MIKE: 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.
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.
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.
MIKE: Like they´re there for… like nobody´s going to make tequila out of it, you know what I mean?
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: 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!
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.
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.
MIKE: I – you know!
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 –
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….
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.
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…
MIKE: 60 bucks. Would you pay 60 bucks for this?
RICK: Oh, certainly – I´d pay a lot more than that!
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…
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…
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.
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.
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…
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).