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MIKE: Hi, I´m MIKE Morales. You are watching Sipping Off the Cuff on Tequila Aficionado dot com, part of Tequila Aficionado Media. I´m here in San Antonio, that gentleman out there is…
RICK: RICK Levy in San Diego.
MIKE: And RICK, tonight we have the complete set of a beautiful organic tequila that we fell all over ourselves… It was a Brand of Promise winner.
RICK: For 2016, organic blanco winner.
MIKE: Yes, you have the blanco.
RICK: El Consuelo.
MIKE: Tonight we are doing the reposado.
MIKE: We didn´t even know that they had the varietals. We didn´t know that there was more. So when they sent us….
RICK: What a lovely surprise, to find more elaborations.
MIKE: Well, we when they sent us the rest of it, it was after our cutoff for 2016, so obviously these are their entries for 2017. By the way, our organic category is looking very, very interesting this year.
RICK: The category is taking off this year, isn´t it?
MIKE: Yeah, you know, and there´s more coming. There –
RICK: It´s a wonderful development.
MIKE: Yeah, considering the state of agave at this point, in 2016, being that there´s a shortage. It´s nice to know that places – brands like Consuelo are estate-grown and bottled and I believe we have just made contact with a couple of people involved with the distillery, and it´s very much the co-op that you and I were talking about when we talked about the blanco.
RICK: When we took the blanco.
MIKE: in 2016. So –
RICK: Yeah, in Atotonilco.
RICK: They seem to be very committed to their production process.
MIKE: Oh, you should see the pictures, RICK. You should see the estate pictures – oh, oh, oh my god! They´re beautiful. They´re so, you know, they´re surrounded by fruit trees and it just looks peaceful. I just want to go lay down in the field, you know?
MIKE: It´s that beautiful.
RICK: Well, I just know that I get excited whenever we have – especially when we have an organic tequila, it´s wonderful, because you know that they put a lot of work into how they care for it, you know, for those 7-10 years while it´s growing. But also, I just love it when we have tequila that has used open air fermentation, and has used masonry ovens for containers.
MIKE: Well that and the fact that when – I had to pull out the old POS material from last year to catch up, and I had forgotten that they use a proprietary yeast; the cultures come from their own agave, which is very similar to what Carlos Camarena does. I´m sure that´s what Felipe Camarena does also. So it´s very much a –
RICK: Yeah, well, Felipe – I believe when I was talking to Felipe last, he said they use a combination of natural yeasts and then something that´s been more cultured.
MIKE: Oh, yeah. When I spoke to – when I met Carlos Camarena it was just cultures from their own agave is what – course that was the first time I met him, things may have changed at this point, but… especially for el Tesoro because at the time that was not – Tapatío, that was the secondary line. So when I met him originally, it was all about El Tesoro de don Felipe. But regardless, I think that you know, acquiring yeast cultures from their own plants – I think it´s a safer bet, you know what I mean? Everything is going to –
RICK: Well, I think it just shows that they´re not trying to hurry the process at all.
RICK: Because when they´re using those naturals from their agaves, you know the ones from their own environment, then you know it might take a little bit longer to get through the fermentation process. And if they´re adding in some champagne yeast, or something like that, something that´s been more developed, something like that is going to be designed to make the fermentation process maybe more efficient. But, you know, when they´re using just the natural yeasts from their environment, it is really true to the terroir, right?
MIKE: Exactly, exactly. Because the champagne yeast will actually change I think the flavor profile slightly.
RICK: Oh, of course.
MIKE: And I think that that´s –
RICK: You know, the bacteria is going to produce different compounds that are going to behave differently in the distillation process.
MIKE: Well and that´s, and I think we were talking about champagne yeast, we were talking about NOM 1414, which is well, that´s a trademark, as well as the Mozart Method. You know, when they manufactured tequilas at that location.
RICK: Well, and we know they don´t rush the process there. (laughing)
MIKE: No, uh uh. (laughing) And well, if you´re going to play Mozart, what the heck, right?
MIKE: But again, I can´t wait. Let´s delve into it. What do we know about this repo? Because I think the initial information wasn´t, it wasn´t in the POS but I think the website.
RICK: Well, from the blanco, from the blanco we know that of course, this is a – it´s from the highlands. Highlands agave.
RICK: Made at NOM 1570, Altos Cienega Unidos in Atotonilco. The agaves are organic kosher.
RICK: Yeah. They do their crushing using a roller mill, fermentation in steel vats, open air. Let´s see, their agaves they trim close, so there´s not going to be much of that green penca skin left on there. Masonry ovens, 40% alcohol by volume, so that´s the process on the blanco. Then with the repo, they age in single barrel cognac barrels [Editor’s note: Previous point of sale material was incorrect. El Consuelo tequila is aged in used Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey barrels] and so you know, each batch I guess, it comes from a single barrel. And it is aged, the repo is aged for 6 months.
MIKE: Yeah it´s very light in color, surprisingly light in color. But for 6 months, you know, and cognac is – there´s a distinct flavor profile with a cognac so, you know.
RICK: Yeah, it´s not going to be what you get from a bourbon barrel or a whiskey barrel. It´s going to have a different profile.
MIKE: And I´m using a Riedel glass tonight so we…
RICK: I´ve got the Glencairn.
MIKE: Yeah, you´ve got the Glencairn.
RICK: I think I´m a convert now to the Glencairn.
MIKE: Well, I tell you what – we´ve got something special coming up here shortly. We´re experimenting new glassware specifically for tequila and mezcal, and you´ll see that with RICK and myself on Sipping Off the Cuff here. Hopefully in the next few weeks. You´ll notice because the glasses will be different. And we´re going to put them to our gauntlet here. You know, and probably not to replace glassware, but something just to add to your toolkit, you know?
MIKE: Well, the colors beautiful. Nice legs and tears.
RICK: Yeah, it´s a light touch on the color.
MIKE: Oh my.
RICK: So I´m getting some fresh agave in there. It´s definitely pepper, maybe more of a white pepper?
MIKE: A little bit. And there´s, you know, it´s a cognac barrel so you will get a little bit of a layered wood on it. But it´s still very reminiscent of the blanco.
RICK: Yeah, not a lot. Like maybe you getting maybe like a little bit of leather?
MIKE: Yeah, well, you know the cognac –
RICK: That would be like a wood note.
MIKE: The tequila´s I´ve had aged in cognac barrels are typically darker than this. And they´re typically, the ones I´ve had are anejos. So there´s a distinct smell and it´s usually…yeah, you´re right it´s like leather or tobacco; you get more of a punchy kind of you know. It´s not the sweet oak and it´s not the bourbon where it´s dry. This is really a bit of a different…
RICK: Well, it´s a light touch. You know, I´ve poured a bit of the blanco here as well, to compare.
MIKE: You –
RICK: You know, it´s a light touch on the barrel; you know, maybe the barrels were chipped out, or light char, or…
MIKE: Yeah, we don´t know much about those barrels, except that it says cognac. So they obviously use cognac barrels. We don´t know how old they are…
RICK: And you know, it´s only – it´s only in there 6 months, so it´s not like they´re pushing the age on the repo.
MIKE: No, and you can tell that It´s in there just enough to soften the edges but not enough to influence too much of the flavor profile.
RICK: Yeah, I think that´s what´s happening.
MIKE: Well, I love the nose, it´s –
RICK: Yeah. I get a little bit of barrel spice, a little bit of leather. But, you know, I´m still getting that you know that kind of green apple and citrus notes that we got in the blanco.
MIKE: It´s pretty, it´s pretty pretty.
MIKE: (growling gurgle noises) Mmm. Mmm.
RICK: Oh, well that´s a beautiful entry.
MIKE: Oh wow. And that pepper explodes right in my mouth.
MIKE: Just like it did before. and then on the back end on the finish.
MIKE: Wow, nice finish on this one.
RICK: It´s nice.
MIKE: Oh, whoa!
RICK: I think –
MIKE: But see, that to me, is the cognac. To me that finish is a little bit of the cognac influence.
MIKE: Yeah, I think so. The retronasal´s beautiful though.
RICK: Well, it is – you know that is gorgeous. And you know this? If I were to pour this, you know when I pour this again, I´ll probably pour it in a Riedel.
MIKE: When we do the reposado after we´re through with the repo, when we do the anejo, I´m going to pull out my Glencairn because I just want to play with the anejos typically to see what the darker spirits are like in a Glencairn. And especially in this one.
MIKE: I don´t have any qualms about this. This thing – you know what I like about this?
RICK: Oh, there´s absolutely no defects in this, at all.
MIKE: No, no.
RICK: There´s no, nothing off, it is beautiful, you know, so it´s just a matter of matching the profile to you. And I think this is certainly a profile I would recommend highly.
MIKE: Now, RICK, maybe you´ll agree with me. Do you think this reposado, for as light as it is, it´s actually bold. This is a bold reposado. I´m really surprised that the flavor profile has this much punch because it doesn´t you know it looks – the looks are deceiving.
MIKE: It looks like they´re not in there long enough to give any kind of a super influence, but it´s really – The explosion of the pepper and then the finish, are bolder. In my opinion, that´s the way it feels. It feels –
MIKE: Yeah. It´s not as aggressive on the intake, so much as on the finish for me. And you know, that´s just me. Maybe I´m reading too much into it.
RICK: Well I think their blanco is a work of art. So to be able to still have so much of that in the repo is fantastic.
RICK: And so, I´m still getting a lot of the blanco here, which is a great, and then you know the – The wood is rounding it out a little, it´s rounding out that blanco a little bit.
RICK: And it is adding, you know, those barrel aspects. So we´re getting some barrel spice, and we´re getting a little bit of leather on the nose. The fruit…
MIKE: You know, it´s like a bitter chocolate.
MIKE: Yeah, but on the flavor.
RICK: Oh yeah, yeah. I´m picking that up.
MIKE: On the pallet.
RICK: Oh, on the pallet?
MIKE: Yeah, on the pallet. Not as –
RICK: I was thinking maybe I was getting like a you know, some dark chocolate on the nose.
RICK: Maybe just a…
MIKE: Dark chocolate, bitter chocolate.
RICK: A bit more acidic than –
MIKE: We´re in the same neighborhood (laughing)
MIKE: It´s that over 65% cacao, you know, I don´t know. (laughing)
MIKE: It´s not sweet, but it´s a dark chocolate is where I´ll go. Let´s just say that.
RICK: Yeah. The things that – I guess what I – the side of the profile I´m drawn to, is the side that is – you know, you´re picking up on a lot of the wood aspects in the profile, and really enjoying that. What I find I´m still really enjoying is the agave side of the profile. You know, still enjoying that apple, and citrus, and you know I think the fruit in this you know in the repo it feels a bit softer like at some tree fruit rather than like full-on citrus.
MIKE: Right, right, this is really gorgeous.
RICK: But I can totally see what you´re saying with the wood as well.
MIKE: It´s neat how we´re gravitating toward what has – what is drawing us. And it could be the glassware.
RICK: It could be.
MIKE: It could be the glasses are influencing which aromas and flavors we´re drawing from it. Which is the beautiful part about having more than one tool in your toolkit, so…
RICK: Yeah, I know with the – the Glencairn seems to magnify the aromas for me.
RICK: And I´m just really enjoying that on this because, because there´s fun stuff to explore here. And you know, there´s nothing off putting even low in the background. This is just beautiful.
MIKE: So nicely done, what do you think? Another Brand of Promise?
RICK: Oh, absolutely.
MIKE: Of course! Brand of Promise in the reposado category and this is the organic category, of course. El Consuelo, beautifully done. In fact, I should pull this one out here. That´s the one I´m using. Here! The repo.
RICK: Well, no, that´s the blanco you just had.
MIKE: Well, that´s – here it is.
MIKE: I´ve got all three of them! You know, I don´t care! I´ve bought them all, you know!
RICK: (laughing) Well, we haven´t gotten to the anejo yet.
MIKE: No, we haven´t.
RICK: We need to research.
MIKE: We haven´t, but we will. Yeah, I pulled the blanco one down, because I have it up on the shelf. I didn´t want to finish it because I knew we were going to do these two later on.
RICK: You need to have reference here.
MIKE: Yeah, this was so well done, though.
RICK: Yeah it is.
MIKE: And again, very light but I would say if, depending on your glassware, whichever glass you´re using, be prepared that one glass may influence whatever nuances you´re getting. In my case, with the Riedel, I was getting more of the wood as opposed to – and you with the Glencairn you were still getting a lot of that fresh blanco that we loved, and that we fell in love with. So…Kudos to these guys. Just another beautiful, beautiful tequila. In the reposado organic category. That´s our take on El Consuelo –
RICK: Wait! What about the… the MSRP on this is $55?
MIKE: Yeah, I think so.
RICK: And you know, I think that is a fair price for it.
MIKE: I do too. I think so too. It´s not one that I would probably mix in a cocktail, especially not at that price. But you don´t have to. You really don´t have to. This is one of these that you really want to spend time with; it´s a true sipping tequila.
RICK: There´s nothing in this that you want to hide.
MIKE: No, not at all. Nuh uh. You don´t even want to float this on anything (laughing). So.. but again, that´s our take on El Consuelo. I´m MIKE Morales here in San Antonio.
RICK: RICK Levy in San Diego.
MIKE: As always watch – subscribe to the Youtube channel, down below, you´ll see either around RICK´s face or my face you´ll see some other video suggestions, but whatever you do, press that red button down there. Subscribe – tell us what you think! If you´ve had it before, if you know you´re a big fan of El Consuelo, or you´re a big fan of organic tequilas in general, let us know. Write down, right on the comments. And as we like to say, in Spanish, tomar sabiamente (sip wisely).
El Consuelo Reposado can be purchased online at $46.99 as of this publishing at http://bit.ly/buyelconsuelo