El Consuelo Organic Anejo Tequila Review [Transcript]

Watch the original Sipping Off the Cuff | El Consuelo Tequila Anejo video here


Sipping off the Cuff | El Consuelo Tequila Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4TJMIKE: Hi, I´m Mike Morales, you´re watching Sipping Off the Cuff! On www.TequilaAficionado.com part of Tequila Aficionado Media. That gentleman right there, his name is…


RICK: Rick Levy in San Diego.


MIKE: I´m in San Antonio. And Rick, we have enjoyed just a slice of heaven, a slice of the highlands heaven with El Consuelo, previously a Brand of Promise winner, in the blanco category last year.


RICK: It´s a blanco, it was a winner.


MIKE: Yep, it was a winner. It is organic and kosher so it was entered into the organic slash kosher category and won a gold medal. And unbeknownst to us, they have a repo and an anejo. The information – because the information they sent us doesn´t say anything pertinent, you know, except the price points. But um, so they sent these to us that were entered – or that are being entered into the 2017 Brands of Promise category or awards, but we´re going to…


RICK: We just reviewed the reposado. 


MIKE: Right.


RICK: So check out the video maybe over here or over here.


MIKE: Right, somewhere over there. Wherever the button says, you know, or down below. But tonight, we´re doing the anejo. What do we know about the anejo? We know, number one, that they´re using cognac* barrels, right?


RICK: Cognac* barrels. 12 months.


MIKE: 12 months in cognac* barrels.


*Editor’s Note: Previous point of sale material was incorrect.  El Consuelo is NOT aged in cognac barrels.  El Consuelo is aged in Jack Daniels’ barrels.


RICK: Yeah.


MIKE: Do I see bubbles?


RICK: So that´s the, that´s the minimum for an anejo, right?


MIKE: I think so, yes. I´m just trying to see if there´s any bubbles. There some nice bubbles – It´s hard to tell, you know, with the – we love the hammered look of the bottle.


RICK: Yeah, it is beautiful.


MIKE: And it´s very rustic looking; you can see the graphics on the bottle, very really nice too. Just a really good old-world feel to it.


RICK: Yeah, an authentic artisan feel. We also know that, let´s see, so it´s made at NOM 1570, Altos Cienega Unidos, in Altotonilco. It´s in the highlands. They use a roller mill for extraction, they use – their agave´s are trimmed close, so there´s not much of a green skin left from the penca. They use masonry ovens, and they use open-air fermentation in stainless steel vats using the natural yeasts. And so that is, you know that´s a recipe for perfection right there, I think.


MIKE: Yeah, I was telling Rick previously on a reposado review, that we´ve been in communication with a couple of the folks from this distillery, and the pictures that they have of the feels and the plots, the estates where these agaves come from. They´re gorgeous and they look so peaceful, and beautiful, and inviting. And you know, they´re covered – there´s fruit trees, and there´s shade trees, and it´s just -and it they´re beautifully lined. Actually, it looks like there´s grass in between the rows of the agave, you know, it´s just so –they´re – they almost look ornamental. You´ll have to see some of the pictures, we´ll be rotating some photos in and out…


RICK: Yeah, I can´t wait.


MIKE:, And wait til you see them. They´re – it´s gorgeous! Like I say, the estates look ornamental.


RICK: Yeah.


MIKE: Like they´re there for… like nobody´s going to make tequila out of it, you know what I mean?


[both laughing]


MIKE: They´re just like a garden! Like rose gardens…


RICK: Eden! (laughing)


MIK: And terrariums – it´s beautiful, it´s really gorgeous stuff. So, I´m kind of excited because –


RICK: Well, you know, being organic we know that they put a lot of work into the agaves while they´re growing. You know, they´re going to be tending to them closely, so it makes sense that they would be paying a lot of attention to their grounds and estates. So that´s wonderful.


MIKE: The, from what my understanding is, they use a natural insecticide to keep the bugs off and what it is, it´s jalapeño* juice. Go figure!


RICK: Is it jalapeño* or habanero*? I forget


MIKE: habanero*, habanero*. You´re right.


*Editor’s Note: Previous point of sale material was incorrect.  El Consuelo agaves are NOT treated with habanero infused water as an insecticide.



RICK: Yeah.


MIKE: Yeah.


RICK: So it´s hot pepper infused water and you spray on the agaves to keep the bugs away.


MIKE: Yeah. Have you ever grown chiles of your own in your back yard?


RICK: No, I haven´t, I don´t have a green thumb.


MIKE: Well… (laughing)


RICK: (laughing) I have a black thumb, everything dies.


MIKE: When I lived in New Mexico, we used to grow our own green chiles, which are Anneheim chiles and Big Jim´s. And you know, all the other – it was funny I never, I couldn´t – I just didn´t put two and two together from when I grew them the first time. I was like you know, there aren´t ants, there are no bugs, no aphids – nothing likes to mess with a chile, with a chile plant. Which is kind of cool, you know? And now I know why!


(both laughing)


MIKE: So, again, like you said it kind of makes sense that they would use a natural insecticide to keep the bugs away. So there you go. And it does not influence the agave in any way, you´re not –  it doesn´t taste like jabanero or anything like that.


RICK: We´ve got the natural cork on the bottle.


MIKE: Yep. Oh, oh wow. Now, I´m using a Glencairn this go around, and I think – what are you using Rick?


RICK: I´m using the Glencairn too.


MIKE: Are you? Ok. Alright. So, you see the color´s a little bit darker, not much. I mean, if you´re not paying attention, or if you´ve got too much of one or the other, you you´ll get confused with the repo and the anejo because the colors are almost the same. This one´s a –


RICK: I don´t know, when I look at the bottles I can see a difference. I can definitely see a difference in the bottom, when you´re looking at large volumes of juice.


MIKE: Well – yeah… Yeah, I´m just, you know, I´m – I should be looking at the labels, because this is a green label and this is a the red label, and you know the repo is red, the anejo´s a green, the blanco I think is a blue, or something like that…anyway. But oh man, I love this.


RICK: Ahh.


MIKE: Holy cow! Oh, oh my gosh.


RICK: Definitely getting more of the barrel in there.


MIKE: Yes, yes.


RICK: Those barrel notes you were picking up on, and repo.


MIKE: In the repo? Yeah, yeah.


RICK: They´re really jumping out here. Not overpowering…


MIKE: No, no no.


RICK: Just, you know, present. Definitely present.


MIKE: There´s – just a heavier layer. There´s just a – more of the covers, you know, if the reposados were sheets, these are the wool blankets.


RICK: (chuckling)


MIKE: I – you know!


RICK: (laughing)


MIKE: Wow, this is really beautiful!


RICK: You know, I can – you know I still, I´m still getting a lot of agave in there.


MIKE: Me too! Me too.


RICK: Which is wonderful.


MIKE: And again, I´m getting it more out of the Glencairn than I did in the Riedel. And I – I´m thinking that that… I think, I think we´re onto something here; that one type of glassware will pull out different types of nuances. So…


RICK: Mmmm.


MIKE: But this one, I´m getting both. Now I understand what you were getting in the reposado. Because the fruit is still there, the fruit of the agave is still there.


RICK: And I´m getting the you know, the citrus and white pepper, and a little bit of apple, maybe not as much.


MIKE: Wow. Oh, that´s just beautiful though. It came right up to meet you, you didn´t have to dig for it, you know.


RICK: And you know, there´s no, nothing… no hints in the aroma of defects, or anything off.




RICK: It´s a very…it´s beautiful.


MIKE: I´m going to – I was talking with Rick off camera, I´m going to have to have – I have not done any research on the laws of cognac barrels like how often they can be used, you know, that sort of thing. Before they need to be discarded, in other words before they hit the secondary market for tequila, you know, because this is really – again, Rick, it´s a light touch!


RICK: Yeah, well I hadn´t tasted it yet, and a… you know I´m not getting…


MIKE: No, but there´s just the touch of on the color alone, though, you know.


RICK: Yeah.


MIKE: (sigh) Wow.


RICK: In the reposado I wasn´t picking up a lot of cognac. You know, because personally I don´t care for cognac. And so, you know, I wasn´t really finding notes in there the way you find whiskey or bourbon notes when they use those barrels.


MIKE: I think the only thing we agreed on, in the repo that we were both pulling out, was a chocolate. Like a dark chocolate.


RICK: Yeah.


MIKE: Either bitter or cacao, you know.


RICK: Yeah. Are you getting that here?


MIKE: I´m getting more of a sweeter nose. I´m not, you know, the barrel it´s almost like a balanced, you know… I´m really getting both. And I understand what it is you were getting in the reposado that I couldn´t – I wasn´t getting enough of, from the Riedel in the reposado.


RICK: Yeah, I´m going to agree with you that I´m getting more – the notes are a bit sweeter rather than the kind of bitter chocolate or the citrus.


MIKE: Or leather.


RICK: Yeah.


MIKE: You mentioned leather too that you were, you were getting.


RICK: Yeah, not so much here.


MIKE: No. This is really pleasant. Wow.


RICK: Alright. We going in?


MIKE: I´ve got to dive in. I´ve got to taste it.


[both taking a drink]


MIKE: (growling glottal noises) Mmmm. (chuckling) Oh my god.


RICK: Just leave that right on the pallet.


MIKE: Wow – it was right at the tip! It was like it hit – it just it was so pleasant at the entry and then it just, it didn´t explode like the repo did for me…


RICK: Yeah.


MIKE: It was just a, it was just a beautiful – It was like throwing the blankets over me. It was just so…


RICK: (laughing) Just wrap yourself up in it.


MIKE: Yeah!


RICK: It is, you know it´s – it didn’t burst like the reposado did.


MIKE: Yeah, yeah.


RICK: It was kind of almost like a build to a – almost like a crescendo at the end.


MIKE: Yeah.


RICK: Because at the end, I was getting, you know, the tingling and the pepper.


MIKE: Yeah. This one is – this was more like a coating. It´s like a – it just introduces itself and it gets better and better. It really is literally like, like pulling the covers over you or something. It´s the only way I can describe it, it´s a weird descriptor I know.


(both laughing)


MIKE: But it was so uniform and so, you know, it wasn´t like – sometimes you´ll get, well, you and I will try tequilas where the nose belies the entry, the finish belies the entry, that kind of thing. But this was so well done, it just is just – you know, it´s like –


RICK: Yeah, it´s consistent.


MIKE: It´s like jazz music, you know.


RICK: Yeah, it´s balanced, you know. It – they all play together well.


MIKE: Yeah, exactly. You know, I think the repo was designed to make a statement. I think – I think that´s what they tried to do with the reposado. But with this anejo, this anejo is just  it just it´s one you want to linger over. It´s got good structure on the pallet, it really does. And uniform all the way through.


RICK: Yeah. (growling glottal noises) Getting a little bit of a, little bit of a butterscotch central pallet.


MIKE: The retronasal is very sweet on the nose. And I´m getting more – not cacao, I´m getting more cocoa. I´m not getting chocolate so much as I´m getting like a cocoa, which I guess would be a little bit different.


RICK: Hmm.


MIKE: I really…. Wow, I really dig this. This is really a – I don´t even want to use the word smooth because that doesn´t – that´s not –


RICK: Yeah.


MIKE: That´s an old, that thing´s been over used forever, but a lot of people would probably say it´s a smooth anejo. Now that I´ve had like a couple of swallows, the finish begins to linger. It´s got a medium to short finish, if I´m not mistaken. It´s not – I think the repo has a longer finish, for me.


RICK: Yeah, I think so. You know this is, you know this is more of a chill sipper whereas the repo…you know, there´s a bit more excitement in the repo, but this is more of a comfortable blanket you want to slip into and just kind of chill out.


MIKE: Yeah, just you, your kitty cat, rocking chair….


RICK: (laughing)


MIKE: …and the fire. You know this –


RICK: I like the point you made about structure, though. I think that´s a good way to phrase it on this. It has nice structure.


MIKE: Yeah.


RICK: You know, there´s a lot there but it´s not making, you know, the kind of a statement you get with a blanco or a light repo. You know, this is – it´s young for an anejo it´s only 12 months but it´s certainly worthy.


MIKE: Oh, yeah. You know the price point that we found, Rick, was…


RICK: $60.


MIKE: 60 bucks. Would you pay 60 bucks for this?


RICK: Oh, certainly – I´d pay a lot more than that!


(both laughing)


MIKE: For much worse! Right? I, you know…




MIKE: For, for very questionable! I – wow, wow. I – and this is really your night cap. This is the after dinner drink, or the one you drink before you go to bed. This is the one. I´m so –


RICK: It´s a nice way to finish a night.


MIKE: Yeah. This is beautiful, it – again, hey, I don´t know about you man, but as far as I´m concerned, Brand of Promise Nominee in the organic category for the anejo. El Consuelo just rocks ladies and gentlemen.


RICK: You know, and I said this is the reposado, and I´m sure I fawned over it when we reviewed the blanco


MIKE: (laughing)


RICK: …but, you know, I just really love their attention to the process. You know, they are putting the time in on their agaves, doing all that extra work to keep it organic, which so you know they´re putting that effort into their agaves. And then they´re using the traditional masonry ovens, to caramelize the sugars, and then they´re using the open-air fermentation with the natural yeasts. You know, I just I can´t ask for more than that.


MIKE: No, no.


RICK: You know, part of the process.


MIKE: There you go. I totally agree, organic and kosher as well so, you know. Which to me are – the organic category´s exploding, the kosher category, far as I´m concerned, is highly underserved…


RICK: Mmhmm.


MIKE: Or not as publicized as it should be. But again – what a lovely, lovely spirit. This is, they just did a really great job. If you follow us on Instagram, check it out. We´re going to probably – you´ll be seeing a lot of some photographs that were from El Consuelo. You´ll see those on our Instagram and Facebook, as well. You´ll also be able to follow these guys pretty shortly on all their social media, as well. Well, wait ´til you see –


RICK: Yeah, they´ve been making a big push on their social media lately.


MIKE: Yeah, yeah they have, surprisingly.


(both chuckling)


MIKE: But wait ´til you see the pictures of the field. I kid you not – the first couple that come out, I´ll text you and I´ll go Rick! Look at Instagram you know.


(both laughing)


MIKE: And you´ll go nuts! Because they´re some of the most beautiful, terrain and terroir, and fields and estates. So well cared for, and it shows. It shows, it really does. It shows all the way down to the juice. So…can´t say much more. That´s our take on El Consuelo organic, the anejo. Brand of Promise, again, Nominee for this year, 2017. I´m Mike Morales here in San Antonio.


RICK: Rick Levy in San Diego.


MIKE: Don´t forget to subscribe to the Tequila Aficionado channel on Youtube, and whatever other videos that come across…


RICK: (laughing)


MIKE: Between, you know, either around Rick or me. Click on those. Tell us what you think, if you´ve had El Consuelo, if you haven´t…


RICK: Get it. (laughing)


MIKE:  Get it. This is a definite – you´ve got to have this in your library. Especially at night time right now on those chilly evenings, you want to have some anejo. Let me tell you. And, like we always say here at Tequila Aficionado, tomar sabiamente (drink wisely).


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El Consuelo Reposado Tequila Review [Transcript]

WatchSipping Off the Cuff | El Consuelo Reposado [Transcript] https://wp.me/p3u1xi-56W the full video review.


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.


Sipping Off the Cuff | El Consuelo Reposado [Transcript] https://wp.me/p3u1xi-56WRICK: For 2016, organic blanco winner.


MIKE: Yes, you have the blanco.


RICK: El Consuelo.


MIKE: Tonight we are doing the reposado.


RICK: 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.


Sipping Off the Cuff | El Consuelo Reposado [Transcript] https://wp.me/p3u1xi-56WRICK: When we took the blanco.


MIKE: in 2016. So –


RICK: Yeah, in Atotonilco.


MIKE: Yes.


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?


RICK: Yeah.


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.


MIKE: Right.


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?


RICK: Yeah.


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.


Sipping Off the Cuff | El Consuelo Reposado [Transcript] https://wp.me/p3u1xi-56WMIKE: Right.


RICK: Made at NOM 1570, Altos Cienega Unidos in Atotonilco. The agaves are organic kosher.


MIKE: Cork!


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.


Sipping Off the Cuff | El Consuelo Reposado [Transcript] https://wp.me/p3u1xi-56WMIKE: 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?


RICK: Definitely.


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.


Sipping Off the Cuff | El Consuelo Reposado [Transcript] https://wp.me/p3u1xi-56W(both drinking)


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.


RICK: Yeah.


MIKE: Just like it did before. and then on the back end on the finish.


RICK: Yep.


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.


RICK: Yeah?


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.


RICK: Exactly.


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.


RICK: Yea.


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 –


RICK: Really?


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.


MIKE: Mmmhmm.


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.


MIKE: Mmmhmm.


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.


RICK: Really?


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.


Sipping Off the Cuff | El Consuelo Reposado [Transcript] https://wp.me/p3u1xi-56WMIKE: Right.


RICK: Maybe just a…


MIKE: Dark chocolate, bitter chocolate.


RICK: A bit more acidic than –


MIKE: We´re in the same neighborhood (laughing)


RICK: Yeah.


MIKE: It´s that over 65% cacao, you know, I don´t know. (laughing)


RICK: Hmm.


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.


MIKE: Yes.


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.


RICK: (laughing)


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



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Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017

Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017 https://wp.me/p3u1xi-57qNow that the first quarter of 2017 is in the books and we are well into spring and summer margarita season, here’s what were noticing at Tequila Aficionado Media Headquarters.

The Hits Just Keep on Coming!

[Tweet “Don’t new #tequila brands know there’s an agave crisis?”]

As we pointed out in The Agave Shortage of 2017 Is Worse Than We Thought, we are smack in the middle of a shortage with no end in sight.

Yet, here at HQ, since January 2017, we’ve solicited, and been solicited by, no less than 50 brands of tequila, mezcal and sotol for our widely viewed Sipping Off the Cuff© series.

Some are labels that have been around for awhile, or re-launched with extended expressions to their core lines, and presumably, flush with cash from investors (we’ll circle back to this subject a bit later).

But, most are start ups in the agave spirits arena.

At press time, agave prices have skyrocketed from 1.7 Mexican pesos ($0.089) per kilo in 2013 to 10 pesos at the end of 2016, according to this recent article in Barron’s.

Our own sources claim that agave prices in May 2017 have hit a high of 14 pesos per kilo.  During the crisis of the late 1990s, agave prices reached an unprecedented 18 pesos per kilo!Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017 https://wp.me/p3u1xi-57q

The price hike has even taken a bite out of Jose Cuervo’s profits.  They more than made up for it, though, with their successful IPO this past February.

You may ask, “Don’t these new brands know we’re in the midst of another agave crisis?”

Bear in mind that many of these labels have been in the works for at least 3 years or more, well before a shortage was predicted, and well before this happened…

Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017 https://wp.me/p3u1xi-57q

The timing of an agave spirit’s launch is, more often than not, dependent on its financial forecasts.

If you’re one of these newcomers, just take a deep breath and jump in.

Don’t forget to send us samples, too!

The Resurgence of the Reposado

[Tweet “2017:  The Resurgence of the Reposado”]

I once asked Christopher Zarus, the innovator of the world’s only take home tequila tasting kit, TequilaRack®, why he chose to showcase only small batch, micro-distilled reposados from esteemed tequila making families in his collections.

Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017 https://wp.me/p3u1xi-57q

He explained that a well made reposado was one of the most difficult tasks in creating a dynamic line of tequilas.  He felt that it could literally make or break a brand.

When rocker Roger Clyne first entered the market with Mexican Moonshine tequila, he insisted on doing so with a reposado, even though he admitted, “…at the time, this was considered commercial suicide.”

Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017 https://wp.me/p3u1xi-57q

Traditionally acknowledged as the ideal half-way point between a brilliant blanco and an elegant anejo, the reposado, for at least the past few years, seemed to have been treated by some brands as an afterthought, at best.

Not so in 2017.

Check out the reposado episodes of this season’s Sipping Off The Cuff© to see what we mean.

Especially take note of:  Tequila 512, 4 Copas, Azunia, Amorada, Armero, El Consuelo, Pasote, Alderete and Don Pilar.

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers

[Tweet “Infused tequila is the new black.”]

Infused tequila is the new black.

But not just any infusions.

These are well crafted tequilas or agave spirits, sometimes laced with exotic spices, and simmering in off-the-charts heat from the Scoville scale.
Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017 https://wp.me/p3u1xi-57q

We first encountered this trend with 2016’s lively Brand Of Promise© Infused Tequila winner, Soltado.  A versatile and balanced anejo injected with Serrano peppers and cinnamon, it blew taste buds away.

With the popularity of pepper infused spirits like Fireball Whisky, and subsequent copycats, it seems only natural that agave spirits companies take notice.

Of the upcoming crop of pepper saturated agave is…

Spider Monkey Agave Spirit (Serrano pepper and ginger); Get Hot Tequila, a reposado imbued with Habanero peppers; and, speaking of Fireball, the man responsible for its immense popularity, Richard Alexander Pomes, presents Ghost Tequila, enlivened by the infamous, India-born ghost pepper.

Just remember that when you’re basking in the endorphins from having your salsa and drinking it, too, that the addition of alcohol on your tongue reactivates the oils inherent in the pepper’s capsaicin.

Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017 https://wp.me/p3u1xi-57q

It’s like Groundhog Day for your palate!

Millennials are Stealing Your Cocktail Recipes

[Tweet “Millennials are Stealing Your Cocktail Recipes”]

Cocktail recipe photos are hugely popular on just about any social media platform that they are shared on.  The follower engagement is off the chain, in particular with Millennials.

It’s a well known fact that the prevailing cocktail culture around the world is driving the Spirits Industry.  But, once these concoctions and their ingredients are made public, they are being pilfered by these young people and served to friends and family at their cribs.

It’s apparent that Millennials seek to drink better than their older relatives.  Given that, signature cocktails are still a valuable commodity to agave spirits brands, but not necessarily for bars and restaurants.

Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017 https://wp.me/p3u1xi-57q

So, you mixologists—carry on.

Millennials are stealing your cocktail recipes!

Tequila has Outgrown Riedel Glassware

[Tweet “Tequila has Outgrown Riedel Glassware”]

Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017 https://wp.me/p3u1xi-57qIt’s official…

Tequila–and most all agave spirits, for that matter–has outgrown the Riedel Ouverture tequila tasting glass.

Don’t get us wrong.  It’s still a viable tool.  But…

The level of quality craft agave spirits flooding liquor store shelves, and the emphasis on single estate and organic tequilas and mezcals, now demands a better sipping glass in order to enjoy their unique, regional properties.

This fact had not been lost to oak heads.

For several years, whisky and scotch drinkers had opted to use the Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017 https://wp.me/p3u1xi-57qGlencairn glasses to not only enjoy anejos and extra anejos, but blancos and reposados, as well.

It can also be argued that the use of inadequate tasting and nosing glasses in the past few years has influenced–and possibly skewed–the results for valuable medals awarded by some of the most respected tasting competitions around the country.  So much so, that the judges’ final decisions are laughable.

To that end, we’re excited to be working with Romeo Hristov, proprietor of Chisholm Trail Craft Glassware, testing glasses produced by Stolzle, Luigi Bormioli, and his own more historically accurate vessel prototypes for tequila and mezcal.

You’ll be seeing a lot of these new glasses throughout the 2017 season of Sipping Off The Cuff©.

Watch for a future Open Bar where we’ll visit with Mr. Hristov, in depth.

Tequila Brands:  It’s a Buyer’s Market Out There

[Tweet “Tequila Brands: It’s a Buyer’s Market Out There”]

Earlier, we hinted about some dormant tequila brands that have suddenly been revived by wads of money.

It seems that every other day, family-run investment firms contact us at HQ looking for hot tips on where to park their cash that’s burning holes into their conservative, yet very deep, pockets.

We were also recently offered a fee by a well known celebrity to taste test the newest version of his tequila, versus the Usual Suspects.  We gracefully declined.

But it got us thinking.  Whether you’re a megastar or a moneybags…

Why go through all the trouble of launching, or relaunching, a tequila from scratch when there are so many labels out there for sale?

As predicted by Patrón tequila’s Chief Marketing Officer, Lee Applbaum in this  article, the Great Agave Shakeout has begun.

The road to Tequila Nirvana is currently littered with brands that could not sustain the required 5 year threshold of longevity, let alone a 10 year marketing plan.

Many have withered away consumed by mismanagement, overwhelm, lack of distribution support, or simply investment underestimation.

Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017 https://wp.me/p3u1xi-57q

Instead of going through all the trouble of conceptualizing and heavily funding a whole new agave spirits marque with a least a dozen other investors, why not take a page from Jim Driscoll, owner of Ekeko Wines and Spirits, and importer of Demetrio tequila?

Seek a distressed brand that had something going for it, and that you can make better.

You may find, after some thorough due diligence, that before hitting the skids the brand showed considerable promise and can be purchased—lock, stock, and barrels—for a song.

Or, you may discover that the concept for the juice was designed exclusively for the international Duty Free market, completely escaping the drudgery of the Three Tier System.

Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017 https://wp.me/p3u1xi-57q

The road to the Kingdom of Agave Heaven won’t be any easier, but at least some of the requisite start up costs could be minimized.

Warning:  The Quality of Your Mass Produced Tequila is about to get Worse

[Tweet “Your Mass Produced Tequila is about to get Worse!”]

Word on the streets of the Highlands of Jalisco is that the Big Boys have bought up all the 3 year old agave in the region.  Younger plants simply do not contain the minimum amount of agave sugars (measured in brix) required by the normas to make tequila.

As soon as 2 year old agaves turn 3, they are sure to be snatched up by coyotes (agave middlemen).

Coyotes for the Usual Suspects are desperately seeking magueys from reputable growers who are now sitting in the catbird seat, ready to hike agave prices even further.

Those boutique agaveros who are holding 4 and 5 year old plants are poised to make a killing in the agave market in the following few months and years.

Meanwhile, back at The Lab…

Analyzed samples of these mass produced tequilas are being rejected because they reportedly contain too little alcohol from blue weber agave, and too much from added sugars.

Tequila Trends in the First Half of 2017 https://wp.me/p3u1xi-57q

Watch for increased use of diffuser technology to extract maximum agave juices and sugars in order to fulfill worldwide demand, and—

Tequila quality to plummet.


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El Consuelo Garners Gold at Tequila Aficionado’s Brands of Promise Awards

#ad #advertisementBoldly raises the bar for Craft Organic Tequilas

We make tequila the way that tequila was meant to be–pure, and free of chemicals, or any additives.”

— Erika Vargas Flores, GM, Altos Cienega Unidos

SAN ANTONIO, TX, UNITED STATES, March 30, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — For Immediate Release!

In early February, 2017, El Consuelo Blanco Tequila was bestowed a Gold Medal in Tequila Aficionado Media’s hotly anticipated 4th Annual 2016 Brands of Promise© Awards in the Certified Organic Tequila Category.

“We are flattered and humbled to receive this Brand of Promise Award from Tequila Aficionado,” said a spokesperson for Tequila Spirits, LLC, importer of El Consuelo.

“We felt the same way the judges did when we first tasted El Consuelo blanco,” continued the spokesperson. “We believe our small batch process produces the best tasting tequila in the world.”

Crafted by Altos Cienega Unidos (NOM 1570) in the village of Rancho Lagunillas nestled in Atotonilco El Alto, the prized Highlands Region of Jalisco, Mexico, it is a micro-distillery in the truest sense.

El Consuelo (meaning “to comfort” in Spanish) is produced with social consciousness to support the Mexican agave farmers and the community in which they live.

A union of over 20 dedicated growers supplies El Consuelo with the finest estate grown, lovingly cared for, and Certified Organic Tequilana Blue Weber Agave.

El Consuelo is Organically Certified under the strict, transparent and ethical standards set forth by Organic Certifying Agency, Mayacert.

Mayacert, has provided its services to small, medium and large farmers, processors and food exporters for the past fifteen years.

The leader in multi-certification systems, Mayacert is internationally accredited as an Organic Certifying Agency by both the European Union and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Every hand blown bottle of El Consuelo tequila proudly displays the USDA seal of approval ensuring that every step of its production process—from farm to glass—meets government guidelines for purity and wholesomeness.

El Consuelo is also Certified Kosher by Jay Kosher, widely recognized in the multinational Kosher certification field.

By all accounts, organic and kosher spirits consumption and awareness is on the rise in the United States and abroad.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) reports that the US is the global leader in tequila
consumption. Persistence Marketing Research depicts North America as the second largest consumer of kosher foods in the world.

Given these facts, Erika Vargas Flores, General Manager of Altos Cienega Unidos–one of a handful of women in management positions within the Tequila Industry–pursued both organic and kosher certifications “…to ensure El Consuelo’s rightful place in the highly competitive international Tequila market.”

These often overlooked and under-served spirits industry segments are poised to become worldwide, multi-billion dollar categories in just a few short years.

In preparation, Tequila Spirits, LLC has partnered with online retailer, Traino’s Wine & Spirits in New Jersey to meet the current overwhelming demand for award winning El Consuelo tequila.

“We make tequila the way that tequila was meant to be,” declares Vargas Flores, “pure, and free of chemicals, or any additives.”


Order your bottles of award winning El Consuelo tequila here, NOW! Learn about El Consuelo’s story and handcrafted, organic tequila process here. For more on the Brands Of Promise©, click here.

Mike Morales
Tequila Aficionado Media


Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Women In the Tequila Industry: Erika Vargas Flores

Women In the Tequila Industry: Erika Vargas Flores http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4WpErika Vargas Flores has spearheaded Altos Cienega Unidos (NOM 1570) in the village of Rancho Lagunillas, nestled in Atotonilco El Alto, for the past four years.

When upstart flagship brand, El Consuelo, won the coveted 2016 Brands Of Promise(C) award in the Organic category, tequila aficionados everywhere took notice.

Subsequently, we came to discover that this dynamic micro-distillery where El Consuelo is lovingly produced, and that put the world–and our taste buds–on notice, is also managed by this competent young lady.

Women In the Tequila Industry: Erika Vargas Flores http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Wp

Naturally, we had to ask if she would agree to join our gallery of Tequila Boss Ladies.

Here’s what she had to add to our handful of questions about being a woman in the male dominated Tequila Industry.

[Editor’s note:  For the convenience of our interviewee and our Spanish speaking audience, this article is in both English and Spanish.]

[Tweet “Women In Tequila: Erika Vargas Flores of @ElConsueloTQ”]

TA:  How would you describe your experiences as a woman in a primarily male dominated industry?  (What are the challenges you face when dealing with the male dominated Tequila Industry?)

(¿Cómo describirías tus experiencias como una mujer de alto rango en su posición en Women In the Tequila Industry: Erika Vargas Flores http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Wpuna industria dominada principalmente masculina?)

EVF:  It hasn’t been easy, but this is an industry where a woman as much as a man can be capable of carrying out at least 80% of the activities that are implemented for the production of tequila.

The majority of our staff is really made up of women.  In our micro-distillery, the personnel is qualified to perform various duties.

For instance, not only am I the general manager, but I’ve learned to cultivate the yeasts [used in fermentation], and to carry out the distillation and bottling.

Right now, the jobs that belong to the men are the rough ones that at no time can be substituted [performed] by a woman, but are no less important.

Personally, my knowledge and achievements that I’ve obtained with Tequila El Consuelo are recognized by men.  My husband, Pedro Alvarado López, has always motivated and supported me to continue in the industry.

Women In the Tequila Industry: Erika Vargas Flores http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Wp

Associates, who are all men, have confidence in my abilities.  My being a woman hasn’t made a difference in negotiating with Tequila Spirits, LLC, that imports the brand Tequila El Consuelo.

My right hand is Juan Gerardo Hernández Ramírez who also executes a large part of the industry activities.

I realize that the top leadership of the Tequila Industry is male dominated.

(No ha sido fácil, pero es una industria que tanto el hombre como la mujer puede ser capaz para desempeñar por lo menos un 80% de las actividades que se ejecutan para la elaboración del tequila.

(Nuestra plantilla efectivamente la mayor parte es ocupada por las mujeres.

(Es una micro pequeña empresa en la que el personal está capacitado para ejecutar diferentes actividades. Yo por ejemplo además de ser quien dirige he aprendido a crear las levaduras, realizar la destilación y envasado.

Women In the Tequila Industry: Erika Vargas Flores http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Wp

(Ahora sí que las actividades del hombre son los trabajos rudos en los cuales en ningún momento puede ser sustituido por la mujer por lo cual no dejan de ser parte importante.)

(En lo personal mis conocimientos y logros que hasta el momento se han obtenido en Tequila El Consuelo SI son reconocidos por los hombres.  Mi esposo, Pedro Alvarado López, siempre me ha motivado y apoyado a continuar en la Industria.

(Los socios los cuales todos son hombres han confiado en mi capacidad.  Tequila Spirits LLC quien distribuye la Marca de Tequila El Consuelo no han hecho la diferencia en las negociaciones conmigo por el hecho de ser mujer.

[Tweet “Nuestra plantilla la mayor parte esta ocupada por las mujeres @ElConsueloTQ”]

(Mi mano derecha es Juan Gerardo Hernández Ramírez quien [también] ejecuta gran parte de las actividades de la Industrias.

(Reconozco que los altos mandos de la Industria Tequilera aun es dominada por los hombres.)

TA:  How have you been able to change things within the Tequila Industry?

(¿Cómo han sido capaces de cambiar las cosas dentro de su industria?)

EVF:  The tequila consumer gets more demanding every day, rejecting one brand they Women In the Tequila Industry: Erika Vargas Flores http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Wphave imbibed for years when its quality changes.

As opposed to men, women are more methodical when it comes to repeating the tequila process to conserve its consistency.

(El consumidor del tequila cada vez es más exigente, rechaza una marca que por años ha bebido cuando su calidad cambia. 

(La mujer a diferencia del hombre es más metódica lo que hace que en el proceso de elaboración del tequila conserve siempre las mismas características.)

TA:  What do you see as the future of women working within the Tequila Industry?

(¿Qué ves como el futuro de las mujeres que trabajan en la industria del Tequila?)

EVF:  That little by little, women attain higher administrative and operational posts without substituting [replacing] men in the rough jobs of the process that requires physical strength.

(Que poco  a poco logren ocupar los altos mando administrativos y operativos, sin sustituir al hombre en el trabajo rudo del proceso de elaboración por la fuerza física que se requiere.)

Women In the Tequila Industry: Erika Vargas Flores http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4WpTA:  What facets of the Tequila Industry would you like to see change?

(¿Qué cosas gustaría cambiado?)

EVF:  The consumer’s mentality that marries them to a particular brand without taking the opportunity to try other tequilas of equal or better quality simply because a brand isn’t recognized in the marketplace.

(La mentalidad del consumidor ya que estos llegan a casarse con una marca sin dar oportunidad de probar otros tequilas de igual o mejor calidad, por el hecho de que la marca no es conocida en el mercado.)

TA:  Do you approve of how tequila brands are currently marketing themselves?

(Esta Ud de acuerdo con la comercialización de marcas de tequilas, hoy en dia?)

EVF:  No because there exists unfair competition, cheap prices and cheaper quality.

(No, porque existe mucha competencia desleal, bajos precios, baja calidad.)

TA:  Is there anything you’d like to say to women who may be contemplating entering and working in the Tequila Industry in one form or another?

(¿Existe algo que le gustaría decir a las mujeres que pueden estar contemplando entrar y trabajar en la industria del Tequila en una forma u otra?)

Women In the Tequila Industry: Erika Vargas Flores http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Wp

EVF:  Well, that it’s an interesting occupation, competitive, and with opportunities for growth, both professional and personal.

(Pues que es un trabajo interesante, competitivo, con oportunidades de crecimiento tanto laboral como personal.)


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El Consuelo Blanco Tequila Review [Transcript]

Watch the original video review here.

Mike: You are watching Sipping off the Cuff on TequilaAficionado.com.  I’m Mike Morales and that gentleman over there…

Rick: Rick Levy in San Diego.

Mike: I’m here in San Antonio.  We’re enjoying a respite from the heat wave.  We’ve actually had rain the last 2 days, which is nice.

Rick: The heat has moved out here.

Mike: Oh, really is it hot out there?

Rick: Little over 100 outside the house.

Mike: Wow, you don’t have air-conditioning in San Diego as I remember.

Rick: Yeah. Yeah.  Most people have it now.

Mike: Oh, really?  When I lived in Rancho Penasquitos up a little higher we didn’t have a need to air-conditioning because in the summer if it gets to hot you get that ocean breeze that comes all the way inland.

Rick: Yeah.

Mike: And it was nice; it was, you know, not here in Texas.

Rick: This house didn’t have it when we bought the house.

Mike: Well, then enjoy it.  By Thursday we should have it back I think.  I’m excited, dude, this is going to be your first, this is a brand new Tequila that just contacted us.  It’s called El Consuelo and the neat part about this, Rick, is that it’s organic and its kosher. I don’t know if you can see that down in there but that’s the organic and kosher seal.

Rick: USDA and is it Bioagricert?

Mike: Yeah, it’s Bioagricert and right now I think they are the only one in town but I understand that the CRT will soon be getting involved in certifying tequila. I’m not sure how that’s going to work, it will be interesting whether that becomes a reality at the end of the year.  Who knows? But for now, they were really cool.  They sent us information on the tequila.  I want to make sure.  Certified by, no, not Bioagricert its Mayacert.

Rick: Ah.

Mike: I have never heard of Mayacert, I’m going to do a little research on this one for my own sake, Mayacert that’s interesting.  It is organic however and it is or at least it’s being recognised as organic and it’s also kosher.

Rick: So that’s some information on their website too.  So you can use Jalapeño water as insecticide around their base so you know.*

* Pepper infused water is NOT used as an insecticide on El Consuelo’s agaves.  This is a website error.  No insecticides are used on the El Consuelo agaves.

Mike: Yeah, yeah.

Rick: Repels insects rather than using industrial chemicals.

Mike: Well you know they were nice enough to send us information, basically a press release with a lot of stuff in it from James Goll, who I believe is the 24 Group PR.

Rick: Well the company that produces the tequila is called tequila spirits LLC.

Mike: Right.

Rick: And then James Goll is the 24 Group PR marketing contact.

Mike: Ok. You know they reached out to us and bingo we got tequila.  I like their bottle it’s just a real simple bottle and it’s got a wood cork.

Rick: Yeah.

Mike: It’s a wood topper.

Rick: Natural cork.

Mike: Natural cork too, check that out.

Rick: It did leak a little when I got the bottle.

Mike: Yeah and you know when we got it, it was over a 100 degrees when we got our sample so we had a little bit of leakage. I’m going to use my Glencairn glass tonight, my little copita which I seem to really enjoy, look at that.

Rick: That’s a hefty pourer there.

Mike: That’s ok, it’s not like it’s going to go to waste.

Rick: Pay no attention to the man behind the wheel.

Mike: Yeah, (laughter) nice legs and tears, really.  I don’t know if you can see this, my lighting here is not the best but it pours really nicely, pretty pretty legs and tears, nothing runny, not too clingy.  The bottle itself, if you look at the bottle it’s got that hammered look.  I think, you haven’t had it yet Rick, but Papa Bueno Tequila comes in a bottle that’s got that hammered look, it looks like its hand blown.

Rick: It’s got that same texture to the glass as well.

Mike: Yeah, I like calling it that hammered metal, it’s got that hammered metal look to it but its glass. Really nice.  It handles nicely. It’s a nice bottle to pour from, really old school look at it.  Now what they said in the press material is that they’re using Webber agaves sourced from Jalisco in the Mexican region of Tequila which, if you read that correctly, if you take it word for word, it sounds like they’re using lowlands tequila at this distillery

Rick: 1570.

Mike: Yeah its 1570.

Rick: And it’s in Atotonilco.

Mike: I was probably just down the road from there when we visited Embahador but that’s a highlands distillery.

Rick: But on the bottle it says release out to the world.

Mike: Yeah, but their press material it says something else and so it’s a little confusing.

Rick: PR firms.

Mike: It’s press you know, so we will assume that they are using highlands tequila or highlands agaves.

Rick: It said on the website that they are using agaves from Altos.

Mike: Oh good. Ok.

Rick: It says they are 8 to 9 years old, organic, and are trimmed close when they harvest them.

Mike: Ok, we did not get, and I’m not even sure if they are available yet, Reposado and Anejo.  It seems like they are going to go way traditional with this.  The reposado was supposed to be six months aged and the anejo aged for 12 months.  Both are aged in cognac barrels* so it will be kind of nice to be able to taste those aged varietals.

*El Consuelo is not aged in cognac barrels.  El Consuelo ages their Reposado and Anejo in once-used Jack Daniels Whiskey Barrels.

Rick: Check that out, on their website they have some contradictory information.

Mike: What do they say on the website?

Rick: They said that the reposado was aged 11 months and that the anejo was 24 months and in those they also used, in addition to cognac, American Whiskey barrels.*

*This too is incorrect.  Cognac barrels are not used at all.

Mike: Well who do we believe?

Rick: I don’t know they will just have to send us the juice and let us decide.

Mike: That’s OK.  This is the start of it, so obviously you know the Blanco is the root of all good or evil.  I like the smell.  Its got that nice fruity, floral smell right on the tip of the nose.  You don’t even have to go dig very deep, very far, for it.

Rick: Right. Very fresh.

Mike: It’s a beautiful aroma.

Rick: Yeah and then you know I just cracked the seal on this today and nothing weird was coming off the top.  It didn’t need to oxidise or open up or anything.

Mike: No its very clean.  Very, very clean smelling. Obviously you can see the legs and tears off of my glass.  It’s perfect.  There is nothing that says this isn’t going to be good for you.

Rick: Yeah, and you know in their materials they really boast about doing everything in a traditional way, so you know I looked into it a little bit more.  They are using masonry ovens for extraction.  I was glad to see.  I loved this.  I see for their fermentation they are using a natural open air fermentation process and they are using stainless vats.  They also say they are using a proprietary exclusive yeast, so its exclusive to El Consuelo.

Mike: Well you know what that means right?

Rick: No.

Mike: When they say proprietary, you know the first thing that comes into my head is that this is a yeast that is coming from their own agaves.  It doesn’t say that they are estate grown agaves so I’m assuming that they are using yeast from agaves that they purchase and that’s the yeast that they are using.

Rick: So natural yeast from the plants that they are distilling, of course.

Mike: Right. Generally when you hear that it is because they are estate owned and then they produce their own yeast from their own plants and at least that’s the way I interpreted it.  I could be wrong.  They could be using, I don’t know, a Champaign yeast, but it doesn’t smell like it.  It smells just, you know, if anything I get some citrus notes on it.

Rick: You know that.

Mike: That lime zest. I’m getting lime zest again; I’m going to dig in here. Wow.

Rick: Ah, that’s just excellent.  I can’t find anything that I can…

Mike: Nothing to complain about.

Rick: There is nothing, there is nothing off, nothing strange, nothing peculiar its just wow, its luscious.

Mike: It’s not beefy either, it’s got a great finish.  You notice that finish lingers; it’s a lingering finish, a medium to long finish.

Rick: Yeah, I’m getting that great pepper sensation around the outside, the tongue and back of palate.

Mike: Yeah, this is a star man; this is a stellar, stellar stuff.

Rick: Well it’s great to see, you know, because they seem to really be something.  When I was looking at the website they were really pushing about how they are interested in their commitment to sustainability, social consciousness, and they say stuff like additive free with pure ingredients, with methods passed down through generations of Mexican farmers; their commitment to sustainability, social consciousness, for their farmers and their communities so it really seems like they are trying to develop a partnership with the growers and the distillery.

Mike: It’s their method, like you said, the method where they use the *habanero peppered water to ward off insects rather than pesticides.

* Pepper infused water is NOT used as an insecticide on El Consuelo’s agaves.  This is a website error.  No insecticides are used on the El Consuelo agaves.


Mike: It’s really interesting. Having grown my own green chillies in new Mexico I can tell you that the bugs don’t like them, ants don’t like them, there is something the heat, the oils in the chilis.  It just naturally doesn’t have, it’s not like a berry or a fruit when you have birds that will eat some of it or rabbits, nobody touches chili, they leave it alone so that’s kind of cool, that’s really neat they way they have gone to that.

Rick: And they also talk about their special bottling process.  I’m not sure how hard this is for the industry but they say that they wash their bottles; prior to bottling they wash their bottle in a tequila based solution.

Mike: Oh yeah.

Rick: Have you ever seen anything like that?

Mike: There are a few, as a matter of fact I just saw a video on facebook, I’m not exactly sure of the brand of the mezcal and they are showing you it’s a modern bottling facility but it only takes 3 bottles at a time which is kind of odd and they push it underneath the spouts.  The spouts flood, I mean literally wash the empty bottles before they are even filled and then they are turned over and drained like right away.  They move it over and then they are filled with the mescal.  I’m assuming it’s a similar process with the tequila but this was really a small bottling facility so I’m not sure.  I’ve never actually seen an automated bottling facility, but as far as I know, many of these bigger companies wash their bottles out this way.

Rick: This doesn’t seem to be a big distillery at all, it’s ALTOS CIENEGA UNIDOS.

Mike: You know I have my.

Rick: I think they only have 3 brands now the NOM started in June of 2010 and El Consuelo was one of the first marks listed with them but they are saying that El Consuelo was launched into 2016 but they also say that its rich in heritage but I’m not sure if they are saying that this is the process that they are using.

Mike: Yeah.

Rick: Or if this is previously brought up in Mexico and its now available in the US.

Mike: I think what happens is they’re taking some liberties with the information but, you know, the fact of the matter is they are making it in the old school way and you are right, I’m looking at the current NOM list, and from what I can see they have 4 brands that are coming out of there right now so um, that’s a good thing.

Rick: Yeah.

Mike: You know there.

Rick: My guess is that this NOM has been working with the folks behind El Consuelo the longest to make this happen but you know I’m glad they did this.  As you know, this is really what I love to see and you know I love the kind of citrus nose and feel.

Mike: I love that finish at the end too, you know it’s not all perfumes and flowers you know its once you inspect it.  You know you have had tequila and it’s not as much in your face as maybe some of the tequila’s we have had from Amatitan, but this is what its famous for.  I wouldn’t call it a typical tequila, there is not such thing to me, but if you are looking for a flavour profile that you are used to getting out of Highlands tequila then drink this one because its organic and small batch.  We were talking about the top 10 list for USA Today a little while ago.  Had we known these people had been around, they’re probably had to find right now, but maybe next time a list like that comes around, it could be available and in much larger qualities and added to that list.

Rick: Again let’s nominate them for Brand of Promise.

Mike: Nominated for Brand of Promise in the organic category, such a lovely tequila.  Congratulations to the company and everything that they are doing there.  Tequila Spirits LLC, I think is the owner of the brand and did you say that the company is going to come out with traditional spirits also?

Rick: Yeah, yeah, that because of their drive that they have for sustainability and social consciousness and the production process, they are also looking to release a rum, a vodka and a gin with that same kind of commitment.

Mike: Well there you go.

Rick: That’s great, it’s always wonderful to see people trying to do the right thing and producing something that really comes out great.

Mike: We are not sure what the price points will be or are on this tequila.  It’s a wait and see, but keep an eye out for it.  It’s called El Consuelo, I think you’re right, Brand of Promise for the Blanco.  So there you go, that’s our take on this tequila.  I’m Morales here in San Antonio.

Rick: Right, well I’m Rick Levy in San Diego.

Mike: And you’ve been watching Sipping off the Cuff on Tequila Aficionado Media, www.tequilaaficionado.com.  Please subscribe to the channel down below in the red button, you will be really, really happy and so will we.

Rick: Push red buttons.

Mike: Yeah, push that red button.  Well, as we like to say at Tequila Aficionado, “Tomar Sabiamente”.


Sipping off the Cuff | El Consuelo Tequila Reposado

Sipping off the Cuff | El Consuelo Tequila Anejo

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El Consuelo Anejo Tequila Review


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Sipping off the Cuff | El Consuelo Tequila Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4TJEl Consuelo’s tequilas are made in small batches. The Reposado and Añejo are single-barrel aged in Cognac barrels, achieving rich amber colors and unique full-bodied flavors with hints of barrel wood alongside the delicate agave flavors. Our Reposado is aged for 6 months and our Añejo for 12 months.

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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El Consuelo Reposado Tequila Review


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Sipping off the Cuff | El Consuelo Tequila Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4TJEl Consuelo’s tequilas are made in small batches. The Reposado and Añejo are single-barrel aged in Cognac barrels, achieving rich amber colors and unique full-bodied flavors with hints of barrel wood alongside the delicate agave flavors. Our Reposado is aged for 6 months and our Añejo for 12 months.


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El Consuelo Organic Blanco Tequila Review

El Consuelo Organic Tequila Blanco

El Consuelo’s Story:

Sipping Off the Cuff | El Consuelo Tequila Blanco http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4rbEl Consuelo Tequilas sources its 100% organic agave from the Los Altos highlands in the Tequila region of Mexico. Because of the unique climatic characteristics and the air & soil, this area is well known for producing larger, fruitier agave, ideal for tequila. This organic agave ensures El Consuelo makes tequila the way tequila was meant to be, pure, smooth, and flavorful.

Enjoy, From the Mountains of Jalisco for the World to share.

El Consuelo is produced in the village of LAGUNILLAS MPIO DE ATOTONILCO EL ALTO whereby the community is engaged in every detail, from harvest through distillation & aging. This vertically integrated approach is very different from an arms-length transaction of importing product, or buying liquid from a distillery.

We make tequila the way that tequila was meant to be, pure, free of chemicals, or any additives. We do not contract with a distillery for the purchase of liquid, nor do we buy agave plants on the open market. Ever step of the tequila making process is done by the hands of our own farmers, from our own agave fields, with our own proprietary yeast, using own distillery, and our own bottling process. We believe OUR homemade process produces the best tasting tequila in the world.


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