In case you haven’t had time to watch the full review of Revel Avila Blanco, we’ve shared a replay along with a full transcript.
ALEX: You’re watching Sipping Off the Cuff on Tequila Aficionado dot com. I’m Alex Perez in Southern California.
MIKE: I’m Mike Morales here in San Antonio and …
ALEX: San Antonio.
MIKE: San Antonio. And we’re going to do …
ALEX: Oh, it’s Bert!
MIKE: Yeah, we’re going to do: It’s Bert and Ernie. It’s not Alex and Mike, it’s Bert and Ernie.
ALEX: It´s Bert and Ernie.
MIKE: Tonight, Alex, we have a really unusual situation. We have an agave –
MIKE: What’s that?
MIKE: Tenemos un desmadre. Man, It’s not a relajo anymore.
ALEX: We had a relajo but relajo turned into a desmadre.
MIKE: We have a veritable cornucopia of confusion. (laughing) We have …
ALEX: An Enigma.
MIKE: An enigma. It’s called Revel Spirits. Revel. Now Alex, I can’t get into their website, but you can. This is technically …
ALEX: It doesn’t say much.
MIKE: Technically speaking, this is an agave spirit.
ALEX: Right. Why?
MIKE: Why? Because you say, it comes from the state of Morelos.
ALEX: Morelos, so it’s not one of the five.
MIKE: It’s not one of the five denominations of origin for tequila. However, it is made with blue agave.
ALEX: Blue weber Agave, right?
MIKE: Blue weber Agave. Like I said, I can’t get into their website, but there is some press information on these folks. And Alex, you said previously in our discussion on the, what was it, the Golden State of Cocktails?
MIKE: Right? You said that they were there!
ALEX: They were there. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to meet with them. They actually sponsored some lunch.
MIKE: Oh, no kidding. Oh wow.
ALEX: Which was nice.
ALEX: But that’s the thing. When you go to some of these events, there’s so many things to see and taste and you can´t – sometimes you just can’t get to everything.
MIKE: No, you just go for …
ALEX: Because I was running back and forth between the main hall …
MIKE: And the classes, right?
ALEX: …And the exhibits and then the classes. So, I completely missed them.
MIKE: Hey, but that’s okay. Luckily, they didn’t miss us. We’ve had these samples for a while. They were very, very forthcoming with information. And this is a safety pour bottle. So we’re going to do this in Riedels. I like the fact that it’s got bubbles, Alex.
ALEX: Yes, it’s got bu –
MIKE: I do like the fact that it has bubbles.
ALEX: Love the bottle. I like the shape of the bottle.
MIKE: Yeah, it’s very elegant. It’s not common. We haven’t seen this bottle like this. It’s 80-proof.
MIKE: So it’s 40 A.B.V.
ALEX: And it’s triple distilled.
MIKE: Triple distilled.
ALEX: Triple distilled. 40 percent alcohol, 80-proof.
MIKE: Now they’re calling this, apparently, from the website or from the information that we have, they’re calling it … the beverage was called an Avila. An avila is a surname as far as I know. But technically, it’s out of the growing region and denomination of origin so we have to call it an agave spirit, but it is, according to the press information that I see here, it’s owned by two folks out of the Twin Cities area in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is right there, that’s unusual. And I guess they used to be in the music business. And, you know, one thing led to another and the next thing they know, they’re doing ultra premium avila. So I guess that’s what they’re calling it: Ultra Premium Avila.
ALEX: That’s right, yeah.
MIKE: It’s sold in 750-liter bottles, 750s, and ranges in price from $70 to $130 per bottle.
This would be in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, which I believe is a control state.
ALEX: So you would call this an avila, just like you would call a tequila “tequila”, Sotol, Mezcal.
MIKE: Mezcal. So this is considered an avila.
ALEX: Interesting. Well it’s got a really interesting nose. (sniffs) Got a neat nose.
MIKE: Well, that’s kind of a fruity nose there at the bottom, Alex.
ALEX: Yeah, it’s got fruit.
MIKE: I even got a little, just a hint of yeast.
ALEX: Yeah, I do get the yeast, you’re right.
MIKE: It’s just, it’s fleeting. It’s a fleeting thing of yeast. Thing, you know. It’s a whiff.
ALEX: It’s a whiff-thing. Very interesting.
MIKE: It’s got a fruity nose. It’s got a really pleasant nose.
ALEX: Yeah, it’s got fruit. It’s real earthy to me. Not the green, which we´ve been told, but earthy.
MIKE: And it’s not earthy like it is in a Mati tan, it’s really different.
ALEX: Yeah, it’s more towards Sotol, more towards …
MIKE: Yeah, it’s not volcanic in nature.
ALEX: Not towards mezcal, but more towards a Sotol. Interesting. And interesting because it’s supposed to be 100 percent blue weber agave.
MIKE: Yeah, but again, this is grown in another state, so we know that when you talk about terroir…
MIKE: I’m still trying to get over the nose.
ALEX: Wow, completely different in the mouth. Different in the palate.
ALEX: Very interesting, huh?
MIKE: (Grunts) That’s, um …
ALEX: We like to make a lot of noises.
MIKE: Well, it´s – you know, it’s my retronasal and I can’t, I’ve never had … It’s different.
ALEX: Very unique.
ALEX: It’s very bright. Really fresh.
MIKE: Um, there’s not much of a finish.
ALEX: On the palate.
MIKE: It’s not like a deep, warm fuzzy or anything. This is, again, it’s a triple distilled.
ALEX: I did get some spiciness on the back end. Actually, interesting, up on the top of my palate, up on the roof of my mouth.
MIKE: Hmm. I’m still trying to place that retro nasal. I don’t know if that’s green or earthy…?
ALEX: It’s earthy and green. It’s a little green in there, I can see it – taste – I can smell it now, I should say. What a different spirit! So this is considered an avila.
ALEX: (Grunts) Yeah, it’s green.
MIKE: It’s like cucumbers and…
ALEX: Definitely vegetal.
MIKE: Yeah! You could say it’s a little bit briny, maybe?
MIKE: Not a lot, but a little bit. Kinda like, I wanna say olives, but no, not really.
ALEX: Yeah, I think some olives. I can hear that in the really – very top of the glass.
MIKE: It’s a little sweet, too. Not a lot, but it’s a little sweet.
ALEX: I think it’s extra sweetness.
MIKE: It’s really, really unusual. It’s not like anything I’ve ever had that wasn’t smoked. You know what I mean? I’s almost as if … I guess it would be considered a mezcal, as well, but it’s, umm…
ALEX: It´s completely different.
MIKE: Yeah. It’s not like any terroir I’ve ever had. And I don’t know if that’s a bad thing or a good thing. I think it’s really cocktail-forward. I think this thing would never get lost in a cocktail. I mean they – You know, some agaves from different states taste different. Like for instance, Herman Gonzalez, when he was with Chonaco would take agave from Tamaulipas, and he would blend it with highlands agave from Jalisco. And to tone down apparently whatever gaminess, or to give it a different flavor profile in the end product, and this one doesn’t. This is, really what you’re getting is how it’s grown in Morelos. This is…
ALEX: This is really, I would think, very cocktail-forward.
MIKE: Yeah, it’s …
ALEX: If you pair – you know, if you need to pair this with some herbs.
MIKE: That’s what it is. It’s rather herbal.
ALEX: Yeah. Pairing it with some, with a cocktail with some rosemary in it or something.
MIKE: You can tell by the look on my face I’m really confused. I’ve never had anything like this, and it’s not bad, it’s just different.
ALEX: Oh, it’s different.
MIKE: I can’t place it. You know, you think you’ve tasted everything.
ALEX: Typically, we do tequilas and mezcals.
MIKE: And Sotols. You know, we’ve had our share of really good Sotols. And this has got a sweet nose, a whiff of yeast, not a whole lot, but…
ALEX: So this is Revel. Let me look it up again. Revel…
MIKE: Revel Avila.
ALEX: Avila. Avila, right?
MIKE: Yeah. Revel Avila. Revel Spirits.
MIKE: And apparently, in the Twin Cities area, their blanco would probably – this blanco would go for about $70, but I’m sure that’s a control state so your pricing would be a little bit different. Your pricing may vary, right?
ALEX: There’s an online store selling the añejo for a hundred and nine dollas.
ALEX: Regular $129 bucks. That’s their suggested retail. So this is from the Morelos region, we mentioned that already I think.
MIKE: Yeah. And it´s a – it must be a small batch. Is this, is he…? I guess at this point you would be considered small batch we’re not sure how widespread this spirit is. And the good thing is you saw it in LA, so you know, at the cocktail conference.
ALEX: Yeah. Interesting.
MIKE: Yeah, I don’t know what to tell you, man. Um…
ALEX: Do you like it?
MIKE: I’m gonna have to sit with it because I’m not really sure and I’m not a big cocktail guy. So, I can see where this would work great in a cocktail, not having, you know … There’s a lot of stuff that the website claims, for instance, that this is an organic product but yet, there’s no USDA seal. And it´s not, so you know, you can say it’s organic, you can believe that they’re not using pesticides and things like that, and that could be the case, but we don’t know that. So we’re not gonna claim that it’s organic, but I like – First of all, I like the look, the presentation’s very nice and sleek.
MIKE: I don’t know, Alex, do you like it? What do you think? I mean, we don’t have an agave spirits category. Because it is made with blue agave, that we know for sure. And it does come out of a state outside of the denomination of origin, so technically, it has to be called agave spirit.
MIKE: Triple distilled, which is unusual, and 80-proof. I mean, what’s our verdict? Do you think there’s a market for something like this?
ALEX: I think so. I don’t know about the price point.
MIKE: Yeah, that price point is steep, man. But, again, this is probably a small batch. We don’t know anything about the distillery.
MIKE: We have not seen any pictures. We don´t – You know, there’s very little information on … I can’t even get into their website, I know Alex can, but I can’t for some weird reason, I have no idea. So I’m going by the information on the press release that I’m looking at came out on October of 2014 so we know they’re been out for a while.
MIKE: I mean, they’ve been in existence for at least a couple of years.
ALEX: Yeah, I’m trying to find more info on them. There’s not much.
MIKE: Yeah, even when you Google these folks.
ALEX: Old Town Tequila has them.
MIKE: What’s that?
ALEX: Old Town Tequila has them.
MIKE: Of course he does!
ALEX: Old Town is selling the añejo for $109.
MIKE: They are on Twitter, they are on Facebook. I haven’t checked to see if they are on Instagram, they could be. They do exist on Pinterest, which is interesting.
Revel Avila Website: https://www.revelspirits.com/
Revel Spirits on Twitter: https://twitter.com/revelspirits
Revel on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RevelSpiritsinc/
Revel on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/revelspirits/
ALEX: Yeah, I think it’s very unique. It’s not something that we expect, I guess because we’re always …
MIKE: No, no. It’s really, really different, but not in a bad way. It’s just something we´re going to need to get used to. I think, Alex, for lack of – because we don’t have a category for agave spirits, by default, we would have to nominate this as an agave spirit category.
ALEX: Yeah, you know I do want to nominate it.
MIKE: I love the packaging. I like the packaging.
ALEX: I think it´s worthy of a nomination.
MIKE: I think it’s unique enough that it merits attention. Okay, that’s my bottom line. For some people …
ALEX: Yeah, I think it’s a really interesting spirit.
MIKE: For some people, mezcal is an acquired taste. Or Sotol is an acquired taste, and I think the more we experiment with this, the more we’ll come to expect a certain type of flavor profile. This may be the first run of this batch, so it may change. I don’t know. I don’t know… but it’s a really…
ALEX: Need some more info. There’s not much info on it.
MIKE: No, no, there – it’s an unusual spirit with… I think the best thing to do is to toss it out to the audience out there. If you’ve had it, give us your thoughts, you know, what you think in the comments below. Subscribe to our YouTube, and you guys tell us because maybe you guys in the Twin Cities are more aware of this than we are. The fact that they’re in Southern California, we need to find out who carries them, Alex, who their distributor is, if they even have one.
ALEX: Yeah, I like it, Mike. It’s different.
MIKE: I think it merits attention.
ALEX: I think so.
MIKE: It merits attention, it really does.
ALEX: Oh, I just found something here. It says they’ve got 500 years of tradition. So I need… Let’s see, it says …
MIKE: There are a couple of agave spirits that we’ve tried to get on our show that have, you know, five or six generation distillers who are making things in a traditional way.
MIKE: But they’re not tequila.
MIKE: And I’ve been chasing, you know, those brands for a while, but I give these guys credit. They sent us samples almost like right away! This was one of the first ones that we received in 2015. So I say let’s nominate them and let the public decide. I think if you’ve had it and you want to tell us what you picked out of it, by all means, do so in the comments below and let us know. I think we’re gonna nominate it for “Packaging” and also for Brands of Promise in the agave spirits category. We’ll just go with what they’re telling us. They even state a NOM, and I don’t know …
ALEX: How can they have a NOM?
MIKE: Well I don’t know! On the back of the bottle, it says “NOM E-M-O”, looks like “O-1-2-S-C-F-1 2006”.
ALEX: Where’d you get that?
MIKE: It’s right there on the back.
ALEX: On the back of the bottle?
ALEX: On the label?
MIKE: Uh huh.
ALEX: Oh, there it is, you’re right!
MIKE: Yeah, Revel Spirits is out of Napa, California.
ALEX: You know, this is interesting. I’d be interested to know if Morelos has a designation by the government for their agave spirits.
MIKE: I don’t know.
ALEX: Why else would they have a NOM?
MIKE: I am completely in the dark.
ALEX: Dumbfounded. Yeah, I think it’s worthy to check out.
MIKE: Yeah, I think so, too. I think …
ALEX: It’s got – it´s real reminiscent of a Sotol. I would maybe call it like a “light Sotol” because of the earthiness. You do get some – I did get some citrus in there, the earthiness, like I mentioned.
MIKE: There’s a sweetness, too, Alex.
ALEX: There is a sweetness, yeah.
MIKE: There’s a sweetness to it, but there’s something in the retronasal that’s really, like right now for me, indistinguishable.
ALEX: And actually – I actually am getting a little bit of agave, almost like a dirty agave.
ALEX: If that makes any sense. Because of the earthiness, you know?
MIKE: Yeah, yeah.
ALEX: Like an earthy agave.
MIKE: You know, that’s what I’m saying. This could be that what we’re tasting is the terroir of Morelos.
MIKE: That we’re not used to because we’ve never had it.
MIKE: And because it’s out of the denomination of origin. It’s out of the designated area. We don’t know what this tastes like. So you know, you guys tell us. But that’s our take on Revel Spirits.
ALEX: Revel Avila.
MIKE: Blanco. On the Avila. I’m Mike Morales here in San Antonio.
ALEX: I’m Alex Perez, you’re watching Sipping off the Cuff on Tequila Aficionado dot com. Thanks for watching, and as always, sip wisely.