One of my favorite highland anejo tequilas.
Notes: This is the oldest expression this company (so far at least). We have also reviewed the Blanco (the youngest expression) and slightly older Avion Reposado . This tequila is produced in the highlands (Los Altos), at the highest altitudes that you can find agaves (also where the most volcanic minerals can be found). This is the area where the most prized agaves grow and it certainly shows in this tequila.
Distilled in Jalisco, the heart of tequila country, this tequila differs in it’s production in a number of ways from a lot of other tequilas. First, of course, is the sourcing from the highlands, as I already stated, second is the use of hornitos (large traditional clay ovens) and the very slow roasting of the agaves (OK that may count as two), third the use of copper pot stills, (a vast majority of tequilas are distilled in stainless steel column steels), and their ultra slow filtration through charcoal. Fourth the aging for this anejo is twice the minimum aging requirement to qualify for that classification. All in all a unique if not almost singular approach to making a tequila.
Appearance: Lovely gold yellow, crystal clear , lovely body. On swirling, it leaves a very light coating on the glass which then forms some legs which then leave a constellation of droplets on the sides of the nosing glass. The color is a real resulting color from wood aging not caramel coloring fakery like those abominations called “gold” tequila.
First Impression: Like it’s younger siblings Anejo has a unmistakable aromatic hallmarks of a good highland tequila: brine, savory, some fruit, persimmon. In some ways it could almost be mistaken for a scotch with oddish notes to it (for a Scotch, that is).
Taste: Think of this as the single malt of tequila. Slightly oily start with a wonderful body. Sweetish with almost immediate drying to a peaty phenolic rush with oak, char and rambutans or longans (oriental fruits). The barrel it was aged in also adds a charming vanilla,oak and gobs of leather, tobacco and charcoal.The carmelization of the slow roasted agave yields lovely vanilla, oak and sweet maple like notes. Finish is medium long, deadly smooth with slightly sweet then drying citrus and savory ending, making reach for just one more (honest) taste.
Drinks: Actually very nice on its own in a proper Riedel Tequila tasting glass or similar high quality tasting glass. Far too good to shoot you miss all the good smells and flavors- Excellent margaritas, – and as we usually say in terms of instructions/recipe – be sure to use fresh juice and Grand Marnier – anything less would be an insult to the tequila and a waste. Other drinks we found you may want to go a bit lighter on sweet liqueurs or use drier alternative ingredients as you don’t want to lose the nuances of this tequila being masked by other ingredients.
Cigars: An Ashton, or Credo, or Fonseca, maduro or oscuro wrapper.
Bottle: Unlike a lot of the competition, Avion does not use a bubbly recycled glass but a clear heavy decanter bottomed bottle that is a delight to hold and pour with. Vaguely square with rounded angles, it fits the hand wonderfully and the indented rectangular panels on the side make for easy gripping even if your hands are wet or unsteady. Attractive multicolored but tasteful graphics are silkscreened directly on the bottle. Black neckwrap also denotes batch and bottle numbers along with distiller. Cork is a easy to grip wooden topped affair (also colored black like the neck wrap making it easy to distinguish) with a natural cork.
Certainly suitable presentation for a gift, it is overall a attractive and useful package highlighting a excellent tequila.
Final Thoughts: Delicious, smooth, one of the more complex and nuanced tequilas we have had. A touch sweeter (probably a result of the slow roasting) than most and more complex by a long shot.
Web site: http://tequilaavion.com/
Somewhat brief information with links to recipes and press articles. I really think they need to add more information on their processes and some photos of same to highlight this is not just another mass produced tequila- not at all.