Ron Cooper & Del Maguey: Selling Isn’t Always Selling Out

In Support of Del Maguey Mezcal Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D. Since about autumn, 2017, there has been grumbling and boycotting by some in the bar business and others who consider themselves mezcal aficionados in the know, as a consequence of alcohol giant Pernod Ricard buying a controlling interest in Del Maguey Mezcal. Instead, these naysayers … Read more

The Food & Wine Magazine Tasting by Ron Cooper

Originally Posted March 2, 2001 By Ron Cooper Special to Aspen Colorado, June 9-11. The high mountain weather was great. This truly amazing annual event sponsored by Food & Wine Magazine is achieved with the help of hundreds of well-organized, enthusiastic volunteers from Colorado and all over the US. There were several thousand great … Read more

Dos Hombres Mezcal – The Mezcal Experts, Brand Reps, Geeks and Aficionados Are Getting it Wrong

Oaxacan Mezcal Experts, Brand Reps, Geeks and Aficionados:  Do Some Get it All Wrong? By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D. Over the past few years entrepreneurs have begun to brand agave distillates produced in Oaxaca, and celebrities have started using their names to market mezcal thereby further endowing their already healthy fortunes. It does not behoove … Read more

Mezcal Industry Carpetbaggers and Scoundrels

By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D. ¨Heroes and Villains, Just see what you’ve done” was the refrain of the 1967 The Beach Boys song. Now while I’m neither, though some might disagree, Mexico’s burgeoning mezcal business contains representatives of both; too many of the latter.  But even one person is more than we want, especially since … Read more

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 … Read more

The Agave Panic of 2018: Bloodshed on the Streets of Tequila

Bloodshed On Jan. 22, 2018, a particularly savvy tequila brand owner announced in a private message to this office: “Agave prices out of control.  $22/kilo.  Industry getting destroyed!” Coincidentally, earlier that same day, another brand owner/ambassador admitted to us that the current cost had blown up to $24/kilo. That savvy brand owner then added to … Read more

Scorpion Barril Karwinski Mezcal Review [Transcript]

MIKE: Hi you´re watching Sipping Off the Cuff on Tequila I´m Mike Morales, here in San Antonio that gentleman over there…   RICK: Rick Levy in San Diego.   MIKE: Rick and I have been just beside ourselves enjoying – we´ve been going through the Scorpion Mezcal Variety Pack. This is like Oaxaca in … Read more

Women In the Mezcal Industry: Barbara Sweetman

The First Time [Tweet “Barbara Sweetman has single handedly given more people in the world their first taste of mezcal.”] I first met Barbara Sweetman, Vice President of Caballeros, Inc., and International Sales Manager of Scorpion Mezcal, and now, Sierra Norte Whiskies in March 2011. I was visiting the infamous Nightclub & Bar show in … Read more

Scorpion Joven Blue Agave Mezcal Review [Transcript]

Watch the original video review here   MIKE: HI, I’m Mike Morales you’re watching Sipping Off the Cuff on Tequila Aficionado, a part of Tequila Aficionado Media. I’m here in San Antonio and that gentleman over there is…  RICK: Rick Levy in San Diego. MIKE: (laughing) Rick. Tonight, I’m so excited. We have been trying … Read more

Why Now, Mezcal: The Lone Ranger Rides Again

By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D. The branding of Kimo Sabe mezcal is brilliant.  Perhaps not since the mid 90s when Ron Cooper coined the phrase Single Village Mezcal for his Mezcal del Maguey, has anyone used a name so effectively to attract a particular demographic in the alcohol buying public. Back then it was a … Read more