Debbie Medina and Jonathan Gatch tell the story of how Senor Rio Tequila began. Don’t miss Last Tequila Standing, coming this month to Tequila Aficionado!
Senor Rio began in 2009 and appeared on set at Last Tequila Standing when their brand was just two years old. In a business where the first 5 years will make or break you, it is a testament to the quality of Senor Rio Tequila to see it still in business six years later. Join Debbie Medina and Jonathan Gatch as they present just one of the brands involved in Last Tequila Standing.
I admit, I have a soft spot for Señor Rio tequila.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”