Tequila Penasco Reposado by Steve Coomes

penasco, reposado, tequila, Tequila Penasco Reposado

The quality of tequila pushing into the U.S. market is so high these days that it’s hard to write a really bad review.  It’s easy to be wowed by some more than others, and some, though good, make me question the price point, but I have yet to find one I’d swear off drinking again.

Tequila Peñasco Reposado has extended that winning streak for all the correct reasons:  flavor, aroma and color are all what a reposado is supposed to represent–that perfect balance between a blanco’s vibrancy and that kiss of maturity born of brief barrel rest.

That I liked it this much was particularly surprising given my not-so-favorable reaction to its sibling Tequila Peñasco Plata, an expression I thought fine, but unexciting.  The reposado, however, delivers a 180 as a super-enjoyable sipper.  Every time I’ve drunk it, I’ve always wanted more because it’s so flavorful and easygoing.

[Tweet “What a reposado is supposed to represent. @wordchew @tequilapenasco”]

In just four to six months barrel time, it makes quick friends with the wood, but no inappropriately deep relationships.  Like a new college graduate who shows some maturity gained in his matriculation, this expression displays complexity while maintaining its youthfulness.  Sip it neat or use it in a cocktail–it’s flexible!  Given my druthers, though, I’d choose this neat.

[Tweet “Sip it neat or use it in a cocktail–it’s flexible! @wordchew @tequilapenasco”]

Its light gold tint is alluring and hints accurately of a light body with a clean finish.  On the front of the palate come good wood accents, touches of cinnamon and just a whisper of pepper.  After a few sips I pick up some fruit, wood flavors and even some crème brulée on the exhale.  This is a spirit any novice tequila sipper could enjoy straight.

Aerating and swirling bring out some butterscotch and brown sugar notes, followed by a good dose of vapor, so don’t nose it too closely like I did (and do too often).  Let it rest and the brown sugar returns alongside a scant bit of toasted bread.

[Tweet “A super-enjoyable sipper. @wordchew @tequilapenasco”]

What tingles the tongue up front softens quickly at mid-palate and disappears before reaching the back.   No, it’s not much for finishing, but hey, after less than a half year in the barrel, what do you expect?  Maybe that quick disappearing act is what leaves me so eager for more when I’m finished.

Find Penasco online here.

Follow Penasco on Twitter here.

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stephen coomes, steve coomes,Tequila Aficionado is proud to welcome rising star in tequila and travel journalism, Stephen Coomes, as a Contributing Writer and Reviewer.  His steady gigs include roles as contributing editor for Nation’s Restaurant News (the U.S. restaurant industry’s largest publication), restaurant critic and feature writer for Louisville magazine, feature writer for Edible Louisville and Seafood Business magazines, Kentucky travel and dining contributor for Southern Living, and dining blogger for Insider Louisville. He also writes marketing, PR, web copy and ghostwrites for numerous private clients.  You can visit Steve online at www.stevecoomes.com.


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Cabeza Blanco Tequila Review

Vinturi Spirit Aerator presents Tequila Aficionado’s Alex Perez and Mike Morales as they taste and discuss Cabeza Blanco.


Cabeza Blanco

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Montalvo Blanco Tequila Review

montalvo tequila, montalvo varietals, blanco, reposado, anejoWe have a rare treat for you today! Instead of just one Sipping off the Cuff episode, we have two!

In our first episode, Mike and Alex begin by tasting Montalvo Blanco Tequila in the Reidel Tequila Glass.

Our next episode follows with a second tasting of Montalvo Blanco, but this time it is poured through a Vinturi Spirit Aerator into a Reidel Tequila Glass.

You may be surprised at the difference the aerator makes.

On with the show!

montalvo blanco


Do you use the Reidel Tequila Glass when tasting tequila? Do you use the Vinturi Spirit Aerator? Feel free to share your thoughts on one, the other or both in the comments section below. If you’d like to provide a full review of Montalvo Blanco, the Reidel Tequila Glass, or the Vinturi Spirit Aerator, we’d love to read and/or watch it! Please see our Guest Contributors Page here for information on how to submit your reviews.

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Tequila Lifestyle–The Vinturi Spirit Aerator

Vinturi Aerator
Vinturi Aerator

Imagine what it would be like to see your tequila in high definition, or…

To listen to it with the clarity of satellite radio–without static, or the constant interruption of commercials and annoying DJs yelling at you.

That’s exactly what it’s like to taste tequila using an aerator.  But not just any aerator–

A Vinturi spirits aerator.

Let me explain in the following video how I stumbled upon this nifty little item….

 Different types of wine aerators have been available for some time.  Around the mid-to-late 2000s, when the US economy was beginning to tank, aerators came into their own.  Their popularity can be partially attributed to the wine industry releasing wines before they were ready to bring to market to compensate for plummeting sales.

At first, I considered them gimmicky when used for spirits.  These were unnecessary items that attracted the wine or spirits snobs.  It was just as easy to pour a sample into your favorite glass and let the tequila open or “bloom” naturally, occasionally swirling it inside the glass anywhere from fifteen minutes to a half hour before sipping.  I could wait.

In general, aerators mix air into wines and spirits as it flows through or over, increasing exposure to oxygen and causing aeration.  It’s a much faster alternative than swirling and decanting your wine or spirit to achieve aldouze, or to wait for wines or spirits to breathe.

Further research unveiled an astonishing fact…

These superfluous doohickeys are actually sophisticated tools for the savvy connoisseur with their invention based on two physics principles.

First, 18th century Swiss scientist Daniel Bernoulli is credited with publishing his principle in fluid dynamics, the natural science of the flow of fluids in motion.

The Bernoulli principle states that for an inviscid (having zero viscosity) flow, an increase in the speed of the fluid occurs simultaneously with the decrease in pressure or a decrease in the fluid’s potential energy.

Next, 19th century Italian physicist, Giovanni Battista Venturi, discovered the reduction in fluid pressure that results when a fluid flows through a constricted section of pipe.

The Venturi effect, as it is called, is the application of Bernoulli’s principle and is widely used in engineering applications such as plumbing and mixing air and fuel in carburetors.  You can also see an example of it every time you fill your favorite flask with tequila using a funnel.

It all boils down to mixing oxygen into your tequila to expedite aeration, and Vinturi (a clever play on words, no doubt) does it elegantly by revealing more of your tequila’s qualities and characteristics.

Traditionally a direct-to-consumer item, the Vinturi spirits aerator could also be very useful to both the upscale bar and restaurant.  It’s really no different than mixing fresh guacamole at your table, and it’s a graceful enhancement to bottle service that may even result in higher ticket sales for operators and bar managers.

If you’re still not convinced on the value of using the Vinturi spirits aerator, watch for our upcoming Sipping Off the Cuff(TM) video podcast where Alex Perez and I sample both Montalvo and Sparkle Donkey tequilas with, and without, the Vinturi spirits aerator.

The results are shocking–and hilarious!

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Portraits In Tequila–Alex Viecco of Montalvo Tequila…

Alex Viecco, CEO of award winning and triple distilled Montalvo tequila is a new hybrid of tequila brand owner.

While he shares the passion of many of the family owned brands that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, he has a keen business sense that comes from his many years in the financial planning industry.

In other words…

He doesn’t let his emotional attachment to the juice get in the way of his business decisions.  Like a solid investment portfolio, he is also quite diversified.

Alex Viecco unwraps Montalvo tequila.
Alex Viecco unwraps Montalvo tequila

Alex is one of the founding investors of a company that I’ve been watching with interest for some time–Greenhouse Holdings (now Premier Alliance), a company dedicated to finding a solution to the alarming Vinazas Crisis that I’ve discussed here.

As outspoken and passionate as I have been about the illegal dumping of tequila wastewaters (vinazas) by distilleries into the rivers and streams of the Paisaje Agavero, Alex has been even more of an advocate for foreign investment in wastewater processing plants as a way of combating the pollution epidemic that still haunts the Tequila Industry.

Since this February 2011 Fox News Latino news release cited here, the original project that he brought to Greenhouse’s attention has been placed on hold due to the merger with Premier Alliance.  Viecco assures, however, that the mission to clean up tequila wastewaters is again gaining traction with the present company, whose new investors include basketball great, Shaquille O’Neal.

“They are exploring a couple of different options to provide yet additional solutions in the region,” explains Viecco.

Montalvo“As you know, many of the companies are a bit leery due to the Big Guys being in so much control.  The goal is to provide a much broader solution to the region which will include the small and mid guys [tequila producers].”

“We have been talking with two groups, Premier and another group, to see who will fund a project to get things cleaned up.  My partners and I are the ones bringing in the guns to make it happen.”

“Like anything else,” Alex cautions, “it is still about relationships and foreign companies overcoming their fear of investing in foreign lands.”

Montalvo tequila and Vinturi aerator.
Montalvo tequila and Vinturi aerator.

And relationship building is exactly what Viecco strives for when visiting new accounts to sample Montalvo blanco, reposado and añejo.

A small batch tequila whose agave is sourced from the Lowlands of Jalisco, Alex realizes that his brand isn’t for everyone.  And just like the fourth generation distillers who oversee the triple distillation of Montalvo (a brand named after a fictional family brand of the popular 2007 telenovela, Destilando Amor), he carefully and deliberately chooses who he will partner with and where he will place the precious bottles of Montalvo.

Another strategic partnership Alex has forged is with Vinturi, makers of wine and spirits aerators (an item we’ll cover in an upcoming post) that allows your wine and spirits to open or “bloom” in a much shorter time.

Finally, what would Alex Viecco like for you to know about Montalvo?

In a word, “explore” the wonderful world of tequila, and start with Montalvo.

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