The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2015

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Page 127 of 140

april 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  127 tequila report TASTING NOTES Avión Silver: Anything light, fresh and/or citrusy, such as a grilled fish with citrus sauce. Avión Reposado: Really lovely with meats that are grilled or barbeque spice—correlates beautifully with the smooth, spice notes. Avión Añejo: Pairs beautifully with dishes of depth and richness, including ragu and braised short ribs or any dish with hints of orange or cinnamon. Avión Espresso: Great with or in desserts. Bread pudding, chocolate truffles or espresso drinks with it inside. Avión Reserva 44: This expression is more about experience; with so much character, it stands as the perfect after dinner drink. PAIRING BEYOND THE TACO PERNOD RICARD USA Tequila Avión Taking Flight: Ken Austin, the founder of Tequila Avión (airplane in Spanish), saw—or in this case, tasted—a disconnect: He loved the taste of fresh agave, but he didn't love the taste of the tequilas on the market. To bridge this gap, Austin developed a process to keep the roasted flavor of the agave. This step—along with slow-roasting the plant for three days, removing a significant amount more of the heads and tails before crushing than other brands and a proprietary filtration system that removes alcoholic overtones without destroying any flavor components—produced a spirit that immediately caught the palates of tequila connoisseurs; these consumers knew exactly how agave was supposed to taste. Over the past six years, the market for premium tequilas has shifted; it's no longer just the aficionados that enjoy learning about the terroir and the ins-and-outs of agave's transformation. "We are finding that a lot of consumers are moving into tequila because they want something with more flavor," explains Jenna Fagnan, President at Tequila Avión. "Our followers truly span the gamut," which works out nicely, since their portfolio ensures that every customer can find something they enjoy, whether it's the Silver, which won World's Best Tasting Tequila and Best Unaged White Spirit at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition; the Reposado, aged for three times longer than the indus- try norm; the Añejo, aged for two years; Avión Espresso, a blend of Avión Silver and Italian espresso; or Reserva 44, aged for 43 months in oak barrels and one month in petite barrels. It gives a whole new mean- ing to ordering a flight at the bar—one that surely won't disappoint! Avion Silver Nose: Bright, shiny, crisp, clean agave, lime, jasmine, hazelnut Palate: brilliant clear tones; zippy lime zest dotted with salinity, sugar beets, pineapple Finish: Subtle floral tones persist along with a hint of lime and agave 96 —Meridith May Avion Reposado Nose: Mineral liveliness, chamomile, Brazil nuts, white flowers and tropical fruit Palate: Magnolia creaminess, spark of white pepper and a hint of sage; floral tones and tea leaves present a slightly bitter note that softens on the finish Finish: Butterscotch sweetness overtakes bitter tones, leaving palate ready for next sip 93 —M. M. Avion Añejo Nose: Enticing notes of chocolate cedar; orange and lime juice, maple and nutmeg Palate: Subtle oak interplays with citrus zestiness; stony minerality shines through a buffer of agave and cocoa Finish: Mineral-dry, elegant 95 —M. M. Avion Espresso Liqueur Nose: Expressive nose of sweetened coffee beans, mocha pudding, almond biscotti Palate: Slathers the mouth, painting the tongue with delicious sheets of coffee, tea tannins, orange zest and an echo of lavender Finish: A warm bath of espresso-orange 94 —M. M.

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