How to Infuse Your Tequila Con Ganas

The Bing Crosby Effect

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Influencer Marketing is a hot social media buzz phrase that can be directly attributed to Bing Crosby.

From the moment the famed crooner, and fellow entertainer and business partner, Phil Harris, imported Herradura, the first 100% agave tequila into the US, celebrity endorsements of alcoholic beverages have influenced American’s buying habits–

And, become an all too common occurrence.

This article traces the history of influencer marketing, from the early days of cinema to a new kind of social media personality, the influencer.

I Wanna be Like Mike

How to Infuse Your Tequila Con Ganas http://wp.me/p3u1xi-50U

Continuing that tradition, celebs like Diddy (DeLeon), George Clooney (Casamigos), Sammy Hagar (Cabo Wabo, and now, Mezquila), and Justin Timberlake (Sauza 901) are just a few of the A-listers peddling agave spirits.

It can be argued that desire for a megastar endorsed item is fueled by our emotional attachment to the star himself.

Hence, the more we care about a renowned personality, the more we “want to be like Mike.”

Celebrity Covetousness

Noel Shu is Chief Luxury Officer and Head Sommelier at Prodiguer Brands, Ltd.  The “Prince of Luxury,” and the man responsible for the most expensive champagne in the world, (Goût de Diamants) explains here why celebrity affiliation works for luxury items.

“No matter what, the rest of the world is keeping tabs on the rich and famous.  In order to be more like them, many go out of their way to get what celebrities have,” asserts Shu.

“Beneath the pretense of glam, money and prestige, a purchase boils down to one thing: familiarity.  It is mental association at work.”

Shu determines, “When a person is constantly reminded that their favorite actor is wearing or using a product, they begin gravitating towards the item themselves.”

The danger in promoting celebrity covetousness in agave spirits brand marketing is that it’s shallow, superficial, and unmemorable.

The emotional bond between your label and your customer, like a sample from a tequila girl in a black mini-skirt, is fleeting, at best.

Intimacy Can be Measured

On the flip side, a very enlightening website reveals a brand’s intimacy quotient.How to Infuse Your Tequila Con Ganas http://wp.me/p3u1xi-50U

MBLM states that “brand intimacy is a new paradigm that leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand.”

Before I get to how this new level of marketing relates to agave spirits branding, let me point out a couple of Tequila Market growth facts, courtesy of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).

Who Cares About Luxury?

According to DISCUS, the fastest growth in 2016 has been in High End and Super Premium brands.

Virtually a non-existent segment before 2002, volumes of Super Premium tequilas have zoomed 706% to 2.9 million cases.

Intimacy by the Numbers

Taking a look at the Beverages category as a whole on the MBLM site, we discover that its intimacy quotient falls almost 4 points below the cross industry average.

Most notably, though, the Luxury division practically brings up the rear, a full 13 points below the industry median!

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The numbers for Mexico are even more eye-opening (Abreojos?) with both Jose Cuervo and Herradura (Brown-Forman) at the bottom of the Top 10 Mexican Beverage labels of 2017.

Of the last two tequila marks, only Jose Cuervo is still Mexican owned.

Power to the People

“Brands are in the hands of consumers today,” says MBLM.

A true statement since, chances are, you’re reading this on your preferred handheld device.

MBLM goes on to preach,”…people trust one another more than they trust a corporation.”

We’ve heard it said that word-of-mouth—especially in social media–is everything.  (Just ask United Airlines!)

MBLM continues, “…brands are proliferating, saturating our attention, increasing confusion, and often cannibalizing each other.”

How to Infuse Your Tequila Con Ganas http://wp.me/p3u1xi-50U

That’s certainly an honest view of the spirits industry.

A simple walk through your neighborhood liquor store’s tequila aisle will more than convince any skeptic of that assessment.

Given the above information on this new form of “emotional marketing,” it raises the question—

What’s the point of describing your agave spirit as a “luxury” or “lifestyle” brand?

Fearless Prediction

How to Infuse Your Tequila Con Ganas http://wp.me/p3u1xi-50UWith the trend toward attracting Millennials, and their demand for quality, transparency and affordability in the wines and spirits they seek, the growth of the High End and Super Premium segments seem destined to falter.

Celebrity worship and their endorsement of products, however, will continue to be a part of the daily fabric of every social media platform.

As Shu points out in the above article, “No matter how much fanfare or glitz a product gets from being in the limelight, it’s the opinion of experts and influencers on the product itself that keeps it there.”

Luxury items are only attractive when in use by someone we care about or admire, famous or not.

Agave Attachment

How can start up agave spirits entrepreneurs create lasting emotional bonds between their products and their customers?

By telling their brand stories clearly, consistently, and emotionally in a creative and engaging manner across all mediums.

In addition, instead of trying to interest megastars to front your tequila or mezcal, decide to become your own best Agave Ambassador.

Bo Knows

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The new breed of agave spirits brand owners must not be afraid to stand in front of their own juice to preach their message to the masses.

The Founding Fathers of the Tequila Industry knew the value of forging personal relationships with not just their business associates, but with everyone.

In the tradition of old skool tequileros, luminaries like Guillermo Erickson Sauza, Carlos Camarena, German Gonzalez, David Suro, Sophie Decobecq, Ken Austin, Dr. Adolfo Murillo, Tomas Estes and many others, have not only produced some of the most beloved tequilas, but have fearlessly chosen to be their own qualified spokespersons.

There’s No Crying in Tequila!

How to Infuse Your Tequila Con Ganas http://wp.me/p3u1xi-50U

Agave spirits inherently embody the passion and history of Mexico.  If luxury items are cold and unfeeling, then, agave spirits are the complete opposite.

An agave spirit without a representative, however, is like a band without a front man; like a basketball team without a point guard; like a country without a leader.

No amount of marketing spin can improve a label’s lifeless approval rating, or a vote of no-confidence from customers.

Tequila:  Con Ganas!

“Advancements in neuroscience reveal that virtually all decision making is emotional,” declares MBLM.  “Behavioral science demonstrates that the way we feel about a brand is the single best predictor of purchase.”

MBLM concludes, “up to 90% of the decisions we make are based on emotion.”

How to Infuse Your Tequila Con Ganas http://wp.me/p3u1xi-50U

So, if you decide to be the ultimate emotional mouthpiece for your agave spirit, the bottom line is…

Echale ganas!

 

Interview with Sammy Hagar from Cabo Wabo Tequila

cabo wabo, sammy hagarIn March, Tequila Aficionado Magazine attended the 28th International Nightclub & Bar/Beverage Retailer Convention and Trade Show
hosted by Restaurant Marketing Magazine. It was an incredible show to say the least.

Among the many tequila companies represented, we had an opportunity to visit with Sammy Hagar from Cabo Wabo tequila.

Tequila Aficionado: How do you feel about the success of Cabo Wabo?

Sammy Hagar: I think it is phenomenal, everyone has dreams and stuff and that is just one of the ones that I had no idea it was going to be such an instant success and I know it was the best tequila I ever made in my life; I mean that I had ever tasted in my life but I had no idea that everyone would get it and I am happy about it.

TA: What are your plans for this year, any major promotions of Cabo Wabo?

SH: Always, the way I live my life is the Cabo Wabo lifestyle so everything I do, it promotes itself because I don’t have to go out and say I am selling this, I am Mr. Cabo Wabo! So I just be there and I don’t have to try to hard sell anything because I am not about that. I am not about holding up a carton and saying “drink this because I say it’s good.” This is what I drink, I drink CaboWabo and that’s why .. , it’s not an endorsement, I own the company if you know what I mean. So, between the club, my stage show, which is built around the CaboWabo, and the tequila – it’s like a snow ball thing, it all promotes itself.

cabo wabo, tequila, blanco, sammy hagarTA: Explain to us what is the Cabo Wabo lifestyle?

SH: Well the Cabo Wabo lifestyle is pretty much, spicy food, margaritas and shots, having fun, a lot of beach time.

TA: You are in your beach wear right now!

SH: Well this is the way I dress. If I can’t dress like this, I go somewhere else where I can. I don’t like wool, you know It’s the Cabo Wabo lifestyle. I don’t like hats, I don’t like socks, I don’t even like shoes, I don’t even like clothes period but you know you gotta wear a t-shirt and some shorts. That’s it – that’s CaboWabo to me.

TA: What got you into the Tequila’s?

SH: I have been living in Mexico for 18 years off-and-on, part-time I’d say, and went to the town of Tequila about 16, 17 years ago and it blew my mind when I tasted real handmade Tequila. Before then I had been drinking like everyone else the stuff that you go, “I will never drink that as long as I live,” and you have gotten sick in college on rot-gut tequila, but once you taste really good tequila, as good as any fine cognac or armagnac or scotch or anything else so I got turned on to that and I became a new man.

cabo wabo, tequila, reposado, sammy hagarTA: Do you have any mentors that you follow to get into Tequila? Any mentors you can talk about?

SH: Well I would say the first time I went to the town of Tequila and I tasted a little factor called Delahancia, it was about 14 years ago and I was building the Cabo Wabo and I was over there looking for boutique Tequilas that I could have in my club that you could not buy. And it was the best tequila I had ever tasted in my life and since then, they don’t exist anymore, I am sure they got bought out by some big boys or something, and it’s probably some big factory now that it is no longer handmade, but at the time I was on a search to find that kind of tequila and they made me CaboWabo for a long time. They didn’t make it Cabo Wabo, they made me tequila in jugs they would send me for my club and everyone that tasted it flipped out. So when I finally found Miravalle, the factory that makes CaboWabo, and that’s all they make now, but they had a couple other little brands at the time and now they just make CaboWabo. Miravalle said “what do you want it to taste like” and I kept tasting and the chemists there kept making me different tequilas and I would taste them and taste them until I tasted what I thought was close to that, thing it was almost like peanut butter, it was very “caramelly”. I then started liking simpler, less aged tequilas, quite honestly, and I am almost like a blanco guy now.

cabo wabo anejo tequila sammy hagarTA: A purist?

SH: Yes, in a way I am. Because you like the taste of the tequila and I don’t like four-year old aged tequilas, they taste like scotch and I am not a big scotch drinker, I am a tequila drinker. So, that is kind of where my head has gone and in the future, but originally I was going for that one-year aged killing-taste that Delahancia was. So he is my mentor but I don’t know where they are those people.

TA: So do you consider yourself a Tequila Aficionado?

SH: Oh absolutely! Last night I was in a restaurant in Palm Springs and I asked the bartender, (he didn’t know who I was or nothing, and I was with my nephews and my brother, we were out having boys-night-out) and said “hey, do you got any tequila,” and he said “sure man,” I said “you got CaboWabo” and he goes “yeah we do that’s really good tequila, I hear a lot about it. Have you had it?” and I am going “no, never had it.” So I was doing that with the guy and I sat there and I tasted it and I mean, I didn’t see the bottle, he poured it and I thought yeah this guy could be “bulls—–g” right. I smelled it,… instant recognition! I said this is CaboWabo, I could tell you anywhere in the world that this is CaboWabo, then we ordered a Patron and we ordered a Don Julio, we order Porfidio, we ordered all these and smelled them all next to each other and CaboWabo is the best tequila in the world. That is my honest opinion, you know it’s all about taste. It’s what your taste is, well for me that is the kind of tequila I like. You know with wine you might say I am a burgundy guy or I am a Bordeaux, or I like cheval blanc over Latour, it’s all a matter of taste, for me CaboWabo is the best Tequila in the world.

Cabo Wabo Anejo Tequila Review

Cabo Wabo Anejo

Mike Morales and Alex Perez taste and discuss Cabo Wabo Anejo Tequila, nominating it for the 2014 Brands of Promise Awards.

Cabo Wabo Tequila was born in 1996 on the backroads of Guadalajara by legendary musician andtequila aficionado, Sammy Hagar. After searching for atequila exceptional enough to serve inside his cantinain Cabo San Lucas, Sammy partnered with a tequila-making family with over 80 years of experience. Today,the agave used to make Cabo Wabo Tequila is grown,cultivated and harvested by this same family.

 About Cabo Wabo Anejo

cabo wabo anejo tequila sammy hagarFor those who appreciate the deep, robust flavor that only proper aging can bring, Cabo Wabo Tequila Añejo is truly a tequila without peer. Matured in American oak barrels for 14 months, our Añejo presents a full vanilla and caramel nose that quickly gives way to woody notes on the palate complemented by hints of honey and chocolate. A long, delicate finish – the definition of smooth – completes the experience, and it makes Cabo Wabo Tequila Añejo a drink best enjoyed on its own.

  • Amber-gold color
  • Aged in American oak barrels for 14 months
  • Vanilla and caramel nose with honey and chocolate flavors

Visit Cabo Wabo Tequila’s website for more information on the famous tequila and the lifestyle.

Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila Review

Cabo Wabo Reposado

cabo wabo, tequila, reposado, sammy hagarMike Morales and Alex Perez taste and discuss Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila, nominating it for the 2014 Brands of Promise Awards.


Cabo
Wabo Tequila was born in 1996 on the backroads of Guadalajara by legendary musician andtequila aficionado, Sammy Hagar. After searching for atequila exceptional enough to serve inside his cantinain Cabo San Lucas, Sammy partnered with a tequila-making family with over 80 years of experience. Today,the agave used to make Cabo Wabo Tequila is grown,cultivated and harvested by this same family.

 About Cabo Wabo Reposado

Recognized as one of the finest tequilas in the world, this Reposado delivers a distinctive experience that even the most discerning drinkers find delightful and unique. An assertive nose of sweet lime, orange and fresh herbs excites upon pouring. Maturation in American oak casks for 4 to 6 months infuses our Reposado with a bold peppery flavor and hints of fruit that linger on the palate briefly, followed by a long, spicy finish. A truly incomparable spirit, Cabo Wabo Tequila Reposado is ideal for sipping solo or in a top-shelf margarita or other mixed drinks.

  • Amber-yellow color
  • Aged in oak casks for four to six months
  • Rich, peppery taste with abundant fruit flavors

Visit Cabo Wabo Tequila’s website for more information on the tequila and the lifestyle.

Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila Review

Cabo Wabo Blanco

Mike Morales and Alex Perez taste and discuss Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila, nominating it for the 2014 Brands of Promise Awards.

 

cabo wabo, tequila, blanco, sammy hagarCabo Wabo Tequila was born in 1996 on the backroads of Guadalajara by legendary musician andtequila aficionado, Sammy Hagar. After searching for atequila exceptional enough to serve inside his cantinain Cabo San Lucas, Sammy partnered with a tequila-making family with over 80 years of experience. Today,the agave used to make Cabo Wabo Tequila is grown,cultivated and harvested by this same family.

 About Cabo Wabo Blanco

As crystal clear as the waters surrounding Cabo San Lucas, Cabo Wabo Tequila Blanco arouses the senses with fresh floral aromas complemented by notes of lime and mint. Handcrafted from 100-percent Weber’s Blue Agave, our blanco boasts unadulterated agave flavors and a slightly spicy character that teases the palate, and delivers a crisp, clean finish that leaves you energized and refreshed. Enjoy Cabo Wabo Tequila Blanco as a chilled shot or in your favorite premium drink.

  • Pure, crystal-clear color
  • Bottled direct from distillation
  • Fresh, floral bouquet with spicy lime and full agave flavors

Visit Cabo Wabo Tequila’s website for more information on Cabo Wabo Tequila and the Cabo Wabo lifestyle.

Founder’s Feature: Sammy Hagar & Cabo Wabo Tequila

sammy hagar, cabo waboAlexander Perez, Founder of Tequila Aficionado, interviews Sammy Hagar in this classic Founder’s Feature from the Tequila Aficionado vault.

Sammy Hagar has since sold Cabo Wabo to Campari, but he continues to live the Cabo Wabo lifestyle that he describes in the interview.

 

Look for our reviews of Cabo Wabo tequilas Blanco, Reposado, Anejo and Diablo coming soon to tequila Aficionado.

 

blanco, cabo wabo, sammy hagar, tequilaCabo Wabo Blanco:

As crystal clear as the waters surrounding Cabo San Lucas, Cabo Wabo Tequila Blanco arouses the senses with fresh floral aromas complemented by notes of lime and mint. Handcrafted from 100-percent Weber’s Blue Agave, our blanco boasts unadulterated agave flavors and a slightly spicy character that teases the palate, and delivers a crisp, clean finish that leaves you energized and refreshed. Enjoy Cabo Wabo Tequila Blanco as a chilled shot or in your favorite premium drink.
Pure, crystal-clear color
Bottled direct from distillation
Fresh, floral bouquet with spicy lime and full agave flavors

 

repo, cabo wabo, reposado, sammy hagar

Cabo Wabo Reposado:

Recognized as one of the finest tequilas in the world, Cabo Wabo Tequila Reposado delivers a distinctive experience that even the most discerning drinkers find delightful and unique. An assertive nose of sweet lime, orange and fresh herbs excites upon pouring. Maturation in American oak casks for 4 to 6 months infuses our Reposado with a bold peppery flavor and hints of fruit that linger on the palate briefly, followed by a long, spicy finish. A truly incomparable spirit, Cabo Wabo Tequila Reposado is ideal for sipping solo or in a top-shelf margarita or other mixed drinks.
Amber-yellow color
Aged in oak casks for four to six months
Rich, peppery taste with abundant fruit flavors

 

anejo, cabo wabo, sammy hagar

Cabo Wabo Anejo:

For those who appreciate the deep, robust flavor that only proper aging can bring, Cabo Wabo Tequila Añejo is truly a tequila without peer. Matured in American oak barrels for 14 months, our Añejo presents a full vanilla and caramel nose that quickly gives way to woody notes on the palate complemented by hints of honey and chocolate. A long, delicate finish – the definition of smooth – completes the experience, and it makes Cabo Wabo Tequila Añejo a drink best enjoyed on its own.
Amber-gold color
Aged in American oak barrels for 14 months
Vanilla and caramel nose with honey and chocolate flavors

 

diablo, cabo wabo, cabo diablo, cinnamon tequila, sammy hagar

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Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine–Tequila With Intention

roger clyne, mexican moonshine

On a frigid and damp Saturday night in November 2013, Roger Clyne, along with his band The Peacemakers, invited Tequila Aficionado Media to an intimate concert at Billy’s Ice House in New Braunfels, TX. 

Click here for Part 1 of our visit with Roger Clyne.

***

“The planet does not need more ‘successful people.’  The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds….” H.H. The Dalai Lama

JollyRahjahFrom the day that Bing Crosby carted his first bottles of Herradura across the dusty border from Mexico, tequila and popular music have been willing confederates.  After well over fifty years, modern recording stars like Carlos Santana, Justin Timberlake, Diddy, Billy Gibbons and others continue to tout their own tequila brands, either openly or quietly as part of investment groups.

But one recording artist does so both openly and somewhat quietly–Roger Clyne.

Shivering in the cold outside the Peacemakers’ eco-friendly tour bus, I recalled a conversation that I had had earlier with my good friend, Jason Silverman, Agave Beverage Manager at the famous Agave Bar & Restaurant in New York City.  He’d met Roger a few weeks earlier during the band’s New York swing and remarked that he was one of the coolest and most down-to-earth guys in the music and tequila business.

Once we climbed aboard, we were warmly met by heat (thank goodness!), dimmed lighting, and soft flamenco guitar music that instantly set the tone for a relaxing one-on-one with the only award winning tequila brand owner (Gold Medal at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition for Mexican Moonshine añejo) set to launch another highly anticipated indy album (The Independent premiered April 29, 2014).

 Rich gonna reap, Poor gotta sow…How we gonna make bread without any dough?

Being frank, open and honest, much like his lyrics, here Roger offers us a look into what it takes to bring his start up tequila onto the market to compete with big name brands.  As you’ll agree, it’s very similar to the indy music business.

Hello raindrop, hello sea…Hello jungle, leaf on the tree…Hello new day!

Possibly due to his early ranching heritage in Arizona, Clyne has pledged that the Peacemakers would walk softly upon the Earth while on tour.  He believed that his tequila factory should have the same respect for nature.

In this clip, Roger reveals his reasons for selecting Fabrica de Tequilas Finos (NOM 1472) as the producer of Mexican Moonshine tequila.  Foremost was the distillery’s efforts at environmental responsibility and vinazas clean up.

Screw-top wine, Rhythm and rhyme…My moonshine in a plastic cupBehind_Moonshine

Once referred to as the “Bruce Springsteen of the Southwest,” Roger’s rock n’ roll persona is often misinterpreted.  While he admits to playing as hard as he works, Clyne is a conscientious catador, learning from his mentors at Tequilas Finos, owner Federico Cabo and Master Distiller, Arturo Fuentes.

In these next clips, Roger Clyne gets up close and personal with his fans and concert goers at Billy’s Ice House in New Braunfels, TX, as he conducts his own tequila tasting of Mexican Moonshine.

Still a student of life, as well as tequila, in this snippet, we discuss proper tasting practices and the Vinturi aerator.

Hey Cantinero!

jason silverman, mixology, roger clyne, mexican moonshine
Jason Silverman, mixologist and fan of Roger Clyne – the man, the musician, and his Moonshine

 

With mixology driving the spirits industry and specially made cocktails being the new world order, Roger Clyne gives his thoughts on mixing with Mexican Moonshine.

Here, Clyne recounts his New York visit with Agave Beverage Manager, Jason Silverman, of the trendy Agave Bar & Restaurant.

So how does Roger Clyne relax after a long day on the road?  Try his signature drink, the Cheat-a-Rita!

And everything’s slowin’ down flowin’ counterclockwise

Throughout his journey, Roger Clyne has successfully handled life’s curveballs.

Circus_Mexicus
Circus Mexicus, a weekend beach party jam session in the sleepy town of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico

Whether it was pursuing a music career independent of the support of corporate record labels, or organizing Circus Mexicus, a weekend beach party jam session in the sleepy town of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico that has turned into a four day music festival, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers have deliberately taken “the road less traveled.”

This same thoughtful path can be savored in each of his Mexican Moonshine expressions, and can surely be enjoyed in the melodies and lyrics of the band’s latest CD, The Independent.

If you feel that your own life decisions are turning your world counterclockwise, let these storytellers restore your soul and your taste buds, and heal your love for life.

After all, that was their original intention.

***

Enjoy this video of Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers’ hit, Counterclockwise…

Speaking of curveballs…

Amigos
M.A. “Mike” Morales and Roger Clyne posing for a picture after an amazing evening of tastings and interview

 

 

On April 29, 2014, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers will unleash their seventh studio album, The Independent.  The title fits these musical mavericks like an old pair of faded jeans worn as a statement against oppression on Casual Fridays.   Yet, as Clyne states, “There’s something about our music that celebrates what’s uniting versus what’s dividing.”

independent
Click on the image to pre-order The Independent now (Release April 29, 2014).

Using this “Tequila Logic,” Roger Clyne has managed to do the same with Mexican Moonshine, gently hitching the spirit’s Lowland agave heritage to the wood notes of Kentucky bourbon to create a peacemaker that rightfully belongs in any collector’s arsenal.

Mexican Moonshine, Mexican Moonshine…Let your heart and your cup overflow, under the glow of the moonshine!  May your heart and your cup… Overflow…under the glow of the Moonshine!

Click here for Part 1 of our visit with Roger Clyne.

Visit Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers online now
Visit Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers online now

 

 

mex moonshine
Visit Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine online now

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Falling Under the Spell of Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine Tequila

On a frigid and damp Saturday night in November 2013, Roger Clyne, along with his band The Peacemakers, invited Tequila Aficionado Media to an intimate concert and tequila tasting at Billy’s Ice House in New Braunfels, TX, to talk music, heritage, and his tequila, Mexican Moonshine.

***

Hey, gringos, it could be worse…we did not get there first

Colt_Peacemaker

The Colt Single Action Army, also known as the Peacemaker, is considered a famous part of Americana. “The Gun That Won the West” was wielded by such action-oriented historical legends of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as Buffalo Bill Cody, Theodore Roosevelt, Judge Roy Bean, Pat Garrett and General George Patton.  It has also been the selected sidearm of Hollywood movies, preferred by everyone from John Wayne to Clint Eastwood in every single Dirty Harry film.  And in 2011, it was declared the official firearm of the state of Arizona. Arizona is also home to another piece of Americana–a guts and guitar driven, reggae and mariachi laced, roots based rock-n-roll band leyenda known as Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers.  Armed with expressive lyrics, evocative melodies and four part harmonies, these straight shooters have come to redefine the indie music landscape by being the first band to debut six consecutive albums in the Top Ten of Billboard Magazine’s Internet Sales chart. Along the way, Clyne has gathered a burgeoning cult following that rivals that of Sammy Hagar and Jimmy Buffet–both themselves very successful tequila front men.

I fell under the spell when I stumbled over the line…

The full line-up of Roger Clyne's Mexican Moonshine.

Many aficionados roll their eyes when news of another celebrity endorsed tequila hits the liquor store shelves.  But Roger Clyne came upon his admiration for agave spirits early in life as part of his Southwestern ranching heritage, predating even his love for writing music and performing.

Roger was first introduced to scotch as a teenager by his grandfather who would pour him a dram to “put hair on your chest.”  The taste of “dirty socks in mud” was tough to swallow, but it was his father’s sharing of bacanora, another agave distillate, that opened him up to the wonders of Mexican spirits, and in particular, tequila. Like most of us, Clyne cut his teeth by shooting cheap mixto tequila in college, then swearing off of it until the next opportunity to overindulge.  He was well into his studies (psychology and anthropology) at Arizona State University when he rediscovered that “bright, wonderful, elegant, lyrical taste” of tequila during an exchange program in Ensenada, Mexico, while following a troop of mariachis.

 

It’s surreal, sublime, manmade and divine…it’s the moonshine….

Lyrics on the shipping box of Roger Clyne's Mexican Moonshine.

Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine tequila was born in true outlaw fashion in 2004 during the famed Circus Mexicus music festival that takes place annually in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico (Rocky Point, for you ex-pats).

Check out the Circus Mexicus Lineup for 2014 here.

Circus Mexicus 2014.After that initial experience, Roger began scouting for factories to produce Mexican Moonshine, a journey that would even take him to the famed La Cofradía distillery (NOM 1137), the home of Casa Noble and Montejima tequilas.

He finally selected Fabrica de Tequilas Finos (NOM 1472) and forged a relationship with the distillery owner, Federico Cabo, and Master Distiller, Arturo Fuentes.  Together, the team first “dropped” Mexican Moonshine reposado onto the market in 2010, even though Clyne was advised against such commercial suicide due to historically poor sales of this expression.

Soak in the silvery light spillin’ out tonight from the moonshine…

 

In this clip, Roger pours and discusses Mexican Moonshine silver…

 

We’ll get a fine flow flowin’, a good glow goin’…

 

Believing that a reposado is the more definitive expression of tequila, Clyne was surprised when Master Distiller, Arturo Fuentes suggested that Mexican Moonshine be aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels.  Here, Roger explains further.

 

 

I got a healin’ home-brewed remedy, a low-brow therapy…

 

Award winning Mexican Moonshine añejo.

A Gold Medal winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2014, Mexican Moonshine añejo  was released in 2013 and is fast becoming Roger Clyne’s favorite expression, much to his chagrin.  In the following snippet, Roger breaks down its flavor profile.

 

Turn your back on all the deadlines…

 

On April 29, 2014, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers will unleash their seventh studio album, The Independent.  The title fits these musical mavericks like an old pair of faded jeans worn as a statement against oppression on Casual Fridays.   Yet, as Clyne states, “There’s something about our music that celebrates what’s uniting versus what’s dividing.”

independent
Click on the image to pre-order The Independent now (Release April 29, 2014).

Using this “Tequila Logic,” Roger Clyne has managed to do the same with Mexican Moonshine, gently hitching the spirit’s Lowland agave heritage to the wood notes of Kentucky bourbon to create a peacemaker that rightfully belongs in any collector’s arsenal.

Mexican Moonshine, Mexican Moonshine…Let your heart and your cup overflow, under the glow of the moonshine!  May your heart and your cup… Overflow…under the glow of the Moonshine!

See Part 2 of our visit with Roger Clyne here!

Visit Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers online now
Visit Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers online now

 

 

mex moonshine
Visit Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine online now

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Sammy Hagar Sells Out Completely to Campari!

Skyy Spirits is building on its recent growth spurt.

Skyy — the San Francisco-based North American base of operations for Italian parent Gruppo Campari — is looking to add at least six and staffers to its current roster of 92, including senior brand managers for its Wild Turkey bourbon and Cordials brands.

sammy hagar, cabo wabo tequilaIn June 2009, just after Campari made San Francisco its North American headquarters, Skyy had 62 staffers, most of them based in the city, with a small production facility in San Jose and a few workers in home offices.

Campari reported a 13.3 percent jump in U.S. sales for the six months ending June 30. In North and South America, where Campari generated 34 percent of total first-half revenue, sales skyrocketed 46 percent. Fifteen percent of that came from its acquisition of Wild Turkey and its Kentucky-based distillery in May 2009 from Pernod Ricard.

The company in late July signed a deal to acquire the remaining 20 percent minority stake in Cabo Wabo tequila it doesn’t already own from rock Hall of Famer Sammy Hagar. The price was $11 million (plus payment of $3 million over the next three years to the selling shareholder), said CEO Gerry Ruvo.

Skyy’s best-selling products include Skyy Vodka, Wild Turkey Bourbon, Skyy Infusions (vodkas infused with natural pineapple, ginger, citrus, passion fruit, grape, cherry and raspberry), Campari and Cabo Wabo Tequila.

In a statement, Ruvo attributed strong sales to the Wild Turkey acquisition, successful introductions of Infusions Ginger and Espolon Tequila and Skyy’s strength in off-premise sales, as opposed to sales in restaurants, where the recession’s impact has lingered. Comparisons to “relatively low” prior year numbers also helped, he said.

#tequilaville, justin timberlake, sauza, beam brandsSkyy’s original vodka, the No. 3 vodka brand nationally, fell behind rivals over last year, with sales slipping nearly 2 percent at retail outlets, while several competitors saw sales increase by about 5 percent, according to Chicago’s SymphonyIRI Group research firm. But its infused varieties saw significant growth.

Editor’s Note: For more information on rock stars and tequila, read our articles on Justin Timberlake and 901 Tequila.

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