We’ll Revel in Agave Spirits at 6Smith Tomorrow!

revel-6smithRevel Spirits are very unique agave spirits.  You’d understand if you’d tasted them!

If you haven’t tasted them yet, we heartily recommend you give they a try.

Since our reviews of Revel, we’ve discovered some delicious details about the spirit that agave geeks like us really appreciate:

  • Revel Spirits’ Agave plants are grown in the state of Morelos, Mexico
  • The soil is very rich with alkaline and the farms are very close to an active volcano, Popocatépetl
  • This soil has only been farmed for 15-20 years
  • The farms are run by Revel’s partner Héctor Ruiz and his family
  • Morelos soil is distinct from other regions of Mexico, creating a taste different from Tequila, even though Revel is made with 100% Blue Agave
  • REVEL currently uses only 100% Blue Weber agave.  They will have other brands to follow using different types of Agave plants

For the REVEL brand:

  • revel-6smith2Old school method: (some of their Piña’s are roasted)
  • Revel’s Piña’s are thrown into a pit filled with volcanic rock from the local volcano, covered with sand and leaves
  • Pipe is inserted into the middle of pit to release smoke (so it’s less smoky than Mezcal)
  • Piña’s are roasted for 48 hours covered and another 24 hours uncovered
  • New school method: (some of their Piña’s are steam heated)
  • Then the steamed and roasted Piña’s are blended
  • Shredded, Fermented, etc.
  • Then the product is triple distilled through column distillers
  • Which creates the Blanco
  • The Reposado is made from the Blanco placed in (once used) American Whisky oak barrels for one year.
  • The Añejo is made from the Blanco by inserting the Blanco into (new) French oak barrels for two years – which takes on a different complexity then the Reposado

 

 

Watch Tequila Aficionado’s networks for live streams and full video coverage of the Revel event at 6Smith in Wayzata, Minnesota, tomorrow!

Following are the previous reviews we’ve done of Revel’s Agave Spirits:

We were not compensated for these reviews but we did receive free product samples in exchange for honest, unbiased reviews.

 

 

 

Brands participating in Tequila Aficionado Tours, like Revel, are selected to participate based upon our interest in working with and promoting them.  We never endorse a brand we would not recommend to our mothers.  All participants in our tours pay a one-time sponsor fee to participate. #sponsored

Sipping off the Cuff | Scorpion Mezcal Anejo

Mike Morales & Rick Levy taste & discuss Scorpion Mezcal Anejo.

From the Scorpion Mezcal Website:

Scorpion Mezcal Añejo 5 Year

Sipping off the Cuff | Scorpion Mezcal Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4t2Highly Recommended, Spirit Journal.

Platinum Medal / 96 points, BTI.

Superb / Highly Recommended, Wine Enthusiast.

(100% Agave, 750 ml, 40% abv)Rare limited edition French glass decanter with stopper

Beautiful golden amber color. Intense aromas of roasted pineapple, raw honey, vanilla, caramel, cinnamon bark, fresh herbs, and smoldering embers. A rich, lush entry leads to a massive, off-dry full-bodied palate of roasted agave, grilled pineapple, wildflower honey, oiled leather, charred oak, exotic peppercorns, and brown spices. Finishes with a long, sweet fade of toffee, peppery spice, and smoky oak. Amazingly complex, balanced, and utterly delicious. BTI

The medium amber/harvest gold color is attractive and pure. The first nosings pick up intriguing, if oddly compelling notes of quinine, burnt match and furniture polish; additional time in the glass brings out deeper scents, especially onion, brine, olives, and damp earth. The palate entry is sooty, sweet, and close to creamy; at midpalate, the taste profile turns zesty, oaky sweet, charcoal-like, and, on the whole, savory. Finishes bittersweet and caramel-like. Nice job. F. Paul Pacults’ Spirit Journal

Appearance: Interesting gold / amber color in the bottle – about the same color as a bourbon (but not a scotch) of the same age. A honey oak or smokey brown color.

First Impression: Brine, phenol, mesquite sap, salt.

Taste: Brine, herbs de Provence, salt, smoke, oily, almost like duck fat cooked over a smoky wood fire- saltpeter/niter, alkali, slick mouth feel, almost paradoxical sweet/bitter and definite viscosity.Spirits Review

Caballeros Inc. recently introduced these very special, limited edition, rare bottlings of 100% agave mezcal aged in oak barrels. Besides the difference in age, Scorpion Mezcal® Reserva Añejo 5 Year is double distilled and Scorpion Mezcal® Gran Reserva Añejo 7 Year is triple distilled. Each is bottled in heavy French glass with the signature scorpion at the bottom (inside) of each hand-numbered bottle. Special super-sized scorpions were included in these unique editions to the Scorpion Mezcal® family of products.

Out of 52 tequilas and mezcals reviewed at the 2005 Beverage Testing Institute’s International Review of Spirits, both the Scorpion Mezcal® Reserva Añejo 5 Year and Scorpion Mezcal® Gran Reserva Añejo 7 Year, were awarded Platinum medals and given a score of 96 and 97 respectively. The BTI also considered both spirits to be of “Superlative” quality.

This award-winning Scorpion Mezcal® Reserva 5 Year Old is a rare limited edition mezcal in a French glass decanter with a scorpion in every bottle. This Special Reserve spends 5 years aging in oak barrels of less than 200 liters. Singel barrel bottlings of our aged products ensures premium quality mezcal.

Tequila: A Global History by Ian Williams

Tequila: A Global History by Ian Williams http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4juThere are few books on the subject of Tequila that are considered classics.  The Book Of Tequila by the late, great Bob Emmons, stands out as the most essential for any student of agave spirits.

I consider Emmons the first, true Tequila Journalist.  He was the first American author to demystify the much maligned Mexican tipple, and give it its rightful place among other elite sipping spirits.

Even posthumously, Emmons’ tome is so sought after that it is almost impossible to buy in paperback, let alone in hardcover.  Obtaining a used copy, in any condition, is like discovering a treasure bottle of Porfidio Barrique, and just as pricey.

Ian Williams’ Tequila:  A Global History, is not that kind of book–

But it could be.

What’s Left?

Tequila: A Global History by Ian Williams http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4ju

To say that Emmons volume was ahead of its time goes without saying.

Chock-full of such useful information as addresses of the then existing distilleries, to the history of tequila, and even drinks recipes, Emmons covered it all.

So, what’s left to report?

Everything!

The Rest of The Story

Tequila: A Global History by Ian Williams http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4ju

The late Bob Emmons.

Since the first printing of Emmons’ book in April 1997,  coinciding with the bilateral agreement between Mexico and the European Union that recognized tequila’s and mezcal’s denominations of origin a month later,  the Tequila Industry has boomed and busted at least twice, maybe even three or four times.

And Agave Spirits, in general, has zoomed to the forefront of every mixology menu riding the wave of an unprecedented global cocktail craze.

That’s where  Williams’ Tequila:  A Global History steps in.

Have A Drink!

Sadly, Emmons is no longer on this earthly plane to have a drink with and to discuss the dawning of the growth of the Tequila Industry.  Ian Williams, on the other hand, is alive and well and free for a drink!

Tequila: A Global History by Ian Williams http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4ju

Ian Williams, author of Tequila: A Global History.

We asked Ian to join us on Open Bar to discuss Tequila:  A  Global History.  You can view that episode here or read on.

A wordsmith of the most delightful kind, the affable Williams literally embodies the voice and narrative of his book.  With a sly smile and a gleam in his eye, this witty Brit kept us in stitches, sumptuously entertaining us with his tequila and mezcal travel tales.

Something For Everyone

His information isn’t just historically priceless (his interview with the controversial pariah Martin Grassl, innovator of Porfidio tequila, alone is

Tequila: A Global History by Ian Williams http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4ju

Porfidio Barrique

worth the purchase price), but also timely.

Williams deftly discusses the contentious implications of the recently tabled NOM 199 facing the Mezcal Industry and explains the true meanings of the newest designations (ancestral, traditional, artisanal, and industrial) that marketers have diluted into buzzwords to drive the craft spirits sensation.

He skillfully weaves the known Mayan, Olmec and Aztec chronology with current archaeological discoveries of Asian influenced distillation methods that stand to rewrite that history and the part played by the Spanish conquistadors.

And for Millennials seeking to educate themselves, Williams tackles sustainability issues, organic agave spirits, premiumization in the agave spirits market, and the sexiness of the agave plant itself.  Even photos and cocktail recipes are included.

Mr. Williams does all this while craftily drawing parallels and similarities from his whisk(e)y, scotch and rum experiences (see Rum:  A Social and Sociable History) as well as touching on other Mexican spirits like sotol and bacanora.

Tequila: A Global History by Ian Williams http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4ju

If Bob Emmons’ quintessential primer is considered The Greatest Tequila Story Ever Told, then Ian Williams’ Tequila:  A Global History, could be its worthy sequel in a continuing agave saga.

And Away We Go! The Heartland Tour Begins!

And we’re off!  The Tequila Aficionado 2016 Heartland Tour is off and running!  You can still ride along vicariously though!

Here’s the map of all the places we’ll be going:

It’s an interactive map, so feel free to zoom in!

Our Tour Schedule:

Sept 11: Bracken Cave Bat Flight, TX (Look for live video on Youtube and/or Facebook & interviews)

Sept 12: Lake Texoma, TX (Look for scenic stills)

Sept 13: Drive to Wichita, KS (Look for live video on Youtube and/or Facebook & shenanigans)

Sept 14: Private Sponsor Spirit Tasting at Felipe’s Restaurant (Look for live video on Youtube and/or Facebook followed by short clips on each brand as soon as we can get in the production booth)

Sept 15: Drive to Des Moines (anything could happen!)

Sept 16: Drive to Minnesota (Look for live video on Youtube and/or Facebook and interviews with Los Osuna from Barrio in Edina, MN)

Sept 17: Private Revel Avila Tasting in Wayzata, MN.  (Look for live video bites on Youtube and/or Facebook, interviews and full video coverage as soon as we can get in the production booth) 

Sept 18: Drive to Stoughton, WI.  (Look for scenic stills.) 

Sept 19: Cheese Tasting & Pairing at Cheeser’s.  (Look for live video bites on Youtube and/or Facebook as well as follow up pairing suggestions for sponsor brands.)

Sept 20: Drive to Buchanan, MI.  (Look for live video on Youtube and/or Facebook and scenic stills)

Sept 21: Apple & Peach Picking at local u-pick farms.  (Look for video, recipes created with sponsor brands and local produce, jams & jellies)

Sept 22: Drive to Mammoth Cave National Park, TN. (Look for live video on Youtube and/or Facebook & shenanigans)

Sept 23: Visit Mammoth Cave National Park. (Look for live video on Youtube and/or Facebook and scenic stills)

Sept 24: Visit Dinosaur World and Chaser’s Chocolate.  (Look for live video on Youtube and/or Facebook and chocolate pairing with sponsor brands)

Sept 25: Drive to Memphis, TN.  (Look for live video on Youtube and/or Facebook and scenic stills as we camp on the Mississippi River)

Sept 26: Riverboat Cruise on Mississippi River.  (Look for live video on Youtube and/or Facebook and scenic stills.)

Sept 27: Drive to Crater of Diamonds State Park, AR.  (Look for scenic stills.)

Sept 28: Digging for Diamonds!  (White, Brown & Yellow diamonds as well as amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate, and quartz may be found at the Crater of Diamonds so look for video, stills and any gems we find will be featured and named for our sponsors.)

Sept 29: Drive to Lake Conroe, TX.  (Look for live video on Youtube and/or Facebook and scenic stills)

Sept 30: Visit with Demetrio Tequila at Doneraki Restaurant.  (Look for live video on Youtube and/or Facebook & interviews.)  

Oct 1: Visit NASA’s Johnson Space Center (tentative).  (Look for live video on the tram tour!)

Oct 2: Drive home to San Antonio, TX.

*Please bear in mind that weather and travel conditions may cause changes in our itinerary and schedule.  Lack of high speed internet access may prohibit live video, in which case we’ll record and post as soon as we can get into the production booth. 

Follow Our Tweets!

Mike Morales’ Puerco Pibil Recipe with Soltado Tequila

[Soltado Tequila was a paid sponsor of the Tequila Aficionado Heartland Tour and paid a nominal fee to be mentioned here and on our networks as we saw fit.  In the interest of full disclosure, we didn’t want to love Soltado but we do.  It makes an amazing Puerco Pibil.] 

Sharing this recipe could get Mike killed. Luckily, Johnny Depp is too busy restoring the balance to other countries while things get crazy up in the Tequila Aficionado kitchen.

 

Mike Morales Makes Puerco Pibil with Soltado Tequila http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4t6Puerco Pibil Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 5lbs Pork Butt
  • ½ Cup White Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Lemon Juice
  • ½ Cup Orange Juice
  • 5 Tabespoons Ground Annato (Achiote)
  • 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • ½ Teaspoon Allspice
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Habanero Peppers, sliced
  • Healthy splash of Soltado Tequila

Instructions:

  • Line a 3 quart crock pot with banana leaves.
  • Place pork on the banana leaves in the bottom of the crock pot.
  • Add all other ingredients.
  • Fold banana leaves over the pork & liquids.
  • Cover with crock pot cover.
  • Cook on High for 4 hours.

Shaker & Spoon to Benefit Tequila Interchange Project

shaker-and-spoon-1 Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Club is partnering with the Tequila Interchange Project for their upcoming October  ¡Viva Mezcal! Box, available online throughout September at www.shakerandspoon.com.

Russell Davis, Shaker & Spoon’s Chief Cocktail Officer and a celebrity in the spirits and bartending industry, will be creating one of the drinks from the October box and donating his royalty to the TIP organization.  Shaker & Spoon will be matching his donation.

shaker-and-spoon-2Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Club is a monthly cocktail subscription box that is bringing the craft cocktail experience to your home with beautifully curated recipes and techniques for mixing the perfect drink, every time; enhancing the experience of drinking at home, on the go, or anywhere else. Think Blue Apron for cocktails.

tip-logoThe  Tequila Interchange Project   “is a non-profit organization and consumer advocacy group for agave distilled spirits comprised of bartenders, consultants, educators, researchers, consumers and tequila enthusiasts. Their organization advocates the preservation of sustainable, traditional and quality practices in the industries of agave distilled spirits. In light of concerning trends that are currently becoming mainstays in the production of agave distillates, TIP seeks to place a renewed emphasis on the importance of preserving the great heritage of agave distillation in Mexico”. [taken from Tequila Interchange Project

More About Shaker & Spoon

shaker-and-spoon-3Shaker & Spoon was launched to give you the knowledge and confidence to go beyond just pouring a glass of wine or opening a beer, Shaker & Spoon strives to give you the means to create the perfect mixed drink for any occasion. Each month’s 3 original recipes are based around a specific themed-liquor for that month [you provide the alcohol], so that all you need to make 12 delicious cocktails is their kit and one bottle of alcohol.

How Does It Work?

Each month Shaker & Spoon sends out a box with 3 step-by-step original recipes curated by top bartenders from around the world; with enough ingredients to make 12 cocktails [4 drinks from each recipe]. Every box is guaranteed  the highest quality ingredients to make the perfect cocktail, you provide the alcohol.

What Does It Cost?

$50 for month-to-month, or 3-months at $135 pre-pay, $250 for 6-month, $480 for 12-month –  skip or cancel anytime.

More About the Tequila Interchange Project

Tequila—and mezcal especially—has long been the domain of mostly small, family run distilleries, but, especially with the popularity of mezcal in recent years, large companies are coming in and starting to take over the production process and using their influence to stop these small farms and distillers from exporting their product as tequila or mezcal through government regulations. TIP is trying to preserve the rights of these small distilleries to continue doing what they’ve been doing for generations and keep mezcal a product of local distilleries rather than taken over by liquor conglomerates.

 

Tips

Sipping off the Cuff | Nocaut Reserva Tequila Reposado

Mike Morales and Rick Levy taste and discuss Nocaut Reserva Tequila Reposado.

From the Nocaut Reserva Website:

Carefully handcrafted from the arid, fertile fields of Amatitan, Jalisco by one of the premier tequila producers, TEQUILA SELECTO DE AMATITAN (NOM 1459) our tequila has won triple gold medals and Best of Category from the Polished Palate, SOM Spirits of Mexico competition.

Sipping off the Cuff | Nocaut Reserva Tequila Reposado http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4t1The manufacturing and bottling of Nocaut Reserva is an art form, combining old world craftsmanship, with modern technology. Each bottle is meticulously made by world renowned Artisian Craftsmen.

Nocaut Reserva uses 9 year aged, estate grown Webber’s Blue Agave. Only the finest hand-picked agaves are used to produce Nocaut. We bake our Agave in brick ovens for up to 12 hours and precipitate fermentation using naturally occurring yeast. Our tequila is Pot-Distilled, then bottled or rested.

The Reserva Reposado, and Anejo presentations find their unique satisfying notes and aromas from special charred Bourbon barrels procured from some of the top American whiskey distillers.

The four Contenders Vai for the Crown

BLANCO- The pure spirit bottled immediately after distillation. Taste chock full of 100% Blue Agave

REPOSADO- Rested in charred oak bourbon barrels for 9 months. This has a softer taste and slightly amber color.

ANEJO- Aged in charred oak bourbon barrels for a minimum of 18 months. It possesses a a dark amber color with a medium oaky taste.

EXTRA ANEJO- Aged for 4 years in American oak. This is one of a kind with a dark amber color, hints of vanilla, oak and a touch of spice.

Sipping off the Cuff | Nocaut Reserva Tequila Blanco

Mike Morales and Rick Levy taste and discuss Nocaut Reserva Tequila Blanco.

From the Nocaut Reserva Website:

Carefully handcrafted from the arid, fertile fields of Amatitan, Jalisco by one of the premier tequila producers, TEQUILA SELECTO DE AMATITAN (NOM 1459) our tequila has won triple gold medals and Best of Category from the Polished Palate, SOM Spirits of Mexico competition.

Sipping off the Cuff | Nocaut Reserva Tequila Banco http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4t0The manufacturing and bottling of Nocaut Reserva is an art form, combining old world craftsmanship, with modern technology. Each bottle is meticulously made by world renowned Artisian Craftsmen.

Nocaut Reserva uses 9 year aged, estate grown Webber’s Blue Agave. Only the finest hand-picked agaves are used to produce Nocaut. We bake our Agave in brick ovens for up to 12 hours and precipitate fermentation using naturally occurring yeast. Our tequila is Pot-Distilled, then bottled or rested.

The Reserva Reposado, and Anejo presentations find their unique satisfying notes and aromas from special charred Bourbon barrels procured from some of the top American whiskey distillers.

The four Contenders Vai for the Crown

BLANCO- The pure spirit bottled immediately after distillation. Taste chock full of 100% Blue Agave

REPOSADO- Rested in charred oak bourbon barrels for 9 months. This has a softer taste and slightly amber color.

ANEJO- Aged in charred oak bourbon barrels for a minimum of 18 months. It possesses a a dark amber color with a medium oaky taste.

EXTRA ANEJO- Aged for 4 years in American oak. This is one of a kind with a dark amber color, hints of vanilla, oak and a touch of spice.

 

Sipping Off the Cuff | Tragos Amargos Tequila Anejo

Visit Tragos Amargos Tequila Online

Sipping Off the Cuff | Tragos Amargos Tequila Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4reIn 2010 Jaime Juarez coming from 20 years in wholesale goods and Roberto Isais, with 20 years in logistics and relationships with reputable distilleries in the heart of Jalisco Mexico, decided to team up and had a vision of sourcing out the best quality spirits Mexico has to offer in Tequila .

In 2015 while 3Crowns continues working from the low lands to the highlands of Jalisco finds and creates a true sipping tequila and teams up with the perfect partner, the legendary hispanic male singer, Ramon Ayala AKA “The Accordian King” to bring you the true taste of Tequila! Tragos Amargos is such an iconic song by Ramon Ayala & Los bravos del Norte and is performed and redone by Multiple artist over and over again.

3Crowns selected the Best Agave that is grown and raised in Los Altos (Highlands) de Jalisco, due to the rich fruitful taste of which the volcanic soil gives to the Pinas. Tragos Amargos Tequila is created by using only the best Highlands 8 year old ripe agave pinas and it shows in the taste. Today one of Tragos Amargos Tequila’s slogan is “Descubre el Sabor!”, translated to “Discover the Flavor”!!

And today the same visions and pioneering still continue by Jaime Juarez & Roberto Isais to bring you
new brands and products for the spirits and cocktail Industry .Cheers!!

Sipping Off the Cuff | Tragos Amargos Tequila Reposado

Visit Tragos Amargos Tequila Online

Sipping Off the Cuff | Tragos Amargos Tequila Reposado http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4rdIn 2010 Jaime Juarez coming from 20 years in wholesale goods and Roberto Isais, with 20 years in logistics and relationships with reputable distilleries in the heart of Jalisco Mexico, decided to team up and had a vision of sourcing out the best quality spirits Mexico has to offer in Tequila .

In 2015 while 3Crowns continues working from the low lands to the highlands of Jalisco finds and creates a true sipping tequila and teams up with the perfect partner, the legendary hispanic male singer, Ramon Ayala AKA “The Accordian King” to bring you the true taste of Tequila! Tragos Amargos Liquor is such an iconic song by Ramon Ayala & Los bravos del Norte and is performed and redone by Multiple artist over and over again.

3Crowns selected the Best Agave that is grown and raised in Los Altos (Highlands) de Jalisco, due to the rich fruitful taste of which the volcanic soil gives to the Pinas. Tragos Amargos Tequila is created by using only the best Highlands 8 year old ripe agave pinas and it shows in the taste. Today one of Tragos Amargos Tequila’s slogan is “Descubre el Sabor!”, translated to “Discover the Flavor”!!

And today the same visions and pioneering still continue by Jaime Juarez & Roberto Isais to bring you new brands and products for the spirits and cocktail Industry .Cheers!!