The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2014

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INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT Avión Releases Extra Añejo Tequila APPOINTMENTS M T equila Avión, the award-winning brand started by longtime spirits industry veteran Ken Austin in 2007 with the singular vision of producing, from scratch, the best agave spirit in the world, has just released its first extra añejo offering: Avión Reserva 44. Named for the number of months it spends in oak prior to bottling, Reserva 44 is the culmination of Austin's pursuit of taking Avión past the three traditional interpretations—silver, reposado and añejo—to create an ultra-premium tequila of unique drinkability, like a rare aged cognac or single malt scotch. "We wanted to make a sipping tequila that could stand up next to the finest spirits in the world," says Austin. Meticulously crafted in extremely small batches, Reserva 44 spends 43 months in used Jack Daniel's whiskey barrels before being transferred to "petite barrels" (Austin will not divulge the size) for another month before being bottled. Beautifully presented in a fire-polished crystal bottle nestled inside a hexagonal gold-trimmed display box, the initial run of 744 cases came to market in early December. "While we definitely consider the Reserva 44 to be a luxury item," adds Jenna Fagnan, President of Tequila Avión, "at the same time, we also wanted to make sure it was an 'affordable luxury.'" Avion Reserva 44 Extra Añejo is available in 750 ml. with a suggested retail price of $150. —David Ransom Pamela Heilmann. John Dougherty. Michael Many. Executive Chef Vincent Lesage. ichter's Distillery appointed Pamela Heilmann as Distiller and Vice President, Production. She comes with nearly 15 years of experience garnered at Beam Inc. Most recently she was Distillery Manager at the Booker Noe Distillery in Boston, Kentucky. "As an admirer of Michter's outstanding whiskies, I look forward to working with Master Distiller Willie Pratt to produce the most exceptional rye and bourbon on the market," Heilmann says. John Dougherty is now National Sales Director for Excelsior Wines. The appointment represents the first in a series of new initiatives and structural changes underway following the recent appointment of Marc Goodrich to serve as company President. Founded in 2011, Excelsior Wines is an independent importing, sales and marketing joint venture established between Concha y Toro and its former U.S. importer, Banfi Vintners. Excelsior has also appointed Michael Many to the post of Southeast Regional Manager. In his new capacity Many oversees five District Managers and a territory that comprises Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. He joins a team of five Regional Managers nationwide, reporting to National Sales Director John Dougherty. Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, CA has announced the appointment of Vincent Lesage as Executive Chef of the signature waterfront resort. Lesage joins Balboa Bay Resort after serving as Executive Sous Chef at St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point, CA. In his role, Lesage will oversee all of the resort's dining outlets, including First Cabin restaurant and Members Grill, Balboa Bay Club's membersonly restaurant. Lesage will also manage the resort's day-to-day culinary operations, including special events, galas and weddings. Accolade Wines has appointed experienced wine industry executive John Ratcliffe as its Chief Executive Officer. "I am delighted to be taking the helm of Accolade as it looks to implement its strategy of being the only company delivering a full service New World wine proposition globally across the three core price segments of value, mid-market and premium," states Ratcliffe. He will take up his appointment in February and will be spending his time in Accolade's major markets and travelling from bases in Australia and the U.K. 12  /  the tasting panel  / january 2014 TP0114_001-33.indd 12 12/19/13 9:23 PM

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