20 Reasons Why USA Today’s Craft Tequilas List Failed

Let’s Review…

In a previous post, I enumerated my reasons for  dreading my participation in USA Today’s 10 Best Craft Tequila list.

In my experience, something inevitably goes awry with these sorts of “listicles,” and it usually starts with the editor.

Contrary to the galloping propaganda disseminated by some press releases, there were no additional USA Today editors involved in accumulating the original list of twenty craft tequilas.  Only the recruited “experts” were involved.

This time around, I blame the curator of these lists whose job it is to engage USA Today’s readership, which in turn leads to its increased ad revenue.

Now that the excitement has died down, it’s time to assess the damage done by deliberately withheld facts, and to clear the air of unbridled misinformation.

The Top 20 Reasons Why USA Today’s Top 10 Craft Tequila List

Sucks

[Caution:  Rants Ahead]

20 Reasons Why USA Today's Craft Tequilas List Failed http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4BW

1.  Lack of Respect.

When someone asks you to accrue a list on your area of expertise, you, as the curator, must assume that that person takes this task very seriously, especially since you’ve taken the time to background check the expert who is going to help you get PAID.

2.  Lack of Communication.

When this expert communicates questions to you via email or phone, be aware that this person expects a timely answer, especially when YOU have asked him for his list by a certain deadline.

3.  Lack of Trust.

When you deliberately avoid answering questions about who else is involved in

20 Reasons Why USA Today's Craft Tequilas List Failed http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4BW

accruing a list for you, you immediately raise suspicion.

As with most “industry experts,” we tend to know one another.  In this instance, we could have worked in tandem to come up with a more complete list.

4.  Lack of Respect for Relationships.

You must also assume that the expert not only admires those items on his list, but personally knows each producer of those items and has forged lasting relationships with them over the years.

5.  More Lack of Respect for Relationships.

Because of these relationships, you must assume the expert is also highly regarded by those craft producers that he has included on his list.

6.  Lack of Understanding the Craft Segment.

By virtue of being craft distillers, you must understand that they are not made of money like the Big Boys.  These guys literally live by their shoestrings.

20 Reasons Why USA Today's Craft Tequilas List Failed http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4BW

7.  Lack of Transparency.

Total and complete transparency when communicating with your experts is vital.  Explaining what opportunities and hidden fees await the winners is of utmost importance as that intelligence could alter the final list.

8.  Lack of Vergüenza (shame).

Where the HELL do you get off asking the winners for money for the licensing rights to use your seals, medals and trophies?

9.  Lack of Seriousness.

Do you realize that you are asking for similar fees by more respected and reputable spirits judging contests like the San Francisco World Spirits Competition or the SIP Awards?

20 Reasons Why USA Today's Craft Tequilas List Failed http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4BW10.  Lack of Consideration.

Do you see that this lack of transparency on your part on behalf of USA Today could possibly put the expert’s friendships and reputation at risk?

11.  Lack of Realistic Expectations.

Do you really believe that these craft brands will fork over money for a meaningless popularity contest–for bragging rights?

12.  Underestimating the Brands.

How stupid do you think they (or we, the judges) are?

13.  Concealment of True Intentions.

Do you get that we understand that these contests you curate for USA Today are only to generate reader engagement which in turn determines your pricing to advertisers?

14.  Greediness.

Double dip, much?

20 Reasons Why USA Today's Craft Tequilas List Failed http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4BW

15.  Conscious Collateral Damage.

Do you catch on that the winning and losing brands on this list probably now believe that the experts knew about the additional costs to the winners but chose not to divulge this information to them?

16.  Lack of Good Faith.

Most all professionally held beer, wine and spirits competitions openly inform participants of additional licensing costs to the winners.  YOU deliberately chose to keep this information from your experts.

17.  Elimination Due to Perceived Lack of Relevance.

Was it fair for you to eliminate those craft tequila brands because they had little or no social media presence?

18.  Lack of Foresight on Your Part.20 Reasons Why USA Today's Craft Tequilas List Failed http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4BW

Bet you didn’t see that one coming, huh?

19.  Naïveté On My Part.

I only reluctantly became involved to help promote these deserving craft tequila brands.

20.  Underhandedness.

Thanks for cheapening the craft tequila segment.

 

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Congratulations to the 2015 Sip Award Winners

NEWPORT BEACH, California, June 30TH 2015 – Eighty seven consumer spirit enthusiasts gathered at the waterfront Balboa Bay Resort on May 31, 2015 to participate in the 7th annual consumer based spirits competition. The 2015 SIP Awards comprised of 423 brands from all over the globe competing for rank at the impartial mercy of consumer based blind-tasting.

route 66, sip awardThe 2015 SIP Awards was a battle among the elite in each of the world’s most popular Spirit categories. Each chilled, undiluted sample was presented to Judges in NEAT glasses, scientifically engineered to deliver an enhanced consistent tasting experience.

Tequilas, Gins, Rums, Whiskeys, Cognacs, Vodkas and Liqueurs were some of the participating spirits this year, each graded on Aroma, Taste, and Finish.

sip award

The 2015 top rated brands included these agave spirits:

Platinum – “Best of Class”

El Jimador Blanco
DECADA Tequila
El Tesoro Reposado
El Mayor Anejo
Zignum Mezcal Anejo

Platinum Winners

Malinalli Tequila, sip award

Route 66 Tequila
El Mayor Reposado
Tarantula 100 Reposado
Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila
Herradura Anejo
Agave 99 Anejo
Malinalli Extra Anejo
Zignum Mezcal Reposado
AGA-VIE Esprit D’Agave

Design

DECADA Tequila
Kah Tequila Series
(For a complete list of the categories, winners, and photos from the event, visit: www.sipawards.com)

Staying true to the commitment to provide the most reliable measure of international beverage quality ratings, every year’s Judges are every-day spirit consumers and extensively screened to ensure no affiliation with marketing, wholesalers or distributors tied to the spirits industry.  “People deserve the highest quality spirits at their fingertips. I want to level the playing field by stripping away the hype to provide quality brands a fair platform on which to compete.” Says Paul Hashemi, founder of SIP Awards.

kahAwards include Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Best of Class for each category. The newest award introduced in 2014, is the Consumers’ Choice Award, which honors a brand’s unwavering commitment to their Legacy, Craft and to the ever important Consumer Palate, by placing in the SIP Awards two or more consecutive years.

The SIP Awards has experienced exponential growth within each of its 15 beverage categories. The increasing number of participating brands reflects SIP’s ability to provide spirit makers a valuable, unbiased and exciting opportunity to distinguish themselves in the industry.  It has also shined light on the obvious need in the marketplace for its honest arbitration.

About SIP Awards

Catering to the opinions and palates of the discerning public, the SIP Awards present a unique, spirit judging competition, unaffected by industry bias. This pragmatic and refreshing model of evaluation provides an honest stage for feedback and recognition where top brands showcase their achievements. To learn more about the SIP Awards beverage competition, venue partnerships, or for a complete list of 2015 winners, visit www.SIPAwards.com.

Download the Sip Awards Press Release here sipawards2015pr

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Embajador Proclaimed Tequila Producer of the Year!

Bestowed Gold and Silver Awards at the First Annual Bar Business Spirits Competition

embajador, tequila, producer of the year, bar business magazineFor Immediate Release!

September 9, 2015, Austin, TX:  On August 16, 2015, at the First Annual Bar Biz Spirits Competition held during the Texas Bar & Nightclub Alliance Convention, Embajador Tequila was named Tequila Producer of the Year, capturing a gold medal for Embajador Premium Reposado, and garnering a silver medal for Embajador Supreme Añejo.

“We are thrilled, excited and proud to be recognized as ‘Tequila Producer of the Year’ by BarBiz Magazine,” beamed Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager and family member of Embajador.  “Our commitment as brand owners to our consumers, the industry and ourselves is that we will not cut corners or change how we produce Embajador Tequila.”

Reiterating the family’s mission of building a legacy, Garcia added, “Our goal is to have this same award winning tequila flavor profile and aroma for generations to come.”

The First Annual Bar Biz Spirits Competition was organized by the editorial and publishing staff of Bar Biz Magazine.  Almost 100 spirits and mixers were judged by an expert panel of trade buyers, rating the liquid by its category and actual retail price.
Within these criteria, Embajador Premium Reposado seized a gold medal while Embajador Supreme Añejo secured a silver prize.

“It is a privilege and an honor to have earned these medals,” declared Garcia.  “Quality over quantity has been our motto.  These awards symbolize what we as a family successfully accomplish–crafting quality tequila.”

 

Embajador is no stranger to brilliant accolades within the tequila category of the spirits industry.  In 2014 alone, it was voted gold and silver medallions at the famed Spirits of Mexico, as well as platinum, silver and bronze medals at the prestigious SIP Awards, both taking place in California.

The First Annual Bar Biz Spirits Competition followed a strict code for blind tastings.  The judges granted no awards to spirits that they themselves would not import, distribute, buy or sell in their own businesses and within the price categories.

“Thank you to BarBiz Magazine, and to all those involved for such amazing recognitions,” concluded Andres Gacia.

“We are striving to see Embajador Tequila reach national distribution so that we may all celebrate the arrival of the Ambassador!”

***

Add multi-award winning Embajador Tequila to your spirits portfolio, now! Contact Regional Sales Manager Andres Garcia at andres@embajadortequila.com, or call 469-216-0567.

 

embajador, tequila, producer of the year, bar business magazine

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Embajador Tequila Conquers California At Spirits of Mexico!

Captures gold and silver medals across contest categories…

Embajador, reposado, spirits of mexico, tequila, tequila aficionado, anejoSeptember 29, 2014, Del Mar, CAEmbajador Tequila Supreme añejo was awarded a gold medal from the longest running Mexican spirits competition in North America, the Spirits of Mexico.  A panel of judges with over 300 years of experience between them also voted both Embajador Tequila Platinum Blanco and Embajador Premium Reposado coveted silver medals.  The blind tasting took place on August 25-26, 2014 at the popular Hacienda Hotel in Old Town San Diego with the results announced yesterday during a special ceremony at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Hailing from the famed blue agave growing region of Atotonilco in the highlands of Jalisco, the family owned Embajador Tequila stunned the Spirits of Mexico competition by capturing the gold medal in the añejo category.

“We feel like sweepstakes winners!” exclaimed an overjoyed Andres Garcia, Embajador’s Regional Sales Manager.  “Taking the gold medal for our anejo at the Spirits of Mexico tasting competition is breathtaking.”

And just like their global brand ambassadors, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, one of the hottest mariachi troops in Mexico, Embajador tequila swaggered into the blanco and reposado segments of the competition and claimed twin silver honors.

“We are ecstatic over winning two silver medals for our reposado and blanco, too,” added Garcia.  “We’re extremely proud of the consistency in Embajador’s flavor profile and quality.”

The Embajador family is adamant about crafting superlative and distinguished tequila.

Embajador, reposado, spirits of mexico, tequila, tequila aficionado, platinum, blancoIt uses only its own estate grown 100% blue weber agave that is carefully tended for 8-10 years.  Baked in an adobe oven, the piñas are shredded using water from the distillery’s own aquifer, and then fermented from 3-5 days.  After double distillation, the luminous Platinum expression is rested 40 days in stainless steel vats to ensure a complete balance of character.

The captivating Embajador Premium Reposado is rested for a period of eight months in American and French Oak barrels, while the gold medal winning Supreme Añejo is aged with devotion for one year and six months in American and French Oak barrels.

This has been a year filled with accolades for the small batched Embajador tequila.  In April, it racked up a glimmering platinum title at the prestigious SIP Awards, while their other expressions garnered silver and bronze prizes, as well.

Embajador, reposado, spirits of mexico, tequila, tequila aficionado“Getting these esteemed awards is a symbol of our family’s determination, commitment and dedication to producing high caliber tequila,” said Garcia, “and that’s the better part of winning.”

Entering tasting competitions and gaining recognition for accumulating awards is only part of Embajador’s strategy to grow the brand.

“Acquiring the gold and silver medals provides us and our distributor sales team with a tequila that we can be proud to stand behind and be assured it’s top-notch juice,” explained Garcia.

“These trophies are great sales and marketing tools that give us the opportunity to present Embajador to any retail buyer and be confident that it will add value to their premium tequila shelf selection,” he described.

“We plan on celebrating these awards with a big ‘Thank You’ to all the people behind the scenes that made Embajador Tequila what it is today,” continued Andres.  “We value their hard work, long hours and integrity.”SOM-logo

Gratefully, he added, “Thank you Spirits of Mexico for celebrating and acknowledging this noble spirit.”

Not accustomed to sitting on their laurels, Andres Garcia admitted, “We plan on commemorating this triumph by popping a few bottles of Embajador Tequila.  Salúd!”

***

Distributors/Vendors:  Contact Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager, to discuss the benefits of adding Spirits of Mexico gold medal winner Embajador Tequila to your portfolio at andres@embajadortequila.com.  More details on Embajador Tequila on their website here.  To learn more about the Spirits of Mexico, click here.  Spirits Writers:  For an in-depth interview with Andres Garcia, call 469-216-0567.  Hurry–slots are filling up fast!

 

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Announcing the Triumphant Arrival of Tequila Embajador

Embajador Premium Reposado tequila takes Platinum prize from among 403 entries at the prestigious SIP Awards…

sip award, embajador, tequila

st. regis, sip award, embajador(Press release)

Austin, TX–On April 27, 2014, at the luxurious St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, CA, a 100 member panel of judges voted Embajador Premium Reposado tequila a Platinum prize at the 6th annual SIP AwardsEmbajador Tequila Platinum blanco also received a Silver medal while Embajador Tequila Supreme añejo scored the Bronze.

embajador, tequila, sip award“Winning the Platinum SIP award for our Embajador Premium Reposado expression is truly an honor,” beams Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager for the family owned brand.  “We are super excited to be recognized and to be mentioned in this category alongside some of the most respected brands in the industry.”

The family estate and distillery of Tequila Embajador is nestled in Atotonilco, in the highlands of Jalisco, the same region made famous by such legendary producers as Don Julio and Siete Leguas.  Those same values that created these mythic tequilas are the exact ones that drive Embajador to perfection.

embajador, tequila, sip award“We are a family who is motivated and inspired by the idea of crafting superior quality and distinguished Tequila.  Embajador is produced in small batches to focus on the brand’s consistency and quality principles,” states the Embajador website.

“Our family motto has been ‘quality over quantity,'” continues Garcia.  “This is about giving this noble spirit the time honored respect it demands and that we do every step of the way–with honor.”

embajador, tequila, sip awards, agaveTrue to their word, Embajador uses only their own estate grown 100% blue weber agave that is carefully tended for 8-10 years.  Baked in an adobe oven, the piñas are shredded using water from the distillery’s own aquifer, and then fermented from 3-5 days.  After double distillation, the luminous Platinum expression is rested 40 days in stainless steel vats to ensure a complete balance of character.

The SIP Platinum award winning Embajador Premium Reposado is rested for a period of eight months in American and French Oak barrels, while Embajador’s Supreme Añejo is aged with devotion for one year and six months in American and French Oak barrels.

 

 

Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, embajador, sip award, tequilaThe Embajador family is so serious about presenting the soul of Tequila to the rest of the world, and being true ambassadors, that they have partnered with Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, one of the hottest mariachi groups in Mexico.  As they travel globally, these talented mariachis bestow special bottles of Embajador (ambassador, in Spanish) to foreign dignitaries at each Mexican embassy they visit.

“We are building more than just a brand,” explains Garcia.  “We are creating a legacy that is focused on producing quality Tequila.”

Not only is the Platinum SIP award winning Embajador reposado fast becoming a favorite with mixologists, but all of the expressions are cocktail ready.  Embajador tequila signature cocktails are featured prominently on the brand’s website and correspond to the level of the consumers’ experience in crafting cocktails at home.

Have fun concocting poppers, lucious margaritas, and even Fluffy’s Chock-lit-D’lite, a whimsical drink inspired and dedicated to popular Latino stand-up comic, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, himself a fan of Embajador tequila.

fluffy, tequila, chocolate, embajador“The Embajador Tequila family, along with everyone involved, felt a high degree of honor, accomplishment and excitement because each person’s hard work and vision in producing a quality juice came to be recognized at the SIP awards,” admits Garcia.

“After all,” he concludes, “Tequila is Mexico and we are proud to be one of its Ambassadors.”

***

Distributors/Vendors:  Contact Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager, to discuss the benefits of adding SIP award winning Embajador Tequila to your portfolio at andres@embajadortequila.com.  More details on Embajador Tequila on their website here.  To learn more about the SIP awards, click here.  Spirits Writers:  For an in-depth interview with Andres Garcia, dial 469-216-0567.  Hurry–slots are filling up fast!

 

 
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Embajador Tequila–Building a Legacy

embajador tequila, tequila aficionado, tequila

After a tiring day of meetings and visiting key accounts in Austin, TX, Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager for family owned Embajador Tequila, was kind enough to visit with us in our San Antonio offices of Tequila Aficionado Media.  Over pizza and pours of Embajador reposado, Andres shared some insights into the SIP Award winning tequila brand.

We Are Family

In this clip, Andres tells how he and his wife, Esmeralda, first became involved with the estate grown Embajador tequila, as well as some of the symbolism depicted on the bottle.

Shortly after their return from Mexico, Andres continued his preparation by seeking guidance from his father on Embajador’s flavor profile and potential in the tequila market.

Continuing Education is Key

Relentless in his pursuit of proper preparation, Andres discusses the value of continuing education.  He also reveals that by working with famed Maestra Tequilera, Ana Maria Romero Mena, he has improved his tasting techniques in the field, and has amped up his appreciation for the entire tequila process.

The Pride of Telling Your Story

In this clip, Andres admits his passion for the family brand and why he prefers to conduct his own event tastings.

In this snippet, Andres shares how he separates Embajador tequila from the rest of the pack when visiting potential customers.

Slow And Steady

A handful of well known brands already come from the distillery (NOM 1509), but Andres has no illusions of what it will take to make its flagship Embajador tequila successful.

Savvy Guerilla Marketing

Andres & Esmeralda  with FluffyAside from entering carefully selected tasting competitions like the SIP Awards, Andres has also sought unique ways to help promote Embajador.

Embajador tequila signature cocktails are featured prominently on the brand’s website including a whimsical drink inspired by and dedicated to popular Latino stand-up comic, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, himself a fan of Embajador.

Mariachi Nuevo TecalitlanThe family has also partnered with Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan one of the hottest mariachi groups in Mexico.  As they travel globally, these talented mariachis bestow special bottles of Embajador (ambassador, in Spanish) to foreign dignitaries at each Mexican embassy they visit.

Additionally, understanding the value in being a start up company, Embajador was a sponsor of the female led indy film Salt, Liquor, Lime in which they received prominent product placement.

Here, Andres relates the extent of the family’s long term commitment even in the midst of the current agave shortage, as well as a scoop on an upcoming release to its line of award winning expressions. [Spoiler Alert!]

 Not To Go Wide, But To Go Deep

Andres Garcia expresses the family’s philosophy on the future of Embajador tequila.

It’s obvious that the family is building more than just a brand.  They are creating a legacy that is focused on producing quality tequila.

“After all,” concludes Andres Garcia, “tequila is Mexico and we are proud to be one of its Ambassadors.”

Follow Embajador Tequila Online

WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterestInstagramTumblr – YouTube

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How to Get Paid to Drink Tequila:

How you can turn your passion into profits and get paid to drink tequila as a blogger, vlogger, podcaster or author

 

Salud!!