Beverage Dynamics

Beverage Dynamics May/June 2015

Beverage Dynamics is the largest national business magazine devoted exclusively to the needs of off-premise beverage alcohol retailers, from single liquor stores to big box chains, through coverage of the latest trends in wine, beer and spirits.

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Page 39 of 59

Tequila 40 Beverage Dynamics • May/June 2015 extracted juice is fermented, and during the process we introduce oxygen into the fermenting wash, a practice designed to make the yeast work more effi ciently. It also has the affect of giving the tequila a creamier, silkier textured body." The fermented juice — referred to as mosto — is distilled twice in the distillery's stainless steel stills with only a small portion of each run ac- tually making its way to a bottle. Snifter-worthy VIDA Tequila Añejo is matured for two years in light- ly-charred, French Lim- ousin oak barrels. The reposado is aged for six months in ex-Bourbon barrels, while the blanco is left unaged. Another newcomer is Campeón Te- quila 100% de Agave Azul, a popular brand produced at Tequila El Viejito in the eastern Highlands. After harvesting, the agaves are brought to the distillery where they are steam cooked in brick ovens at low temperatures, a practice that ensures the starches in the agaves are WHEN CELEBRITIES MAKE TEQUILA C elebrity-owned tequila brands are one of the fast- est-growing trends in one of the fastest-growing spirits categories, and in many respects, celebrities are the perfect brand owners. For one thing, they bring fame and fortune to the table. If they have viable thoughts on how the product should be produced, so much the better. But those closest to these brands insist that the celebs bring a passion for the spirit that's impossible to feign. A sterling example is Casamigos 100% Agave Tequila, the owners of which are George Clooney, restaurant mogul Rande Gerber, and Discovery Land Company CEO Michael Meldman. According to general manager and COO David Gimpelson, the tequila was initially intended for personal use and to be shared only with family and friends. "We set out to create the smoothest, best-tasting tequila, one with absolutely no burn," Gimpelson says. "George and Rande worked closely with the master distiller and held many blind tastings, until after five years the tequila was perfected." Sean "Diddy" Combs already owns a popular spirits brand — Ciroc Vodka — so recent news that he, along with spirits giant Diageo, purchased DeLeón 100% Agave Tequila surprised no one. But Combs has big plans for the tequila. In addition to the base brand, DeLeón Platinum, which sells for $60 per 750ml, there will also be an ultra-premium range and a luxury line—priced between $150 and $850— sourced from the distiller's private reserves. It seems as long as spirits play a role in the nightlife, there will be celebrities who want to invest some of their cash. BD fully metabolized into fermentable sugar. "Campeón is stylistically crafted to be fruit forward and soft on the pal- ate, highlighting the exceptional quality of our agaves," notes John Palatella, president of The Legacy Group, producer of Campeón Tequila. "Our most laud- able characteristic is the soft and subtle tannic structure of our tequila, which has no esopha- geal burn and balanced minerality." The range also i n c l u d e s C a m p e ó n R e p o s a d o , w h i c h is aged six to eight months in charred, American white oak barrels. The Campeón Añejo, which is barrel-aged for 16 to 18 months, makes it an excellent candidate for sipping after dinner. From the Ansan Distillery comes an ultra-premium blanco called Te- quila Baron Platinum 100% Puro de Agave. The savory blanco is produced from mature, 10-year-old agaves heavy with sugar. After fermen- tation, the wash is triple distilled in a traditional pot still. The tequila contains no additives or artifi cial fl avoring and is gluten-free. According to a company spokesman, Tequila Baron is able to achieve its clean taste without the use of glycerin or other additives. "The mature agaves are slowly cooked at low heat to assure the cara- melization of all their sugar. Pot still dis- tillation cooks off the volatiles and leaves only the heart of the distillation run. To assure consistency, a panel of experts sample each batch to confi rm it matches the desired taste profi le." The marketing propositions behind all-world El Luchador Organic Blanco 100% de Agave Tequila are crystal clear. The fi rst is that the single estate agaves used to make the tequila are USDA and EU certifi ed organic, meaning they were cultivated without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. The end result is a cleaner fi nished spirit. The second is that artisanal El Luchador Tequila is bottled at a lip-tin- gling 110 proof. Water is used to dilute most tequilas to 80 proof. So the less water used to dilute the tequila, the more fl avorful it will be. The fl avors in El Luchador are

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