Tag Archives: spirits of mexico

Judging at The Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine

In mid-August of 2014, the organizers of the 6th Annual Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine, which took place on October 11, 2014, graciously asked Tequila Aficionado Media CEO, Mike Morales, to participate as a judge.  Their unique, take-at-home blind tequila tasting competition used the Tequila Matchmaker smartphone application to score and bestow awards.  You can review the results of the tasting competition here.

Take-Home Test

I dreaded tests and pop quizzes in school.  I never did well on them no matter how long I studied.  The only answer for someone like me to improve his grade was to do extra credit work.  Often, that meant the blessing of the occasional take-home test.

The entire text book, notes and other related materials was at my disposal.  In addition, the stress of competing against my smarter classmates was lifted, as well as any pressure about time limits.

Really, it was a license to cheat!  How could I go wrong?

That’s why the concept of the take-home cata made the Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine’s tasting competition so intriguing for me.

 Matchmaker, Matchmaker,

Make Me A Match…

Grover Sanschagrin, co-founder of TasteTequila.com, is the designer of Tequila Matchmaker, the only smartphone application to date that aids tequila

TasteTequila

TasteTequila

aficionados in finding tequilas that are suitable to their taste preferences.  It also allows enthusiasts to rate and grade brands on a sliding numerical scale.

Grover has introduced Tequila Matchmaker in some of the leading and trending tequila bars in the US.  The Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine is the first event to exclusively use the Tequila Matchmaker app for its blind tasting competition.

Grover Sanschagrin of TasteTequila.com.

Grover Sanschagrin of TasteTequila.com.

In this Facebook interview, Grover shares some of his thoughts on the aftermath of the competition.

TA:  So…did the results amaze you?

GS:  Not really.  I wish there were more brands involved so we could get a better comparison.

Last year, when we announced the results, several brands were in the room.  They immediately asked questions about the judges.  This gave me the idea to “test” the judges as a way of giving the brands an idea of who they were dealing with.
So, duplicating a tequila as a way to “judge the judges” was my answer.  A total experiment.  Not totally scientific, but definitely interesting.

TA:  Did they know who the judges were this time around?

GS:  No, we didn’t disclose which judges gave which scores.  Also, all of the judges, except for one, did well.

TA:  Did they know the names of the judges on the roster?
GS:  I believe so.

Also, rating these tequilas from home is a totally different method than rating them with all of the judges in the same room.  Not that any one is better than the other, just

Freddy the Cat judging añejos.

Freddy the Cat judging añejos.

that they are different.

I would actually like to try an experiment where the same judges rate things at home, and then again, together (like the SOM [Spirits of Mexico competition] format) and then see the differences.
Grover continues…
GS:  I also want to experiment with the order of the selection.  We can actually use our app to create a random order for each person, so nobody will have the same [order].
Ready to judge for Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine.

Ready to judge for Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine.

TA:  That would be a cool variable.

GS:  For me at SOM [Grover was a judge at 2014’s contest], palate fatigue is an issue, so it would be interesting to see if tequilas at the end of the line tend to do better.  I am fascinated by blind ratings, so I’m having a blast trying all these new experiments.
TA:  I think [for me] tequilas at the beginning of the line may also suffer from palate “under work.”

GS:  In our blind tasting tour, we found just the opposite.  The tequilas in slots 1 and 2 tended to score higher that 3-6.  No idea why, really – but it was clear in the comparison of the events.

Beginning of the line for blanco category.

Beginning of the line for blanco category.

TA:  Did the time of day also make a difference?
GS:  It was mid afternoon for all of the events.
TA:  So time of day was pretty consistent?
GS:  I know that the SOM guys insist that spirits must be evaluated in the morning, but that seems a little odd to me.  I think the judge needs to be consistent, but should be able to choose when they drink.  I don’t usually drink in the morning. usually. :-).  There’s an element of “real life” that isn’t present when you drink Tapatio 110 at 9am.

TA:  Did the certified catador do better than was expected?

GS:  Nope.

Rant Alert!

Before I go into my pros and cons of rating tequilas using the Tequila Matchmaker app for the Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine, let me get a few pet peeves off my chest.

Judging Competitions–What A Concept!

In all my time studying, analyzing and observing the Tequila Industry, not once have I ever known any tequila enthusiast, purist, newbie, connoisseur, collector or consumer (let alone brand owner and/or importer) to be happy with the results of any spirits judging competition.

Whether it’s the venerable San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the respected Beverage Testing Institute, the famed Spirits of Mexico, or any of the smaller, regional tasting events throughout the country, no one has ever been completely happy or agreed entirely with the outcomes.

The older the judging tournaments are, the more importance their annual medal counts are given by an unsuspecting public who only purchase award winning beers, wines and spirits based on their perceived value, instead of trusting its own taste buds.

Those long running competitions become more expensive to enter, forcing smaller more deserving brands out and leaving the larger, transnational corporations with deeper portfolios and bigger budgets to duke it out.

Accusations of alleged backroom negotiations for awards has also been an issue, of late.

And let’s not forget the most lucrative part of the tasting event–

Licensing

Paying for the rights to use the competition’s branded medals and seals in addition to the entry fees per spirits expression submitted.

Yet, spirits brands in general, and tequila brands in particular, continue to allocate hard-earned marketing dollars toward entering these yearly competitions for the privilege of hanging neck tags from their bottles or affixing stickers onto their labels named for precious metals or gemstones.

Double Vibranium, anyone?

Collecting medals and awards have gone the way of tattoos and piercings–

Everyone has them, and the novelty and mystique have worn off.

At the end of the day, it seems like everyone who participated in the competitions scored some sort of hardware and the rest of us are left shaking our heads in dismay or agreement.

Lastly…

Scoring

Monterey Bay blanco category and glassware.

Monterey Bay blanco category and glassware.

I was once told by a very respected spirits writer that a unified scoring system was good for an event should the organizers decide to hold other branded spirits competitions.

Puh-leez!

Whoever said that a templated numerical  scoring method used to grade different kinds of spirits was appropriate for tequila tastings?  Diffusers aside, tequila itself is so unique, it doesn’t compare with the flavor profiles of all other spirits, so why rate them that way?

How about a rating system that’s good for the juice instead of one that’s good for the show?  (BTW…one already exists.)

Pros And Cons

Pro–scoring on the Tequila Matchmaker app is amazingly simple.

Con–There’s no numerical rating for the tequilas’ appearance on the Tequila Matchmaker app.  Takes the whole sensorial feeling out of tequila tasting.  Only your nose and mouth get to have all the fun.

Pro–Shipping two ounce samples is neat and cost effective for the organizers of the show.

Con–See what happens when minis are compromised.  (Warning:  It’s not pretty.)

I particularly found that my sealed reposado samples were extremely alcohol-y even after sitting at room temperature for a couple of days.

Pro–It’s lovely to take your time judging samples at your leisure.  I agree with

You never know who might stop by to help judge tequila.

You never know who might stop by to help judge tequila.

 

Grover that it saves on palate fatigue, too.

 

Con–I miss the camaraderie of other expert judges and learning from them.  It ups your game like playing one-on-one with LeBron James or batting against Clayton Kershaw.

 

Pro–Depending on my schedule, I chose what time of day to judge my samples.

 

Con–According to the guidelines set forth by the original Mexican Tequila Academy, tastings should begin by 11 AM when a catador’s (tequila taster’s) palate is freshest.  [See also their tequila scoring sheet and criteria.]  This article here explains where this custom began.

 

Pro–I knew which glassware and other tips and tools to use to make me, as a judge, more effective.

 

Con–The lack of uniformity and protocol among the judges could have affected the final results.

 

Pro–It was exciting to use Tequila Matchmaker’s breakthrough scoring system.

 

Con–I can’t, in all honesty, say that I was pleased with the awarded outcomes or my graded performance.

 

See!  What did I tell you?  I hate tests. 

 

Embajador Tequila Conquers California At Spirits of Mexico!

Captures gold and silver medals across contest categories…

Embajador, reposado, spirits of mexico, tequila, tequila aficionado, anejoSeptember 29, 2014, Del Mar, CAEmbajador Tequila Supreme añejo was awarded a gold medal from the longest running Mexican spirits competition in North America, the Spirits of Mexico.  A panel of judges with over 300 years of experience between them also voted both Embajador Tequila Platinum Blanco and Embajador Premium Reposado coveted silver medals.  The blind tasting took place on August 25-26, 2014 at the popular Hacienda Hotel in Old Town San Diego with the results announced yesterday during a special ceremony at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Hailing from the famed blue agave growing region of Atotonilco in the highlands of Jalisco, the family owned Embajador Tequila stunned the Spirits of Mexico competition by capturing the gold medal in the añejo category.

“We feel like sweepstakes winners!” exclaimed an overjoyed Andres Garcia, Embajador’s Regional Sales Manager.  “Taking the gold medal for our anejo at the Spirits of Mexico tasting competition is breathtaking.”

And just like their global brand ambassadors, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, one of the hottest mariachi troops in Mexico, Embajador tequila swaggered into the blanco and reposado segments of the competition and claimed twin silver honors.

“We are ecstatic over winning two silver medals for our reposado and blanco, too,” added Garcia.  “We’re extremely proud of the consistency in Embajador’s flavor profile and quality.”

The Embajador family is adamant about crafting superlative and distinguished tequila.

Embajador, reposado, spirits of mexico, tequila, tequila aficionado, platinum, blancoIt uses only its own estate grown 100% blue weber agave that is carefully tended for 8-10 years.  Baked in an adobe oven, the piñas are shredded using water from the distillery’s own aquifer, and then fermented from 3-5 days.  After double distillation, the luminous Platinum expression is rested 40 days in stainless steel vats to ensure a complete balance of character.

The captivating Embajador Premium Reposado is rested for a period of eight months in American and French Oak barrels, while the gold medal winning Supreme Añejo is aged with devotion for one year and six months in American and French Oak barrels.

This has been a year filled with accolades for the small batched Embajador tequila.  In April, it racked up a glimmering platinum title at the prestigious SIP Awards, while their other expressions garnered silver and bronze prizes, as well.

Embajador, reposado, spirits of mexico, tequila, tequila aficionado“Getting these esteemed awards is a symbol of our family’s determination, commitment and dedication to producing high caliber tequila,” said Garcia, “and that’s the better part of winning.”

Entering tasting competitions and gaining recognition for accumulating awards is only part of Embajador’s strategy to grow the brand.

“Acquiring the gold and silver medals provides us and our distributor sales team with a tequila that we can be proud to stand behind and be assured it’s top-notch juice,” explained Garcia.

“These trophies are great sales and marketing tools that give us the opportunity to present Embajador to any retail buyer and be confident that it will add value to their premium tequila shelf selection,” he described.

“We plan on celebrating these awards with a big ‘Thank You’ to all the people behind the scenes that made Embajador Tequila what it is today,” continued Andres.  “We value their hard work, long hours and integrity.”SOM-logo

Gratefully, he added, “Thank you Spirits of Mexico for celebrating and acknowledging this noble spirit.”

Not accustomed to sitting on their laurels, Andres Garcia admitted, “We plan on commemorating this triumph by popping a few bottles of Embajador Tequila.  Salúd!”

***

Distributors/Vendors:  Contact Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager, to discuss the benefits of adding Spirits of Mexico gold medal winner Embajador Tequila to your portfolio at andres@embajadortequila.com.  More details on Embajador Tequila on their website here.  To learn more about the Spirits of Mexico, click here.  Spirits Writers:  For an in-depth interview with Andres Garcia, call 469-216-0567.  Hurry–slots are filling up fast!

 

2014 Spirits of Mexico Winners Announced

dos armadillos, 2014 spirits of mexico, tequila, contest, winner, packagingThe 2014 Spirits of Mexico winners have been announced!  There is a huge list of winners in both tequila and mezcal this year.  What do you think of these brands?

Following are the winners with links to some of our articles & reviews mentioning them:

Tequila Extra Añejo

Tequila Herradura Seleccion Suprema – Best in Show

“A luxurious spirit loaded with character. It has a lustrous amber color, a medium-weight body and a glorious nose of jasmine, fennel, dill, peppercorn, green olives and oaky vanilla. The spiciness and fruity flavors continue on throughout the long, lingering finish.The finish is long, balanced and sublime.”

Dos Armadillos Tequila – Best in Show Packaging

“Nicely textured, richly sweet, intriguingly spicy with a dash of dried herbal earthiness – a well-balanced combination of sweet agave, acid, spice and finish. Charming and enduring.”

Tequila Blanco

Jenni Rivera La Gran Señora – Best in Class

“This blanco is all floral finesse, with some talc and geranium out front. Flavor notes of roasted pumpkin and intense concentrated agave sweetness. Finishes with tang of white pepper and baked squash on the very long lasting finish.”

Tequila Reposado

Jenni Rivera La Gran Señora – Best in Class

“Pretty confectionary nose – banana cream, caramel, coconut and vanilla and a taste of creme brulee distinguish this reposado. All spice on the palate, with a medium body and loads of baked fruits and spice box. Ends with a surprising potent punch – solid gold.”

Tequila Añejo

Milagro – Best in Class

“Slightly maritime aromas of seaweed and salt spray with a touch of caramel. Tastes earthy and vegetal, with a green pepper tang, clove and sandalwood.”

Liqueur

Casa D’Aristi XTA – Best in Class

“Anise, honey, chocolate and orange peel make a harmonious nose; on the palate, syrupy but with enough acidity to carry it through lots of orange and honey notes with spiciness. Well-balanced and intriguing.”

Mezcal Añejo

Los Amantes – Best in Class – TIE

“Savory defines the aromas from this aged mezcal – fish sauce, black vinegar and even tamari. On the palate, we find nectarines and plums dashed with black pepper, some vegetal notes and a mild oaky vanilla quality that leads to a finely balanced mix of smoke, acid, brine, fruit and sweetness. Delightful aged mezcal.”

Mezcal Joven

HPS Epicurean Marca Negra Tobala – Best in Class – TIE

“Complex herbal and roasted fruit nose, with white pepper, vanilla, brine and earth in the mix. Moderately smoky, on the palate it bursts with a briny and limey attack – sweet but big and robust with notes of lime leaf and peaches with the emerging smoke. Very long lasting zip of sweet smoke.”

 

Tequila Blanco Gold Winners

Brown Forman Herradura

“Classic aromas of a lightly wood-aged blanco – baking spices including nutmeg, mace and cinnamon, with plenty of
agave aromas and flavors. Fresh and well-rounded, finishing brisk and clean.”

Crotalo Spirits Lucha

“Pale yellow hue suggests light aging; sweet roast agave aromas backed with cinnamon opens up into a delicate
expression of white flowers, pumpkin and agave. Light and pretty with great licorice finish.”

El Cachanilla El Cachanilla

“An interesting aromatic mix – cotton candy, geranium, pencil shavings at the fore – makes for a compelling opening,
and the mild palate becomes robust at the close with an assertive peppery zip.”

Euphoric Spirits Company U4RIK

“Lovely aroma of talc, geranium and paper followed with a dash of dried herbs. Crisp with a slightly bitter appetizing
quality on the palate, leading to an assertive, peppery finish.”

Sidney Frank Importing Co Casamigos

“Pretty white flower and cotton candy aromas and a touch of cinnamon. On the palate, it’s crisp, a little briny with some tropical fruit notes. Crisp and compelling finish.”

 

Tequila Reposado Gold Winner

Sidney Frank Importing Co Casamigos

“Pretty white flower and cotton candy aromas and a touch of cinnamon. On the palate, it’s crisp, a little briny with some tropical fruit notes. Crisp and compelling finish.”

Tequila Blanco

Brown Forman Herradura

“Classic aromas of a lightly wood-aged blanco – baking spices including nutmeg, mace and cinnamon, with plenty of agave aromas and flavors. Fresh and well-rounded, finishing brisk and clean.”

Crotalo Spirits Lucha

“Pale yellow hue suggests light aging; sweet roast agave aromas backed with cinnamon opens up into a delicate expression of white flowers, pumpkin and agave. Light and pretty with great licorice finish.”

El Cachanilla El Cachanilla

“An interesting aromatic mix – cotton candy, geranium, pencil shavings at the fore – makes for a compelling opening, and the mild palate becomes robust at the close with an assertive peppery zip.”

Euphoric Spirits Company U4RIK

“Lovely aroma of talc, geranium and paper followed with a dash of dried herbs. Crisp with a slightly bitter appetizing quality on the palate, leading to an assertive, peppery finish.”

Sidney Frank Importing Co Casamigos

“Pretty white flower and cotton candy aromas and a touch of cinnamon. On the palate, it’s crisp, a little briny with some tropical fruit notes. Crisp and compelling finish.”

Brown Forman Herradura

“Power packed nose of brine and spice in a classic expression of a Tequila valley-style reposado. Snappy and well integrated with an impressive intensity. Assertive and mouth-watering.”

Heaven Hill Lunazul

“Earthy and herbal with notes of mint, menthol and yerba buena enhanced by a vanilla sweetness. Medium-bodied with a well-knit balance among sweetness, acidity and fruit with a dash of oaky creaminess. Delicate, refined and a touch of brine at the appetizing finish.”

Muerto Spirits Muerto

“Fills the nose with aromas of cooked agave, vanilla flan and baking spices, notably cinnamon and nutmeg. Great balance between oaky richness and fresh agave flavors in the mouth and another touch of vanilla with mouthwatering acidity and a fresh and pleasing finish.”

Sidney Frank Importing Co Casamigos

“Sturdy nose of talc, grass and coconut; exceedingly smooth with a dash of brine, smoke and very fine limey acidity and vanilla. Finishes pretty and medium-length with appetizing spice cake quality.”

William Grant & Sons Milagro

“Light aromas of tropical fruit, coconut and vanilla; medium bodied, slightly briny with well-knit herbal zing. Crisp, lightly floral and tasty on the finish.”

Tequila Añejo Gold Winners

Brown Forman El Jimador

“Aromas of dill, olives and baked pineapple, with a briny sea salt tang, peaches and vanilla cream. Nicely balanced sweet spice and toffee, with dashes of vanilla, with a subtle spiciness lingering past the finish.”

Brown Forman Herradura

“Intense aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, brine, green olives and green mango herald a classic Tequila valley-type anejo. Filled with spicy flavors – nutmeg, mace, ripe mango, white pepper and cedar – and intense, it finishes strong but very very tasty. Outstanding.”

Euphoric Spirits Company U4RIK

“Moderate weight and high acid tang meld well with the lovely spice expression. Direct, flavorful, brisk and silky; very
fine anejo.”

Garcia Group Spirits Celestial

“Clove, menthol and vanilla characterize this winning anejo’s aromas, with a moderately rich mouthfeel that turns creamy and then spicy rich. At the finish, an impressive spice explosion.”

Heaven Hill Lunazul

“Toasty oak and light tobacco aromas; on the palate, rich, even and oily, with spice notes including star anise, balsam and candy corn. Clean and refreshing finisher.”

Muerto Spirits Muerto

“Richly sweet with loads of vanilla, coconut, candy corn and roasted agave mingling together. Appealing to the sweeter side of the agave but appealing and flavorful, with a pretty finish.”

Pan American Beverage & Tequila Imports, LLC Embajador

“Richly confectioned nose, like pastry cream or cake icing with vanilla and cinnamon notes. On the palate it turns briskly astringent with lip smacking acids, making it very inviting and clean. Finishes tight and tingly with well-balanced spice.”

William Grant & Sons Milagro Select Barrel Reserve

“Opens with a charming cream and caramel confectionary aroma, with hints of menthol and crushed pecans. It’s a sophisticated sipper with a lightly spicy palate, shifting through nutmeg, cinnamon and white pepper, with a pleasing nuttiness on the finish.”

Three Crowns Distributors Jenni Rivera La Gran Señora

“Lush and luscious with a great balance among sweetness, acidity and spice. Great expression that is very, very persistent on the finish with a peppery and pleasing punch. Outstanding.”

Tequila Extra Añejo Gold Winners

Crotalo Spirits Crotalo Tres Marcos 3*5*7

“A deep and rich amber hue with a velvety textured body and an alluring semi-sweet bouquet of vanilla, caramel, fruit and dark chocolate. The palate is loaded with spice, butterscotch, cocoa, vanilla and light peppery notes, all of which persist on the palate for an agreeably long time.”
El Cachanilla El Cachanilla Tequila

“A rich amber hue and an alluring bouquet laced with fresh baked aromas of cinnamon, caramel, vanilla and nutmeg. A gentle entry expands into an array of flavors—toasted oak, cinnamon, maple syrup and marzipan, all of which persist on the palate for an agreeably long time.”

International Premium Spirits Corporation Dos Armadillos Tequila

“Nicely textured, richly sweet, intriguingly spicy with a dash of dried herbal earthiness – a well-balanced combination of sweet agave, acid, spice and finish. Charming and enduring.”

Flavored Tequila Gold Winners

Dirty Tequila LLC Dirty Tequila

“Appealing mix of spice and pineapple with crisp agave; a crowd pleasing shot or cocktail ingredient, sweet and spicy at the same time.”

William Grant & Sons Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur

“Spicy, savory and sweet, this flavored tequila has an appealign earthiness and robust abcho chile zing. Great cocktail modifier sutibale for any tequila or mezcal recipe tweaking. A winner.”

Mezcal Joven Gold Winners

HPS Epicurean Marca Negra Espadin

“Lightly smokey, grappa like in its aromatic appeal, with pumice, chamomile and brine in the mix. Great citric acid crispness, with smoke, fruit and brine wrestling for primacy. In the end, all find their place in this remarkable crisp mezcal.”

Viejo Indecente Mezcal Viejo Indecente Ensamble

“Sweet smoked – cherry wood, smoked peaches and nectarines, with a dash of olive braine create a complex aromatic opening. Full bodied, with a deopth of finish that invites another sip.”

William Grant & Sons Bosscal Mezcal

“Orange creamsicle and vinegar, along with dried herbs and lime zest on the nose; tastes of a beautifully knit smoked fruit platter, spiked with grapefruit juice and a touch of brine.”

Rested Mezcal Gold Winners

Dibela Enterprises 3 Pueblos

“Mint, sage, thyme, menthol, white flowers and soot – what an array of aromas! On the palate, it pops with cinnamon, nutmeg and crisp acidity. A gorgeous mezcal.”

Liqueur Gold Winners

HPS Epicurean Casa D’Aristi Huana

“Tropical fruit, oranges and grapefruit on the nose, with a moderate-dense mouthfeel with loads of tropical, tree and citrus fruit flavor, with a honeyed richness.”

HPS Epicurean Casa D’Aristi Kalani

“Coconut, chocolate and coffee take center stage, dense and mouth-filling, with loads of coconut and chocolate but some balanced acidity. Finishes slightly dry.”

Tequila Blanco Silver Winners

Baron Spirits Baron Platinum
Hacienda Destiladora de Michoacan SPR de RL Hacienda Maravatio
Heaven Hill Lunazul
Mexican Moonshine Mexican Moonshine Silver
Pan American Beverage & Tequila Imports, LLC Embajador
William Grant & Sons Milagro
William Grant & Sons Milagro Select Barrel Reserve
The Legacy Group Campeon

Tequila Reposado Silver Winners

Crotalo Spirits Lucha
El Cachanilla El Cachanilla
Garcia Group Spirits Celestial
Marsalle Company Hacienda Vieja
Pan American Beverage & Tequila Imports, LLC Embajador
Sazerac Company Monte Alban
William Grant & Sons Milagro Select Barrel Reserve

Tequila Añejo Silver Winners

Heaven Hill Lunazul Primero
The Legacy Group Campeon

Tequila Extra Añejo Silver Winner

Crotalo Spirits Lucha Tequila

Flavored Tequila Silver Winner

Agave Loco LLC Agave Loco Pepper Cured Tequila

Mezcal Joven Silver Winners

Dibela Enterprises 3 Pueblos
HPS Epicurean Marca Negra Dobadan
HPS Epicurean Marca Negra Ensamble
Viejo Indecente Mezcal Viejo Indecente Espadin
William Grant & Sons Montelobos

Rested Mezcal Silver Winner

Dibela Enterprises Kilometro 70

Tequila Blanco Bronze Winners

Chamucos Spirits LLC Palm Bay International
Garcia Group Spirits Celestial
Jim Beam Sauza 901 Silver
Marsalle Company Hacienda Vieja
Muerto Spirits Muerto
Revel Spirits Inc Revel Avila Agave Spirit
Sazerac Company Monte Alban

Tequila Reposado Bronze Winners

Brown Forman El Jimador
Palm Bay International Chamucos
The Legacy Group Campeon

Tequila Añejo Bronze Winners

Crotalo Spirits Lucha
Marsalle Company Don Felix
Palm Bay International Chamucos

Flavored Tequila Bronze Winner

Berezan Tequila Ltd De La Tierre

Mezcal Joven Bronze Winner

Dibela Enterprises Kilometro 70

 

 

Download the official Spirits of Mexico results for 2014

Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine–Tequila With Intention

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 at Billy’s Ice House in New Braunfels, TX. 

Click here for Part 1 of our visit with Roger Clyne.

***

“The planet does not need more ‘successful people.’  The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds….” H.H. The Dalai Lama

JollyRahjahFrom the day that Bing Crosby carted his first bottles of Herradura across the dusty border from Mexico, tequila and popular music have been willing confederates.  After well over fifty years, modern recording stars like Carlos Santana, Justin Timberlake, Diddy, Billy Gibbons and others continue to tout their own tequila brands, either openly or quietly as part of investment groups.

But one recording artist does so both openly and somewhat quietly–Roger Clyne.

Shivering in the cold outside the Peacemakers’ eco-friendly tour bus, I recalled a conversation that I had had earlier with my good friend, Jason Silverman, Agave Beverage Manager at the famous Agave Bar & Restaurant in New York City.  He’d met Roger a few weeks earlier during the band’s New York swing and remarked that he was one of the coolest and most down-to-earth guys in the music and tequila business.

Once we climbed aboard, we were warmly met by heat (thank goodness!), dimmed lighting, and soft flamenco guitar music that instantly set the tone for a relaxing one-on-one with the only award winning tequila brand owner (Gold Medal at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition for Mexican Moonshine añejo) set to launch another highly anticipated indy album (The Independent premiered April 29, 2014).

 Rich gonna reap, Poor gotta sow…How we gonna make bread without any dough?

Being frank, open and honest, much like his lyrics, here Roger offers us a look into what it takes to bring his start up tequila onto the market to compete with big name brands.  As you’ll agree, it’s very similar to the indy music business.

Hello raindrop, hello sea…Hello jungle, leaf on the tree…Hello new day!

Possibly due to his early ranching heritage in Arizona, Clyne has pledged that the Peacemakers would walk softly upon the Earth while on tour.  He believed that his tequila factory should have the same respect for nature.

In this clip, Roger reveals his reasons for selecting Fabrica de Tequilas Finos (NOM 1472) as the producer of Mexican Moonshine tequila.  Foremost was the distillery’s efforts at environmental responsibility and vinazas clean up.

Screw-top wine, Rhythm and rhyme…My moonshine in a plastic cupBehind_Moonshine

Once referred to as the “Bruce Springsteen of the Southwest,” Roger’s rock n’ roll persona is often misinterpreted.  While he admits to playing as hard as he works, Clyne is a conscientious catador, learning from his mentors at Tequilas Finos, owner Federico Cabo and Master Distiller, Arturo Fuentes.

In these next clips, Roger Clyne gets up close and personal with his fans and concert goers at Billy’s Ice House in New Braunfels, TX, as he conducts his own tequila tasting of Mexican Moonshine.

Still a student of life, as well as tequila, in this snippet, we discuss proper tasting practices and the Vinturi aerator.

Hey Cantinero!

jason silverman, mixology, roger clyne, mexican moonshine

Jason Silverman, mixologist and fan of Roger Clyne – the man, the musician, and his Moonshine

 

With mixology driving the spirits industry and specially made cocktails being the new world order, Roger Clyne gives his thoughts on mixing with Mexican Moonshine.

Here, Clyne recounts his New York visit with Agave Beverage Manager, Jason Silverman, of the trendy Agave Bar & Restaurant.

So how does Roger Clyne relax after a long day on the road?  Try his signature drink, the Cheat-a-Rita!

And everything’s slowin’ down flowin’ counterclockwise

Throughout his journey, Roger Clyne has successfully handled life’s curveballs.

Circus_Mexicus

Circus Mexicus, a weekend beach party jam session in the sleepy town of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico

Whether it was pursuing a music career independent of the support of corporate record labels, or organizing Circus Mexicus, a weekend beach party jam session in the sleepy town of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico that has turned into a four day music festival, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers have deliberately taken “the road less traveled.”

This same thoughtful path can be savored in each of his Mexican Moonshine expressions, and can surely be enjoyed in the melodies and lyrics of the band’s latest CD, The Independent.

If you feel that your own life decisions are turning your world counterclockwise, let these storytellers restore your soul and your taste buds, and heal your love for life.

After all, that was their original intention.

***

Enjoy this video of Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers’ hit, Counterclockwise…

Speaking of curveballs…

Amigos

M.A. “Mike” Morales and Roger Clyne posing for a picture after an amazing evening of tastings and interview

 

 

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!

Click here for Part 1 of our visit with Roger Clyne.

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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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.

***

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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