The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2015

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Page 58 of 140

58  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2015 TEQUILA Y ou don't have to travel very far back in time to reach a period when tequila was considered a second-class citizen at the bar. In fact, when Jose "Pepe" Hermosillo started his brand, Casa Noble, in the 1990s, most consumers thought tequila belonged only in a shot glass or a Margarita. With his focus on quality every step of the way, one could easily consider Pepe's product far ahead of the artisanal spirits trend. "My family has been in the tequila business since the 1700s, and I wanted to create a new brand that represented my family's passion for tequila," notes Pepe. "We have two major philosophies that guide us: patience to do things right and care for every detail." Refusing to cut corners, Pepe and his team seek out the best flavor profiles when selecting the mature blue agave plants, cooking them in traditional stone ovens for 38 hours and utilizing 100 percent natural fermentation. Casa Noble also ages its Reposado and Añejo expressions for much longer than official age requirements call for: 364 days and two years respectively. On top of all of this careful effort, the distillery takes great lengths to reduce its carbon footprint—it has a USDA Organic Certification and was the first facility to get a green certification through the Mexican government. With all of these extra initiatives, educating bartenders and consum- ers becomes a crucial part to the success of a brand. "We want to go into depth when teaching about tequila," Pepe continues, "which is why we do so many tastings and have had so many people out to the distillery to see it for themselves." Seeing (and tasting) is believing, after all! Home Sweet Home Located in West Hollywood, CA, Toca Madera houses over 115 tequilas and mezcals at its bar. "Our consumers enjoy hearing a brand's story and small batch spirits," Juan Martinez, Head Bartender, explains. "We have a high- end, health-conscious clientele that asks for organic tequila, so naturally Casa Noble suits our establishment perfectly." The company's portfolio also fits beauti- fully into his seasonal, farm-to-glass cocktails—many of which are variations on Mexican classics. Juan Martinez, Head Bartender of Toca Madera in West Hollywood, CA, with his Paloma cocktail, featuring Casa Noble Crystal. Casa Noble's portfolio includes Crystal, Añejo and Reposado expressions. Paloma ◗ 2 oz. Casa Noble Crystal ◗ 1 oz. grapefruit juice ◗ ½ oz. lime juice ◗ ½ simple syrup ◗ Dash of Aperol ◗ Fresno chili ◗ Muddle Fresno chili. Shake and strain into a highball and top with soda. Garnish with a grapefruit twist. The Craft of Patience CASA NOBLE TEQUILA FOCUSES ON TRADITION AND CRAFT by Emily Coleman / photos by Cal Bingham

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