ Awards are annual awards granted by Tequila Aficionado based on product quality (tasting or use for tequila related items), marketing (POS), and overall appeal and value to the consumer. These awards are granted for tequila, mezcal, sotol, glassware and bar items, mixers and garnishes, books and other related products. If the product is used by tequila lovers, it is eligible for a Brands of Promise™ Award.

There is no charge to be considered for these awards. All samples we receive: tequila, tequila based liqueurs, tequila associated products/foods and every other item we review is automatically considered, but not all are nominated.

Nominees are announced as their products are reviewed and the review will contain the Brands of Promise™ Nominee seal. All nominees are welcome and encouraged to make use of the seal in their marketing and POS materials as well as the Tequila Aficionado branded QR Code that connects consumers to their review at Tequila Aficionado.

Email Mike@TequilaAficionado.com for the personnel and addresses to send your particular products for review.

GOLD 2013

Education of a Tequila Drinker™

Everyone needs to start somewhere. To become a tequila aficionado, all you need is a passion for tequila and a desire to learn about this amazing spirit of Mexico. Join Lisa Pietsch as she embraces tequila culture and learns all she can about agave spirits, documenting her journey in the Education of a Tequila Drinker™ series.

education of a tequila drinker

Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen™

Some tequilas are best sipped and yet there are others that are so versatile that they make for amazing pairings either with food or in recipes. In the Tequila Aficionado Tequila Test Kitchen™, we enjoy exploring the perfect balance to mixology – cooking and pairing with Tequilas, Mezcals and Sotols.

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Follow the links for more information on the team members

that make up Tequila Aficionado Media:

Alexander “Alex” Perez, Founder

M.A. “Mike” Morales, CEO

Lisa Pietsch, COO

 

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Tequila Nom List (21 July 2014)

gaviota-tequilaEach of our tequila NOM Lists contains the names and information of current brands as well as those that have previously appeared on NOM lists but have since been dropped by the CRT. Pinpointing your treasure bottles has never been easier! Please understand that this list is not a comprehensive list of every tequila brand ever made. We make every effort to be sure it is as accurate as possible from the time we at Tequila Aficionado Media began publishing our lists in 2013.

Click to download the format of your choice:

sipClick on any RED link within the NOM list to see the Tequila Aficionado articles and reviews on that brand. *Color Coding*

  • Brands highlighted in Green are recent additions (see comment on Excel spreadsheet for first shown date)
  • Brands highlighted in Red did not appear on the current list (see comment on Excel spreadsheet for last shown date)
  • Brands highlighted in Blue are suspected of using a diffusor in production.

 

 

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Tragedy Strikes Arta Tequila on National Tequila Day!

The luckiest day of the year, some would say, but not so for Tequila Aficionado.

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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.”

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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.

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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, 

Lisa Pietsch,

C.O.O. Tequila Aficionado Media

arta, tequila, extra aged, limited edition, extra anejo,  triple barreled, cognac, sherry, oak, arta tequila, tequila aficionado

 

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:

Lisa ~

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. 

Best wishes,

Ramonna

 

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…

 


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National Tequila Day is Every Day

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It’s Margarita Madness!

Margarita madness begins today!

margarita madness

margarita madnessIn an effort to remain unbiased during National Tequila Week (here at Tequila Aficionado, every day is Tequila Day, but our nation only gives it a single holiday), Tequila Aficionado is featuring all margaritas until we run out of mixers!  It’s Margarita Madness!

It’s our quinceanera and we’ll mix if we want to.

For recommendations on what Mike and Alex believe are the best tequilas for both sipping and mixing, take a look at our YouTube playlists for the Brands of Promise nominees of 2013 and 2014. All of the nominees are excellent products. Do yourself a favor and try them all!

Of course we recommend sipping, but if you must mix, we have some great margarita mixes coming up for you.

Stay tuned for our first review – and feel free to mix a few of these while you wait!

 

Follow Tequila Aficionado’s board Margaritas on Pinterest.

 

 

margarita madness

 

 

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