Tequila Aficionado Highlights 2018 with the Brands of Promise© Awards

Female Master Distillers Dominate in Distinct

Agave Spirits Categories

 For Immediate release!

Tequila Aficionado Media 2018 Brands of Promise© Awards

January, 15, 2019, San Antonio, TXOn Monday, January 14, Tequila Aficionado Highlights 2018 with the Brands of Promise© Awards https://wp.me/p3u1xi-64U2019, in a LIVE Facebook Premier broadcast, Tequila Aficionado Media capped off a busy 2018 with its esteemed Sixth Annual Brands of Promise© Awards, acknowledging worthwhile labels of Tequila, Mezcal, Bacanora and other assorted agave distillates.

What a Year!

In a year that saw the rousing success of the 2018 Great Festival Chase Tour, and an earlier than normal deadline for submissions to the Brands Of Promise©, it still took Tequila Aficionado’s eight separate tasters or “Tequila Jockeys” in the US and the UK to determine the winners in each category.

Among the most notable of Tequila Aficionado Media’s 2018 Brands of Promise© Award recipients were…

Maracame tequila which swept Platinum accolades in the Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo branches achieving Best-in-Show recognition.

Giggling Marlin snagged the Extra Anejo bracket with a Gold award, while the stalwart 3 Amigos brand scored the same in the Value tequila classification.

The burgeoning Crystalino tequila category was easily dominated by Louie Vuitton Moet Hennessy’s newest creation, Volcan de mi Tierra, a collaboration with renowned Master Distiller, Ana Maria Romero Mena.

Boss Ladies

The wide variety of agave spirits brought to market by female trailblazers in sub-categories was given thoughtful consideration from Tequila Aficionado Media’s 2018 Brands Of Promise©.

Leading the way was Bacanora Boss Lady, Adriana Torres with a Gold for her gateway, Pascola Bacanora.

Windy City entrepreneur and chef, Sheetal Baghat, garnered Gold with her cinnamon and cumin infused mixto, Spice Note tequila.

Tequila Aficionado Highlights 2018 with the Brands of Promise© Awards https://wp.me/p3u1xi-64U

For only the second time in recent spirits competition history, tequila producer Melly Barajas managed three distinct tequilas on the shelves in 2018.

Ms. Barajas bagged the lioness’ share of hardware with Vikera and TC Craft tequilas, ensuring herself Distiller of the Year honors.

Innovators

Tequila Aficionado Highlights 2018 with the Brands of Promise© Awards https://wp.me/p3u1xi-64UPioneering distiller, Martin Grassl, along with India’s famed native spirits impresario Desmond Nazareth, captured a Gold medal in Agave Spirits with their Porfidio Single 100% Agave Americana Edition.

Obscure brand Onilikan procured three Golds in Aguardiente, Aguardiente infused with fruit, and Mexican gin, all produced from Blue Weber Agave outside of the Denomination of Origin of tequila.

A battle royale resulted in a tie for Organic Blanco tequila.  Texas-based Ryno, and a resubmission from 2017, Juan More Time, now with an Organic Certification, each scored a Gold.  Both are produced at the Las Americas distillery (NOM 1480).

Lastly, the Mezcal sector was completely disrupted by upstart Cuentacuentos when it unanimously received 4 Gold citations in Ancestral and Artesanal mezcals distilled from different agave.

About the Brands of Promise©–Changing the Game

The Tequila Aficionado Media Brands of Promise© Awards were our response to a secondary industry that has sprouted up around awards programs for spirits.

Agave Spirits brands that Tequila Aficionado Media reviews for FREE each year could qualify to be a Brands of Promise© nominee–at NO COST.

In a very much pay-to-play world, Tequila Aficionado Media has changed the game.

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For a complete list of nominees, winners, and video awards presentation, click here.  To enter your tequila, mezcal, sotol, raicilla, bacanora or other agave spirit or related product in the coveted 2019 Brands of Promise© Awards, email mike@tequilaaficionado.com , NOW!

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Men In Tequila: Martin Grassl Speaks Out

International Man of Mystery

Men In Tequila: Martin Grassl Speaks Out https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5GrThroughout his checkered career in the Tequila world and beyond, Porfidio’s Martin Grassl has been largely viewed by the general public as an “international man of mystery.”

Disrupting a Mexican Tequila Industry that doesn’t take kindly to outsiders telling it how to make its own emblematic spirit, Grassl’s vintages of tequila in the iconic cactus bottle has been sought after, stashed and horded by collectors for its unique flavors and aromas.

In hindsight, one could argue that since 1991, Grassl had single-handedly established what is now the fastest growing segment of the Tequila market–

The Super-Premium category.

Grassl’s Reinvention

Now, along with Desmond Nazareth, an Indian-American computer whiz of Silicon Valley fame, and originator of DesmondJi Premium Spirits, Liqueurs and Cocktails, he has reinvented himself, again.

Men In Tequila: Martin Grassl Speaks Out https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5Gr

Single Agave(R) 100% Agave Americana Edition (S3xA) is one of a series of three planned releases by Grassl using different agave plants cultivated in different countries.  This one, a joint venture with Nazareth, is harvested and distilled entirely in India.

Bane or blessing, innovator or interloper, prophet or pariah, Profidio’s Martin Grassl has been perceived as all of these, and more.

In the next few paragraphs, Martin Grassl–in his own words–discusses his global views about the future of agave spirits.

Marching Forward

History moves forward.  Agave spirits are going international.

It happened to the Europeans in the wine industry: no one could stop grapes travelling!

When California and Australia, not to mention Chile and Argentina, joined the premium wine world half a century ago, initially it drove the French in Bordeaux crazy.  But over decades, it made important contributions to California’s and Australia’s economy and provided a much respected delightful alternative enjoyment for consumers.

Men In Tequila: Martin Grassl Speaks Out https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5Gr

Today, both Australia and California, not to mention Chile and Argentina, are wine superpowers, equivalent, if not superior to, their European ancestors.

How dreary the world would be with only French wines!

Single-Agave® 100% Agave Americana

Single-Agave® 100% Agave Americana, an agave spirit proudly made in India from 100% Indian-grown mezcal [agave] pinas, is history on the march.

Men In Tequila: Martin Grassl Speaks Out https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5Gr

It is the first in a Porfidio-initiated series of international single-varietal agave spirits; soon to be followed by the second release, a single variety agave spirit from Venezuela (100% Agave Cocuy).

Cultural (Mis-)appropriation

The CRT’s recent national press campaign in Mexico honored the Indian agave spirit with full page articles in every major newspaper, but was typically inaccurate.

Contrary to its spurious claims, “agave” is a botanical term like the word “grape,” or “barley” and, like them, cannot be claimed under  A.C. status (A.C = D.O.) [Denomination of Origin].

Click to read PDF

It is as if Peru tried to trademark “potato.”  

The plant’s original name, Mezcal, is the name Mexicans used, and the term “Agave” was invented by a Swedish botanist based on the observations of a German researcher.

So the allegations of cultural (mis-)appropriation make hardly any sense, since if equally applied on both sides, the Old World could claim property in the origins of the donkey, distillation, stainless steel, invention of electricity, and indeed, to the very oak barrels, all of which were “(mis-)appropriated” by Mexico from abroad, and without which tequila would have hardly existed.

The Colombian Exchange

The key concept is “The Colombian Exchange” which brought horses, donkeys, wheat, stills and oak barrels to the Americas in return for the potato, corn, tobacco and agave that went to the rest of the world.

We should not forget the royal role of Queen Victoria, who so greatly continued Columbus’s work across her Empire when the British planted agave in all her various dominions where it would grow.

Some claim that this product was created as a response to the present Blue Agave shortage in Mexico. However, Single-Agave®100% Agave Americana is not made from the Blue Agave, but Mezcal Americana, a different variety of agave that is indeed used to make Mezcal, but not Tequila®, under the CRT’s own rigorous definition.

 

Bored Consumers

Men In Tequila: Martin Grassl Speaks Out https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5Gr

More importantly there are signs that consumers are actually bored with the limited palate of the Blue Agave, which is, after all, the dull chardonnay of agave spirits.

They are ready to move on to other agave varietals–

“Vino de Mezcal,” the new darling of agave spirits lovers.

Made in India, Single-Agave®100% Agave Americana, caters precisely to these bored consumers who expect more from life than just another boring chardonnay; and let alone just another 100% Agave Tequila® made from cloned plantation-grown Blue Agave.

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

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.

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

How to Get Paid to Drink Tequila:

How you can turn your passion into profits and get paid to drink tequila as a blogger, vlogger, podcaster or author

 

Salud!!