David Reyes Tequila Review (2010) [Transcript]

Editor’s Note:

Originally recorded in 2010 (8 years ago).  For many years, this tequila simply was not available in the United States unless you received it hand-delivered by David Reyes himself.  Paul Wann discovered Tequila David Reyes last year in a favorite watering hole in Peoria, Illinois.  Since then, he’s convinced David Reyes to allow him to import his tequila into the United States.  We’re excited to announce that Tequila David Reyes will soon be available at select locations in Illinois and online retailers.  Watch Tequila David Reyes’ social media for where and when you can get your own bottle.  Until then, we’ll revisit this Sipping Off the Cuff from the vault and release an updated Sipping Off the Cuff with Mike Morales and Rick Levy soon.     


ALEX: You´re listening to Sipping Off the Cuff on Tequila Aficionado. I´m speaking to Mike Morales, our executive editor. And I´m Alex Perez. Mike, welcome aboard again.


MIKE: Welcome, Alex. I´m excited, I´m really excited because you and I are going to be tasting a tequila that is so exclusive right now, that it is not even being imported into the United States. It is a tequila that is so hard to find, and yet in my opinion, can be one of the finest tequilas ever made. And I´m anxious….


ALEX: Wow.


MIKE: Yeah, I´m anxious to hear what your thoughts are. We´re talking about it but Tequila David Reyes. And David Reyes is an actual person, he does exist. People ask if Jose Cuervo was a real person, well yes, he was. David Reyes is a real person. He is an agave grower, and he is growing arguably the finest agave in Mexico for his tequila. And this tequila is called Tequila David Reyes. It is only come in silver, in only comes in a plata. And it is produced and bottled by Emperadora San Agustín. And it is imported by Delgadillo Imports, from Spring, Texas. This tequila, and I asked the folks at David Reyes to send you a bottle, because I was very fortunate to have been to have met David Reyes and spent *chuckle* I spent 4 hours with him, stuck at the Midland Odessa Airport while we were waiting for our flights to get out of town.


ALEX: *laughing* He had nowhere to go.


MIKE: He had nowhere to go, and neither did I. *chucking* And, you know, we were sequestered for 4 hours in Midland Odessa, which if you´re from this area, is probably more desolate than Albuquerque Sunport. Our international airport here in Albuquerque. And in case you´re not even aware, Alex and I are two different states. Alex is in Southern California, and I am in Albuquerque New Mexico. The home of the first importation of tequila into the United States. So, we´re in two different states, and we do these tastings live as you´re listening. Alex does not know what I think of any of the tequilas that we are tasting, and I don´t know Alex´s thoughts about the tequilas that we´ll be tasting tonight. So, this is completely off the cuff, hence, Sipping Off the Cuff. And, so very anxious to hear what Alex has to say about Tequila David Reyes because I do have information that there is no point of sale material, there is no website right now.


ALEX: This is a mystery.


MIKE: It is being constructed. There´s nothing! It is a bottle, no number, and juice.


ALEX: Am I the only one in Los Angeles that has a bottle of this stuff?


MIKE: Yes, yes you are the only one in Los Angeles with a bottle of this tequila. I am the only one in New Mexico with this bottle of tequila. There are very, very few bottles in the state of Illinois, which is where David Reyes grew up. And Vince Delgadillo, who is the importer. Both of them, which it´s a really interesting story that both of them have been childhood friends. In fact, their grandparents were friends in the fifties.


ALEX: Wow.


MIKE: So, this is a relationship that goes back decades, between David Reyes and Vince Delgadillo, who is the importer for Tequila David Reyes. So there´s a long, long history of friendship and brotherly love, that goes on with this spirit. And when I was exposed to David Reyes and met him, we spent like I said, considerable amount of time at the airport talking. What an amazing guy! What an amazing brand, and what an amazing spirit. Right now, it only comes in a blanco. All statistics at this point in the tequila industry and in our economy, shows that the blancos are driving the industry. 41% – in fact, Jose Cuervo statistics show that 41% of the industry is being driven by blancos. So, this is a very timely Sipping Off the Cuff.


ALEX: Yeah.


MIKE: Because we are drinking an exclusive blanco. And once you have a few sips, I will fill you in on more information on Tequila David Reyes. So, I´m sure you´ve got a Riedel poured. If you don´t…


ALEX: I have a Riedel poured.


MIKE: You have a Riedel poured. I know I have, because it is… Now, let me preface this by telling you, this is my disclosure: I´ve had David Reyes before. I had it late last year in 2009. It is still an unknown tequila in the United States. And virtually in Mexico, for that matter. And I can tell you that I´ve had… my tasting notes have been pretty much solidified since then, but Alex is fairly new to this brand. And so, I want to hear what he has to say about Tequila David Reyes before I divulge anything else that I know about the brand.


ALEX: So, let´s get right to it.


MIKE: Okay!


ALEX: It´s got a beautiful platinum clear color to it, or colorless if you will. And in the nose, you´ve got some agave in there, and heck – I´m going right to the taste. My first reaction to this tequila, Mike…


MIKE: Yeah?


ALEX: …is a wow.


MIKE: Yeah, that thud you heard, was Alex falling off his bar stool. *laughing*


ALEX: It is a wow. I´m very impressed. I´m very impressed.


MIKE: Now David Reyes is –


ALEX: I´m trying to – I´m trying to describe it and I can´t describe it.


MIKE: It´s very difficult because it’s really unlike any other blanco that I´ve ever had. And, granted, you and I have been around the block a few times in the last ten years. We´ve had some wonderful blancos. Some that we´ve even talked about here on Tasting off the Cuff.  And – Sipping Off the Cuff, excuse me. I almost forgot the name of our column, *laughing* because I´m so excited!


ALEX: It´s an incredible tequila.


MIKE: Yes! We have had some of the finest tequilas available to us on the market, both Alex and I, and I can truthfully say, that this tequila – Now this tequila´s a double-distilled, it´s not a triple-distilled, there are no gimmicks, it´s not a quadruple-distilled or a quintuple distilled, it doesn´t – it isn´t rested in three different barrels. It is not a virgin oak barrel, it is not a used-French oak barrel – there is no aging, there is only the blanco. And I can tell you, for sure, in my opinion, this is the finest blanco that I have ever, ever had. And wow, just about covers it. Because there are no adjectives to describe this tequila.


ALEX: It is flawless, it is flawless.


MIKE: When it pours, it is – now I described Siembra Azul as pristine, it is Siembra Azul is a pristine tequila. But when you pour Tequila David Reyes, there´s something even more pure about that tequila. And not to compare the two, because it´s really like night and day, but David Reyes is just a spectacular blanco. I´m, you know, you can go on and on but sometimes you´re just speechless. Sometimes the adjectives don´t exist to explain what you taste.


ALEX: It´s – to me it´s creamy, if you want to call it that. It´s almost creamy, like a creamy latte. I mean I don´t know where I´m going with this, but it doesn´t. It´s not normal. Don´t make any sense.


MIKE: Yes! Yes! Because, you know, you and I have had several different brands available to us. And once you´ve had a few of these, you kind of know what to expect in a tequila. And then, once in a lifetime you taste a brand like Tequila David Reyes, and your olfactory senses go haywire.


ALEX: That´s right.


MIKE: Your – everything that you´ve had in storage in your brain, that tells you this is tequila, goes out the window.


ALEX: Well, this is what it´s supposed to taste like.


MIKE: Exactly. You know, this is what agave tastes like, this is what you know, what all high-quality tequila´s supposed to taste like. But when you taste Tequila David Reyes, it´s almost like it – your synapsis don´t fire. You know, your brain is not operating at a level that it´s used to operating at.


ALEX: And it´s in a pretentious bottle, with a sticker on it. Not that that means anything.


MIKE: Well, to give you a little background on David Reyes, again I mentioned he´s an actual person. He is an agave grower, the story goes, and we will be writing up the story at Tequila Aficionado very shortly. But in a nutshell, he – David Reyes was a graphics artist at one point. One of his major accounts was Bacardi, in Illinois. And he suffered an industrial accident, a very strange industrial accident that I will explain in a forthcoming article, and in order to rehabilitate, his mother suggested that he move to Mexico, where they had a family plot of land that belonged to the family. And said why don´t you rehabilitate there, so he took his mother´s advice, one thing led to another, he started doing research, decided to grow agave on the land, which was land that was never meant to grow agave. And six to eight to ten years later, using organic growing protocols, although he´s not – his label is not certified organic, he does not use pesticides, he does not use – he uses natural fertilizers. He did it the old-fashioned way, the old school way, and was growing record agave in his part of Mexico. And then began to distill tequila. He literally – that flavor that you taste in that blanco, has no additives, it´s not aged you know for 45 days in an oak barrel to take the edge off. There’s nothing artificial that is added to this tequila. Again, there are no pesticides or fertilizers other than natural fertilizers that go into the agave. And this is what you get! And again, to me, it is one of the finest tequilas, one of the finest blancos that has ever been produced.


MIKE: I – adjectives fail me, words fail me, and this is again one of the miracles of agave growing protocols organic agave growing protocols. A supreme example of what can be accomplished when you do things the old-fashioned way.


ALEX: It´s definitely a rare gem. Now tell me something. You spoke to David Reyes, what are their plans? Are they bringing it out to distribution or what are they…?


MIKE: They are. And here´s the rub, ok. David Reyes is a very, very passionate man. He is passionate about how he grows his agave. He is passionate about agave in general. He is passionate about his tequila. It´s his baby. Very similar to our baby, Tequila Aficionado. You know, when you´re so close to your own baby, it´s very difficult to look at things from a marketing standpoint. He is looking to import this tequila into some of the higher-end venues in the United States. That means Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Illinois, New York, Florida, Texas, – and we´re talking about – the only thing I can compare it to, is Del Maguey Single Village Mezcals. MIKE: Most of us are fans of Del Maguey. We know that it is one of the finest examples of single village mezcals ever produced.


ALEX: Most definitely. Ron Cooper´s babies.


MIKE: Ron Cooper´s babies. And Ron oddly enough, Ron is a neighbor of mine in Dallas New Mexico. So, I´ve met Ron on a couple of occasions. He has been down to speak at a couple of our tequila shows when we had them. Six, seven years ago. Ron is the ultimate showman. But Ron is also the ultimate advocate for natural organic mescal. And the only thing I can compare David Reyes Tequila to, is Single Village Mescals. It is so rare, and so good, and so sought-after. That it would have to be – it can´t be mass-produced. So, it can only be produced so many cases per year, and for only so many locations. Consequently, in order for David Reyes to make any money, and of course this is a money-making business tequila and mescal in general, the case price has to be at a certain level. A lot of folks would disagree that a simple blanco could be worth hundreds of dollars. And I can tell you, and I´m a consumer, I´m just an average Joe. I look at things from two different perspectives, I look at it from a marketing perspective, and I look at them from a consumer´s perspective, and there are lots of things that – there are lots of brands out there that I have a glass feeling for, that I only spend so much money for. Tequila David Reyes, is one of those few as a double-distilled tequila. I´m not talking triple-distilled, and I´m not talking about a 100-proof tequila. This is only a 40-proof tequila. That I would spend hundreds of dollars for, to have one in my library. It is that good.


ALEX: It is that good.


MIKE: Yes. Now, right now, they are studying the marketing of course we´re in a different environment right now with our economy the way it is. It isn´t like it was 2 years ago. Luxury tequilas are still popping up, but we do have to remember that these luxury tequilas were committed to 4.5 years ago before our economy went south. You know, there are focus groups going on right now concerning Tequila David Reyes. There´s a lot of due diligence going on, concerning Tequila David Reyes. I happen to be involved in that, in those focus groups in that due diligence, but as it stands right now, this is a tequila that personally I wouldn´t blink twice to spend 100 dollars for or more. And this is the blanco, again I´m going to make my disclosure and tell you I´ve had it before. But again, the quality of this tequila speaks for itself. And to me, it is there are a lot of luxury tequilas out there, but this is THE luxury tequila.


ALEX: This one delivers.


Yes. This one delivers.


ALEX: Is this the one you told me you had to hide from yourself?


MIKE: Yes! Yeah! You know, because it´s so rare, you know, I don´t want to ask people for extra bottles of tequila because that´s just not kosher. And kosher tequila is something we´re going to cover later on.


ALEX: I was sure that it was.


MIKE: There are some brands, that I hide from myself. Tequila David Reyes, is one of them. I can give you a real short list about which ones they are. Send me an email at Mike.morales@TequilaAficionado dot com. I´ll give you a short list of tequilas I hide from myself, okay? But this one is one of them.


ALEX: This is definitely the one to watch.


MIKE: It is one to watch.


ALEX: I´m just wondering, when is it going to be in Dallas? It´s probably going to have to be allocated.


MIKE: They are hoping the last I spoke to the importer, they are hoping to have it out on the market at least by the Fall or by the Winter.


ALEX: Of this year?


MIKE: And this is a work in progress.


ALEX: 2010.


MIKE: Yeah, 2010. This is a work in progress, it is also a labor of love. And you know as well as I do, Alex, that when you love something it´s very very difficult to let it go and let it you know walk on its own two legs. And Tequila David Reyes is just one of those brands where it is in its infancy. And you, me, and our listeners are really in on the bottom-floor of something really big. Despite our economy, despite what is going on with the tequila industry right now with a flood of brands is overwhelming, you know, as far as I – and I mentioned before in our previous podcasts. Our job is to help our listeners and our readers and our followers, to navigate through this flood of tequila brands. And when I say that this brand is one of those with staying power, that will be a force to be reckoned with, once all the bugs are worked out, and picked out of the marketing and everything that´s involved in bringing a tequila to market, it will be one of the finest tequilas that as I said before, needs to be in every tequila aficionado´s library. It is just that good. In my opinion. And you know, we´ve heard more about my opinion than your opinion but you tell me what you think.


ALEX: I agree. I agree, it´s one of the finest blancos I´ve ever tasted. And that´s Tequila David Reyes.


MIKE: Mmhmm.


ALEX: We´ll have to keep the audience posted on where they can find it.


MIKE: We will very shortly, hopefully before Fall, we’ll have an exact article on Tequila David Reyes, and the background behind the distiller, the importer, the stories behind the labels which is what Tequila Aficionado´s all about, and we´ll have more information concerning Tequila David Reyes in an upcoming article, so that our listeners our viewers our readers, can get a real good grasp of what can be accomplished when a guy who you know, who fights the odds, what can be accomplished from somebody who just refuses to give up. Somebody who refuses to listen to what other people are telling him about his brand and about where it should be and what´s going on and statistics. It is a fascinating story, I´m having a great time writing about it, and we´ll have it up on Tequila Aficionado and we´ll let everybody know when it comes up.


MIKE: If you follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please keep an eye out for us. And much more surprises coming up with Sipping Off the Cuff.


ALEX: Most definitely. And I really think it´s a lemons-to-lemonade story. I´m sure he gets sent down to Mexico to do some rehab, and he comes out with this incredible gem!


Yeah, he is, I´ve got to tell ya, the story – when you read the story and you find out the back story behind the label, you´re just going to – the way you´re feeling now about how you´re tasting this tequila is exactly how you´re going to fell when you read the story behind the label. Your mouth is going to fall open, you´re going to go: How can this guy not make it?


ALEX: Incredible.


MIKE: Yeah, it´s an incredible story. Very inspirational story and one that really is worthy of being on Tequila Aficionado dot com. And that´s why I felt it was important that you and I taste these tequilas, this one in particular, live together. Because I really felt that there was something special going on with this brand that it will be a very much sought-after tequila in a very, very short time.


ALEX: I agree, and I´m going to pour me just a little bit more.


MIKE: *laughing*


ALEX: You´ve been listening to Mike Morales, our executive editor. I´m Alex Perez.  And we were tasting Tequila David Reyes. I think I speak for you too, Mike. We highly, highly, recommend.


MIKE: Highly.


ALEX: Tequila David Reyes.


MIKE: You bet.


ALEX: And hope that it´ll be available to somewhere near you, real soon. Thank you, and thanks for listening. And sip wisely.



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Sipping Off The Cuff™ began as an audio podcast in 2006 and is Tequila Aficionado’s first and longest running tequila review program.

Sipping Off The Cuff(TM) is broadcast on YouTube and TequilaAficionado.com. If you are a Tequila, Mezcal or Sotol brand owner and would like your product(s) reviewed on an upcoming episode of Sipping Off The Cuff(TM), please contact Mike@TequilaAficionado.com.

*FTC Disclaimer: All samples are received free of charge but no payment is accepted by Tequila Aficionado or its agents for reviews. All reviews are the opinions of those participating in the tasting and positive reviews are never guaranteed.


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