Tag Archives: la cofradía

Falling Under the Spell of Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine Tequila

On a frigid and damp Saturday night in November 2013, Roger Clyne, along with his band The Peacemakers, invited Tequila Aficionado Media to an intimate concert and tequila tasting at Billy’s Ice House in New Braunfels, TX, to talk music, heritage, and his tequila, Mexican Moonshine.

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Hey, gringos, it could be worse…we did not get there first

Colt_Peacemaker

The Colt Single Action Army, also known as the Peacemaker, is considered a famous part of Americana. “The Gun That Won the West” was wielded by such action-oriented historical legends of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as Buffalo Bill Cody, Theodore Roosevelt, Judge Roy Bean, Pat Garrett and General George Patton.  It has also been the selected sidearm of Hollywood movies, preferred by everyone from John Wayne to Clint Eastwood in every single Dirty Harry film.  And in 2011, it was declared the official firearm of the state of Arizona. Arizona is also home to another piece of Americana–a guts and guitar driven, reggae and mariachi laced, roots based rock-n-roll band leyenda known as Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers.  Armed with expressive lyrics, evocative melodies and four part harmonies, these straight shooters have come to redefine the indie music landscape by being the first band to debut six consecutive albums in the Top Ten of Billboard Magazine’s Internet Sales chart. Along the way, Clyne has gathered a burgeoning cult following that rivals that of Sammy Hagar and Jimmy Buffet–both themselves very successful tequila front men.

I fell under the spell when I stumbled over the line…

The full line-up of Roger Clyne's Mexican Moonshine.

Many aficionados roll their eyes when news of another celebrity endorsed tequila hits the liquor store shelves.  But Roger Clyne came upon his admiration for agave spirits early in life as part of his Southwestern ranching heritage, predating even his love for writing music and performing.

Roger was first introduced to scotch as a teenager by his grandfather who would pour him a dram to “put hair on your chest.”  The taste of “dirty socks in mud” was tough to swallow, but it was his father’s sharing of bacanora, another agave distillate, that opened him up to the wonders of Mexican spirits, and in particular, tequila. Like most of us, Clyne cut his teeth by shooting cheap mixto tequila in college, then swearing off of it until the next opportunity to overindulge.  He was well into his studies (psychology and anthropology) at Arizona State University when he rediscovered that “bright, wonderful, elegant, lyrical taste” of tequila during an exchange program in Ensenada, Mexico, while following a troop of mariachis.

 

It’s surreal, sublime, manmade and divine…it’s the moonshine….

Lyrics on the shipping box of Roger Clyne's Mexican Moonshine.

Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine tequila was born in true outlaw fashion in 2004 during the famed Circus Mexicus music festival that takes place annually in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico (Rocky Point, for you ex-pats).

Check out the Circus Mexicus Lineup for 2014 here.

Circus Mexicus 2014.After that initial experience, Roger began scouting for factories to produce Mexican Moonshine, a journey that would even take him to the famed La Cofradía distillery (NOM 1137), the home of Casa Noble and Montejima tequilas.

He finally selected Fabrica de Tequilas Finos (NOM 1472) and forged a relationship with the distillery owner, Federico Cabo, and Master Distiller, Arturo Fuentes.  Together, the team first “dropped” Mexican Moonshine reposado onto the market in 2010, even though Clyne was advised against such commercial suicide due to historically poor sales of this expression.

Soak in the silvery light spillin’ out tonight from the moonshine…

 

In this clip, Roger pours and discusses Mexican Moonshine silver…

 

We’ll get a fine flow flowin’, a good glow goin’…

 

Believing that a reposado is the more definitive expression of tequila, Clyne was surprised when Master Distiller, Arturo Fuentes suggested that Mexican Moonshine be aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels.  Here, Roger explains further.

 

 

I got a healin’ home-brewed remedy, a low-brow therapy…

 

Award winning Mexican Moonshine añejo.

A Gold Medal winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2014, Mexican Moonshine añejo  was released in 2013 and is fast becoming Roger Clyne’s favorite expression, much to his chagrin.  In the following snippet, Roger breaks down its flavor profile.

 

Turn your back on all the deadlines…

 

On April 29, 2014, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers will unleash their seventh studio album, The Independent.  The title fits these musical mavericks like an old pair of faded jeans worn as a statement against oppression on Casual Fridays.   Yet, as Clyne states, “There’s something about our music that celebrates what’s uniting versus what’s dividing.”

independent

Click on the image to pre-order The Independent now (Release April 29, 2014).

Using this “Tequila Logic,” Roger Clyne has managed to do the same with Mexican Moonshine, gently hitching the spirit’s Lowland agave heritage to the wood notes of Kentucky bourbon to create a peacemaker that rightfully belongs in any collector’s arsenal.

Mexican Moonshine, Mexican Moonshine…Let your heart and your cup overflow, under the glow of the moonshine!  May your heart and your cup… Overflow…under the glow of the Moonshine!

See Part 2 of our visit with Roger Clyne here!

Visit Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers online now

Visit Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers online now

 

 

mex moonshine

Visit Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine online now

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Latest Tequila NOM List (Dated 19 August 2013)

Estancia La Cofradia courtesy of Jalisco Collection.

Releasing the NOM list here at Tequila Aficionado had nothing to do with the other NOM lists that are available through apps and other websites.

We needed our own current NOM list to reference in a spreadsheet format for desktop work. Once we’d gone completely OCD on it and filled in the blanks that you inevitably get with the CRT’s list, we couldn’t stop tweaking it. We added links to all our reviews and videos, then we added listings for brands that had dropped off the list, and even added color coding for new brands. With all of that, we thought we’d just share it in Excel & PDF in case any other aficionados were OCD enough to want so much detail in the most recent NOM list released.

Click here to download the fully sortable (all fields filled) 19 August 2013 NOM List in Excel Format courtesy of Tequila Aficionado.

Click here to download the quick access PDF version of the 19 August 2013 NOM List.

nom list

Click on any link within the list to see the Tequila Aficionado articles and reviews done on that particular 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)

 

What is a NOM List?

The Norma Oficial Mexicana (Official Mexican Standard), abbreviated NOM, is the name of each of a series of official, compulsory standards and regulations for diverse activities in Mexico. They are more commonly referred to as NOMs or normas.

The standards are prepared by the Dirección General de Normas (DGN) (General Directorate of Standards), which is the body representing Mexico in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

In the case of tequila, Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) regulates production NOMs. The NOM identifier means the tequila meets government standards – but this is not any guarantee of tequila’s quality. However, without the NOM stamp of legitimacy, it is not guaranteed that the bottle contains tequila.

All 100% agave tequilas must have a NOM identifier on the bottle. The important laws since 1990 were NOM-006-SCFI-1993 and the later update NOM-006-SCFI-1994 revised in late 2005 NOM-006-SCFI-2005 and the most recent revision in 2012 NOM-006-SCFI-2012.

The number after NOM is the distillery number, assigned by the government. NOM does not indicate the location of the distillery, merely the parent company or – in the case where a company leases space in a plant – the physical plant where the tequila was manufactured. (Source: Wikipedia)

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The Añejo Way of Life With Señor Rio Tequila and Cigars by M.A. “Mike” Morales

I admit, I have a soft spot for Señor Rio tequila.

A snifter of Señor Rio añejo on the patio.

A snifter of Señor Rio añejo on the patio.

Sure, it’s produced at the famed La Cofradía distillery (NOM 1137), where its flagship tequila, Casa Noble, grabs all the headlines these days.  And the co-founders, Jonathan Gach and Debbie Medina have a great love for tequila and a great love story, too.  And, yes, it comes in a helluva pretty bottle.  But those aren’t my reasons for my affinity to the brand.

It’s their exclusive cigars that pair so well with Señor Rio tequila that bring a smile to my face.

In The Beginning…

Waiting to be lit.

Waiting to be lit.

I was first introduced to Señor Rio Cigars when CEO, Jonathan Gach, sent me a pair that were infused with Señor Rio blanco tequila.  It was a novel idea at the time since tradition dictates that cigars be paired with wines and darker spirits.  Naturally, these were meant to be enjoyed with Señor Rio blanco and its fragrant smoky bouquet and long finish.

The concept of pairing cigars with blanco tequilas compelled  me to seek other blanco tequila and cigar combinations that ultimately lead to my recent article in Cigar Advisor.

Completely hooked, I couldn’t wait to spark up these newer versions of Señor Rio Cigars that Jonathan was kind enough to share.

Pure Elegance

Señor Rio's presentation dresses up any occasion.

Señor Rio’s presentation dresses up any occasion.

Simply placing the Señor Rio bottles outside on the patio table dresses up any occasion and calls for your fanciest lighter, ashtray and crystal snifters.  One whiff of the big, veiny Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and I couldn’t stray from tradition.  A snifter of  Señor Rio añejo was in order.

From the very start, this stick had all the signs of a handmade gem, lighting beautifully, drawing smoothly and burning evenly with a nice ash.  The combination of the Honduran and Dominican filler, along with the Connecticut broadleaf binder made for a tequila lover’s delight.

Nice ash.

Nice ash.

The hints of leather, wood and nuts courtesy of the wrapper blended nicely with Señor Rio’s initial sweetness. The cigar’s light spiciness (cloves) enhanced the nose and married graciously with the aroma  of the añejo.  Moreover, the cigar’s easygoing softness didn’t interfere with Señor Rio’s medium-to-long finish imparted by its aging in used French white oak barrels for two years.

With the reposado, however, the pairing was more evenly matched.  Aged only six months in used French white oak barrels, it does not have as long a finish as the añejo and this fusion was a duel of the senses.  Each commanded my attention with every sip and draw.  While at times the añejo seemed to step aside, the pairing with the reposado demanded to be noticed.

Up close and personal with Señor Rio tequila.

Up close and personal with Señor Rio tequila.

Once Señor Rio blanco was served, it was comparing night and day.  Everything I had experienced throughout my enjoyment of the cigar was brought to bear with the blanco.  It was a Wimbledon tennis match at Centre Court between two distinct athletic styles where your taste buds are the line judge and the crowd cheers with every volley.

The Añejo Way Of Life

Enjoying the Añejo Way Of Life.

Enjoying the Añejo Way Of Life.

You don’t have to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation (or of a tequila brand or online tequila media company, for that matter) to enjoy Señor Rio.  The pure elegance of its bottle presentation and the tequila’s flavor profile alone can take you to your happy place, what I call “the añejo way of life.”  Coupled with a Señor Rio Cigar, and your trip there will be that much quicker.

Sadly, these puros are not available for retail, yet, and are primarily used at special events and promotions.  But, as Jonathan Gach puts it, “I have been a cigar smoker for 37 years and along with tequila, this is another passion of mine.”

On the positive side, Jonathan is contemplating some exciting future plans for Señor Rio that includes the addition of even more enticing tobacco blends to go along with his stellar tequila.

In the meantime, look for Jonathan and Debbie and the whole Señor Rio tequila crew at your nearest cigar bar and liquor store.  It’ll be your shortest route to the “añejo way of life.”

Jonathan Gach and Debbie Medina, founders of Señor Rio tequila.

Jonathan Gach and Debbie Medina, founders of Señor Rio tequila.

For more information on Señor Rio, visit them here.
At Facebook.  On Twitter @senorrio .

senor rio


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