The SOMM Journal

April / May 2016

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Page 98 of 108

WHILE TECHNOLOGY HAS MADE OUR LIVES BETTER in countless ways, it has done nothing to improve the process of making tequila. With few exceptions, those who employ the traditional methods continue to produce the most flavorful and highest quality tequila. Such is the working philosophy behind ultra-suave Pasote 100% Agave Tequila. Guaranteed, no shortcuts were taken when making these noble tequilas. They are crafted in small batches by a third-generation Master Tequilero in Jesús María, Jalisco. After harvesting, the agaves are steam roasted in custom- built ovens to ensure even cooking. The sugar-rich juice is then extracted from the baked agaves and transferred to vats where it is slowly fermented. The final step involves double-distilling the fermented wash with pure rain - water in copper pot stills. Each expression is bottled at 40% alcohol (80 proof). "These magnificent, handmade tequilas deserve to be first sipped neat and at room temperature. You owe it to yourself to taste them in their pure state," states August Sebastiani, President of 3 Badge Beverage Corporation, a wine and spirits negociant based in Sonoma, CA. "That said, the brand has been extremely well received by bartenders and mixologists around the country. They're featuring Pasote Tequila in new, creative craft cocktails and mixed drinks. In the final analysis though, fine tequilas are meant to be savored and thoroughly enjoyed. So drink them any manner you want." Unadulterated by the effects of barrel aging, Pasote Blanco Tequila (SRP $49) is a sophisticated spirit and a good indicator of the artistic capabilities of the Master Distiller. It also rewards agave lovers with the essence of the plant itself. The blanco has ideal clarity, a soft, lush body and a generous her - baceous, white pepper and spice bouquet. Its aromatics are extraordinarily alluring, exactly the kind of enticement you expect for your money. The pal - ate is a mélange of citrus, pepper and baked agave flavors. A more charming and elegant blanco tequila you will not find. A dedicated portion of each small batch is taken off the still and immedi - ately put into casks for maturation. The Pasote Reposado Tequila (SRP $59) is aged in charred, American white oak barrels for a minimum of six months. During its stay in oak, the tequila develops a golden appearance just a shade lighter than the Añejo, a velvety, medium-weight body and a nose laced with the aromas of flora, black cherries, cinnamon, tropical fruit and toasted oak. The tequila has a warm, peppery entry that quickly bathes the palate with dry, slightly smoky flavors. The spice and fruit return on the lingering finish. Reposado fans will rejoice in its lusciousness. The elder statesman of the range is Pasote Añejo Tequila (SRP $69). It is aged in French Limousin oak barrels for at least 18 months. This luxuri - A Passion for Tequila ROBERT PLOTKIN DISCOVERS A PALATABLE PLEASURE IN PASOTE 98 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } APRIL/MAY 2016 { fine spirits }

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