The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2010

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Page 92 of 116

OUR PANEL TASTeS blue Head: The Native Charmer Channeling the spirit of Mexico’s traditional and mystic past, Blue Head is an homage to the ancient people and culture of the region. With three differ- ent labels and vibrant packaging that’s sure to grab shelf space on any innovative backbar, Blue Head’s silver, reposado and añejo offerings deliver full, rich and bold flavors to ensure that this native spirit isn’t just another pretty face. Our Panel Votes: Blue Head Reposado (SRP $40) was our pick for its delicacy; laced with licorice, almonds, marshmallow and lemon notes we deemed it balanced and elegant. Nuanced, cinnamon-spiced Blue Head Añejo (SRP $45) drinks like a soft, smooth cognac; the spirit is aged up to 20 months in French cognac barrels as well as bourbon barrels and California white oak. Jose Leonardo Lopez and Jesse Carrigan of Blue Head Tequila. Azuñia: The Traditionalist There’s something to be said for overseeing production from planting to bottle, and Azuñia is a shining example of how good things come from playing close attention. Outside the small town of Amatitán, Sergio Zuñiga and his family have been maintaining and overseeing these rich red growing fields—the perfect grow- ing climate for Weber blue agave— for generations, and Zuñiga’s watchful eye provides a level of quality control that’s hard to beat. After natural fermentation, double distillation for purity and a final filtration to ensure luxurious smoothness, Azuñia’s platinum, reposado and añejo tequilas are bottled in beautiful etched-glass bottles that pay homage to the tradition of the land and the sacred agave “We plan to bring fun back to the business of tequila,” says Kirk Gaither, President of importing company IntersectBeverage. Our Panel Votes: Azuñia Blanco (SRP $43) preaches mint, earth and winter spice and packs a bit of heat; the lush Azuñia Reposado (SRP $50) is nutty and tropical with a toasty nose and palate.; imported by IntersectBeverage Certified organic Azuñia Blanco is cooked in clay ovens for 36 hours, with three pressings of the piñas. The reposado and añejo are cooked in stainless steel autoclaves. 92 / the tasting panel / april 2010

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