GSN Spirited News: May the 4th Be With You Edition

San Diego, California-based Cutwater Spirits, part of the Anheuser-Busch portfolio, is launching Cutwater Mezcal, its first foray into the mezcal category. The new entry is distilled from 100% Cenizo Agave. To ensure long-term sustainability of the agave supply, Cutwater will plant five baby agave plants for each plant harvested and is establishing an on-premise nursery to cultivate agave plants from seed. The first bottling of Cutwater Mezcal, released earlier this month, is a limited run available at select retailers. It’s at 45% abv and retails for $50 a 750-ml.

French import Citadelle Gin is introducing Jardin d’Été as a permanent addition to the portfolio. The new expression, whose name translates as Summer Garden, is made with the same 19 botanicals used in Citadelle’s flagship gin plus melon flesh, whole lemon, yuzu zest, and orange peel. The additions were inspired by a garden cultivated by Debbie Gabriel, wife of Citadelle founder Alexandre Gabriel, at Château de Bonbonnet, Citadelle’s base in southwest France. It is available now in the U.S., bottled at 41.5% abv and priced at $25 a 750-ml. Citadelle Gin is part of Maison Ferrand, which also produces Cognac Ferrand and Plantation Rum.

PaQui Tequila founder John Chappell has launched a new mezcal artesanal called Lejana y Sola. Made in Lachilà, Oaxaca from Espadin agave and wild Cuishe agave, Lejana y Sola retails at $60 a 750-ml. and is distributed in the New York, Florida, and California markets, with online availability reaching 40 states. The brand name translates to “Afar and Alone” and was inspired by the famous Federico Garcia Lorca poem, “Il Cancion del Jinete,” or “The Horseman’s Song.”

Prestige Beverage Group has introduced two new single malt Scotch whisky expressions from Tullibardine to the U.S. Tullibardine Artisan is a non-age-statement malt matured in ex-Bourbon barrels and bottled at 40%. It will retail for around $30 a 750-ml. The second new release is Tullibardine 12-year-old, a 40% abv whisky matured in first-fill Bourbon barrels, retailing for $45. Both whiskies will be available in 20 states across the U.S.

High West is introducing a limited edition of its Rendezvous Rye, featuring artwork from American artist Ed Mell, who’s renowned for his Western landscapes. This limited edition kicks off High West’s transition of the distillery’s flagship whiskey to a seasonal release. This first seasonal edition retails at $70 a 750-ml. and will be available nationwide by the end of May.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: PaQui Silvera Tequila

A top finding in PaQuí’s consumer research uncovered that while a lot of people love the idea of Tequila, they don’t actually love the actual liquid. So founder John Chappell found a master distiller in Jalisco, Mexico – the highly respected Gilberto Jasso — who knew a different way to make Tequila.

“I created PaQuí because I felt there had to be a better tasting Tequila – one that fully expresses the beautiful aromas and flavors of the blue agave fruit, without the harsh bite that is so common in Tequila,” said PaQuí founder John Chappell. “I wanted to create a Tequila that is a pure pleasure to sip and enjoy in cocktails.”

The word PaQuí means “to be happy” in the Aztec language, and the branding and liquid inside the bottle bring that emotion to life. The bottle design was inspired by an Aztec pyramid and the dancing Mexican warrior on the label in his headdress – but no weapon – inspires fun.

PaQuí Tequila stands out from other luxury Tequilas thanks to three key differentiators in the production process:

  • Only agave piñas that reach exactly 26 brix ripeness (sugar level) make the cut. These agave plants take seven or more years to mature; most mass production Tequilas are made with younger, less-ripe agave (as young as four years).
  • Fresh wine yeast – not airborne yeast – is used in the fermentation process, for control and consistency over the finished product. PaQuí also uses stainless steel fermentation tanks and pot stills to avoid “off” flavors.
  • A selective distillation process goes further than most major brands by separating the “heart” of the distillate to remove impurities that are harsh, bitter substances, allowing the pleasant aromas, fruit, minerals and soft texture to fully emerge.

PaQuí Silvera is unaged, PaQuí Reposado is aged for four months in ex-whisky barrels of American oak, and PaQuí Añejo is aged for 14 months in ex-whisky American oak barrels. Unlike its competitors, there is a great deal of restraint used in the oak aging, retaining the sweet agave fruit of the Silvera.

GSN’s Remarks: Fresh agave nose with a hint of oak. A wisp of smoke on the entry, with a burst of concentrated agave flavor. There is a lot of character to this spirit. Slightly sweet, but also dry; mildly spicy, but also vegetal. The flavor goes on for quite awhile, ending with a minimally tannic and bitter note. You’d swear that this had been aged in oak for at least a few months. This makes for a perfect sipper, but also a rare young tequila that will add a depth of flavor to your cocktails. One note of warning. The cap on the bottle has a sharp metal rim and is also somewhat difficult to remove. Take care when opening the bottle to avoid cutting your hand.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: PaQui Tequila