Tag Archives: tequila

Dia De Los Muertos Altars

dia de los muertos altarThe Dia de los Muertos Altar

(Click on any of the images to see our Dia de los Muertos pinboard with more altars.)

The home altar is meant to serve as a welcome for the long lost loved ones who have passed on before us.  Just as we might welcome guests from out of town with a fine table, flowers, and food, so too will we welcome home our dearly departed for their short visit on Dia de los Muertos.

Elements of the Dia de los Muertos Altar:

We start with the table and a favorite tablecloth.  Upon those, we’ll add photos of our dear ones.  Personal belongings, favorite foods and beverages (like a good bottle of tequila) will make them welcome.  It may be difficult for our spirit friends to open and pour, so pouring a glass of tequila is often done.  Traditional foods like pan de muerto are also laid out to welcome our otherworldly guests.

Next we’ll add the four elements in nature.

Clay bowls of corn or fruits represent the earth and her harvest.

altar2

 

Papel picados, the delicately cut paper banners represent wind.

An open container of water will quench the thirst of our loved ones.

The fire of burning candles guides them home and represents the souls themselves.

Salt on the altar purifies the spirits.

Incense, rising like the spirits themselves, sweetens the air as it burns in clay “Copaleros” or “salumerios”.

Marigolds, or tissue flowers, brighten their path and adorn the altar.

Lastly, a simple woven mat is placed at the base of the altar for our weary travelers to rest.

Altars will vary with family and regional traditions, but this should give the unfamiliar a basic overview of the elements of a Dia de los Muertos altar.

dia de los muertos altar

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Tequila & Distillery “NOM List” (29Sep2014)

The Tequila NOM List

monterey bayEach of our tequila NOM Lists contains the names and information of current brands and tequila distilleries as well as those that have previously appeared on NOM lists but have since been dropped by the CRT. Pinpointing your treasure bottles or favorite distilleries 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:

About Our NOM List of Tequilas & Distilleries

austin tequila festClick on any RED link within the NOM list to see the Tequila Aficionado articles and reviews on that brand or distillery. *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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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

We Just Sit Around Drinking Tequila All Day

We don’t actually sit around drinking tequila all day, but that’s what a lot of people think we do.  There’s a lot of effort behind the scenes that goes into producing content for Tequila Aficionado.  One important thing is producing episodes of Sipping Off The Cuff.  Let me tell you a little about that.
 

 

It’s quite a process so we thought we’d share it with you:

First, we have to get the guys together.  Getting Alex and Mike together via Skype isn’t always easy.  family commitments, all the things that can go wrong with computers, and then there’s the software, both the recording software and Skype that have a part in whether or not our programs are recorded properly.

If we had roadies, we’d have them do the tech check for us.

 

 

Setup

We wash Reidel snifters, ensure we have vodka & melba toast for palate cleansing between tequila tastings, and then set up all the bottles of tequilas and other great agave spirits that must be tasted and reviewed.  It takes about an hour just to move furniture, set up the table and then bring everything down off the shelves, dust it off and then set it up nicely for photos just in case Mike & Alex decide to talk about all the brands awaiting review.  Setup time is usually when we take photos for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Vine.  It is important to us that the brands that send us samples feel it is a valuable proposition.  Providing them with social media content that adds to their electronic equity is very valuable in today’s market.
 

 

Filming At about 12-20 minutes per brand, it makes for a long night.  Mike & Alex will taste several brands in one night and usually spend about 4 hours filming together.  

 

Editing

I take the raw footage and edit it.  (Trust me, there are just some things those guys do that you just don’t want to see or hear.)  It takes about 45 minutes to review, edit, research, add facts, format, and produce each individual video.
 

 

Uploading Then we upload the videos to YouTube.  Some days it goes quickly and some days the computer is tied up all day because YouTube is running so slowly.  

 

Posting

With all that done, we’re ready to schedule and post the video on Tequila Aficionado.  We want to make each video posting as search engine friendly as possible so the tequila (and mezcal) brands get plenty of publicity.  That means digging into websites and Facebook for social media links, images, and details on each brand’s production process.  Some tequila brands turn out to be Not Safe For Work (NSFW) and that means wading through a whole lot of bikini images before finding one we can use.  (Please take a lesson from mezcal and stop marketing like it’s 1989?)

Then you, the tequila aficionados see the final product.  We hope the insights that Mike & Alex provide are worth your time.  It is always our hope that the materials we work so hard to produce are as educational as they are entertaining and everyone from the brand owner to the consumer feels it was time well spent.

Are you following us on Vine yet?