It's simply amazing how much tequila is being produced these days. A few posts back I wrote about the Charbay tequila and, in doing so, I vented about my displeasure with many of these new endeavors. Literally once a day I receive a phone call, walk-in visit, or an email about a new brand of tequila that I "need" to know about. If you think you're overwelmed when you look at all the new bottles on our shelves, imagine how I feel! However, my job is to taste them and separate the wheat from the chaff.
Three new bottles will be in stores by the end of tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited. Espolón tequila won the gold at the SF Spirits competition in 2006 and seemed to be on the right track foward, but their bottle was supremely ugly and they couldn't seem to get good placement in the market, so they eventually got dropped and it was soon gone from our stores. They've now been picked up by Skyy and have revamped their bottle with an ultra-cool "Dia de los Muertos" style mural, which immediately catches the eye. The price tag is more than reasonable, so that's two for two. If you actually get around to tasting the tequilas, then you're going to experience the ultimate trifecta in the spirits world: package, price, quality. Both the blanco and the reposado are $22.99 and extremely good for the price. I'm super excited about their potential as I think true fans are going to really like them. They have a softer mouthfeel, but they never sacrifice spice for smoothness.
Also in a beautiful package is the Los Azulejos Añejo, which does us the lovely service of giving the market an añejo that isn't an over-oaked, vanilla-infused, single malt substitute. It spends 18 months in new French oak, yet still powers through with white pepper and baking spice. The textures are soft and gentle, but the flavor is traditional.
What a great time to be a tequila fan. There are more options than ever before and it looks like we'll have to expand our shelves once again.