Bestowed Gold and Silver Awards at the First Annual Bar Business Spirits Competition
For Immediate Release!
September ,2015, Austin, TX: On August 16, 2015, at the First Annual Bar Biz Spirits Competition held during the Texas Bar & Nightclub Alliance Convention, Embajador Tequila was named Tequila Producer of the Year, capturing a gold medal for Embajador Premium Reposado, and garnering a silver medal for Embajador Supreme Añejo.
“We are thrilled, excited and proud to be recognized as ‘Tequila Producer of the Year’ by BarBiz Magazine,” beamed Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager and family member of Embajador. “Our commitment as brand owners to our consumers, the industry and ourselves is that we will not cut corners or change how we produce Embajador Tequila.”
Reiterating the family’s mission of building a legacy, Garcia added, “Our goal is to have this same award winning tequila flavor profile and aroma for generations to come.”
The First Annual Bar Biz Spirits Competition was organized by the editorial and publishing staff of Bar Biz Magazine. Almost 100 spirits and mixers were judged by an expert panel of trade buyers, rating the liquid by its category and actual retail price.
Within these criteria, Embajador Premium Reposado seized a gold medal while Embajador Supreme Añejo secured a silver prize.
"It is a privilege and an honor to have earned these medals,” declared Garcia. “Quality over quantity has been our motto. These awards symbolize what we as a family successfully accomplish--crafting quality tequila.”
Embajador is no stranger to brilliant accolades within the tequila category of the spirits industry. In 2014 alone, it was voted gold and silver medallions at the famed Spirits of Mexico, as well as platinum, silver and bronze medals at the prestigious SIP Awards, both taking place in California.
The First Annual Bar Biz Spirits Competition followed a strict code for blind tastings. The judges granted no awards to spirits that they themselves would not import, distribute, buy or sell in their own businesses and within the price categories.
“Thank you to BarBiz Magazine, and all those involved for such amazing recognitions,” concluded Andres Gacia.
“We are striving to see Embajador Tequila reach national distribution so that we may all celebrate the arrival of the Ambassador!”
Add multi-award winning Embajador Tequila to your spirits portfolio, now! Contact Regional Sales Manager Andres Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 469-216-0567.
Captures gold and silver medals across contest categories...For Immediate Release!
September 29, 2014, Del Mar, CA--Embajador Tequila Supreme añejo was awarded a gold medal from the longest running Mexican spirits competition in North America, the Spirits of Mexico. A panel of judges with over 300 years of experience between them also voted both Embajador Tequila Platinum Blanco and Embajador Premium Reposado coveted silver medals. The blind tasting took place on August 25-26, 2014 at the popular Hacienda Hotel in Old Town San Diego with the results announced yesterday during a special ceremony at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Hailing from the famed blue agave growing region of Atotonilco in the highlands of Jalisco, the family owned Embajador tequila stunned the Spirits of Mexico competition by capturing the gold medal in the añejo category.
"We feel like sweepstakes winners!" exclaimed an overjoyed Andres Garcia, Embajador's Regional Sales Manager. "Taking the gold medal for our anejo at the Spirits of Mexico tasting competition is breathtaking."
And just like their global brand ambassadors, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, one of the hottest mariachi troops in Mexico, Embajador tequila swaggered into the blanco and reposado segments of the competition and claimed twin silver honors.
"We are ecstatic over winning two silver medals for our reposado and blanco, too," added Garcia. "We're extremely proud of the consistency in Embajador's flavor profile and quality."
The Embajador family is adamant about crafting superlative and distinguished tequila.
It uses only its own estate grown 100% blue weber agave that is carefully tended for 8-10 years. Baked in an adobe oven, the piñas are shredded using water from the distillery's own aquifer, and then fermented from 3-5 days. After double distillation, the luminous Platinum expression is rested 40 days in stainless steel vats to ensure a complete balance of character.
The captivating Embajador Premium Reposado is rested for a period of eight months in American and French Oak barrels, while the gold medal winning Supreme Añejo is aged with devotion for one year and six months in American and French Oak barrels.
This has been a year filled with accolades for the small batched Embajador tequila. In April, it racked up a glimmering platinum title at the prestigious SIP Awards, while their other expressions garnered silver and bronze prizes, as well.
"Getting these esteemed awards is a symbol of our family's determination, commitment and dedication to producing high caliber tequila," said Garcia, "and that's the better part of winning."
Entering tasting competitions and gaining recognition for accumulating awards is only part of Embajador's strategy to grow the brand.
"Acquiring the gold and silver medals provides us and our distributor sales team with a tequila that we can be proud to stand behind and be assured it's top-notch juice," explained Garcia.
"These trophies are great sales and marketing tools that give us the opportunity to present Embajador to any retail buyer and be confident that it will add value to their premium tequila shelf selection," he described.
"We plan on celebrating these awards with a big 'Thank You' to all the people behind the scenes that made Embajador Tequila what it is today," continued Andres. "We value their hard work, long hours and integrity."
Gratefully, he added, "Thank you Spirits of Mexico for celebrating and acknowledging this noble spirit."
Not accustomed to sitting on their laurels, Andres Garcia admitted, "We plan on commemorating this triumph by popping open a few bottles of Embajador Tequila. Salúd!"
Distributors/Vendors: Contact Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager, to discuss the benefits of adding Spirits of Mexico gold medal winner Embajador Tequila to your portfolio at email@example.com. More details on Embajador Tequila on their website here. To learn more about the Spirits of Mexico, click here. Spirits Writers: For an in-depth interview with Andres Garcia, call 469-216-0567. Hurry--slots are filling up fast!
The Best New Tequilas
You May Not Have Heard Of...Yet
In Mexico, they’re referred to as Tequila Puro, while the United States we know them as 100% agave tequilas. The first sip of these luxurious spirits quickly reveals why they’ve captured the imagination of the American drinking public. They are so flavorful that you’re left with the unmistakable impression that this is how tequilas are meant to taste.
These are the best of times for tequila. Demand for the spirit has caused the category to expand another 3.9% in volume in 2013 with all of the growth attributable to the high-end, super-premium segments of the market (those with a retail price above $22), this according to the 2014 Technomic’s Adult Beverage Resource.
The differences between brands of 100% agave tequilas are years in the making. From cultivating agaves to the un-barreling an añejo, the production cycle can easily exceed 12 years. It is a time-honored process, one in which every decision made along the way ultimately will impact the tequila.
Nothing breeds success like success and tequila continues to be an impressive success story. The past year or so has seen the introduction of a bevy of new brands. We’ve culled through the lot and selected our 12 favorites, each a triumph of style and craftsmanship.
• 1519 — One sip and you’ll wonder where this tequila has been all your life. It’s made at Agave Conquista [NOM 1577] in Guadalajara, one of the industry’s newest and most impressive distilleries. Not only are the agaves used in production USDA certified organic, but the entire production process has earned the same designation, the first and only company to obtain 100% organic certification.
While the brand’s barrel-aged expressions are sensational, the 1519 Blanco 100% Puro de Agave is perhaps the best gauge of the master distiller’s talents and the distillery’s state-of-the- art capabilities. The blanco has a generous floral and herbaceous nose and a citrus, herbal and profoundly spicy palate. The finish is thoroughly satisfying.
“The 1519 Tequilas are things of beauty,” says Mark Levinson, president of importer A. Hardy USA Ltd. “The distillery is immaculately clean, and although the equipment is of modern design, the process used to craft our tequilas is artisanal in approach.”
• AHA YETO — The agaves used to make Aha Yeto Tequila 100% Blue Agave are cultivated in the high altitude of Arandas. After harvesting they are brought to Grupo Tequilero de Los Altos [NOM 1548] where the agaves are baked in brick ovens, shredded, and the extracted juice and the plant’s fibers are transferred to large wooden vats. There the juice is fermented using naturally occurring yeast and then twice distilled in a copper pot still.
Bottled fresh from the still, Aha Yeto Blanco is spicy and silky smooth. All of the aged expressions—reposado, añejo and extra añejo—are matured in charred, American oak barrels. As a collective, the aged marques are highly aromatic and brimming with oak-induced flavors.
“Aha Yeto Tequilas are handmade spirits crafted according to traditional practices,” states tequila consultant Corky Graff. “Although more expensive to produce, Aha Yeto Tequilas are reasonably priced to make them more accessible to consumers.”
• CELESTIAL — Critically acclaimed Celestial Tequilas are made in Amatitán, Jalisco at Tequila Las Américas [NOM 1480] under the capable supervision of master tequilero Raul Garcia. The agaves used in production are grown on a single estate by 4th generation agave farmers.
Celestial Reposado is a Lowland masterpiece matured in charred, American white oak up to 11 months. The tequila has a floral, herbaceous nose and a palate of honey, butterscotch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Celestial Añejo is barrel-aged for 18 months. It’s a luxurious tequila with spicy aromas and a long-lasting caramel, dark chocolate, honey, clove, cinnamon and vanilla palate.
According to Bruce Milligan, vice-president of Tequila Celestial, the defining characteristic of Tequila Celestial is Maestro Garcia’s style of showcasing the character of the agave center stage. “The very essence of the Lowlands is forward and present; bright, yet earthy like the flavor of freshly roasted agave. Celestial is made with care, passion, love and a true
undying respect for nature and our environment.”
• CENTINELA — Casa Centinela [NOMM 1140] has been crafting tequila just outside of the town of Arandas since it was founded in 1904.
“Casa Centinela is a family-owned company with 110 years of experience, everything in our tequila production process is artisanal,” states Diana Jimenez, U.S. market tequila specialist for
Casa Centinela. “We use clay ovens to slowly roast our agave, we have a stone Tahona wheel, and in our cellars we have over 56,000 barrels, the largest collection of aging tequila in the world. We allow Casa Centinela Tequilas to rest longer than so you’ll get all of the amazing aromas and flavors possible in a tequila.”
Centinela Añejo is an excellent example of just how superb the distillery’s tequilas are. The noble spirit is aged for 30 months in small, 200-liter oak barrels. It has a fruit, pepper and cinnamon nose and a long, spicy finish. An ideal añejo to sip after a fine dinner.
The iconic Centinela Distillery also makes Tequila Cabrito, a range of tequilas brimming with character and sporting modest price tags.
• DEMETRIO — New to the United States is Demetrio 100% de Agave Tequilas, a range of memorable, high quality tequilas marketed at affordable, value-laden prices. Demetrio is made by Tequila Selecto de Amatitán [NOM 1459] in the Lowlands of Jalisco using only mature agaves and pure artesian water. The distillery is outfitted with modern equipment, such as autoclaves to steam bake the agaves and a stainless steel pot still.
True to its mission, Demetrio offers a lot of tequila for the buck. The Blanco expression is especially brilliant. Bottled directly from the still, the tequila is crystal clear with an alluring set of aromatics and a spicy, herbal and zesty citrus palate. The Demetrio Reposado is matured for 7 to 9 months in small, 200-liter white oak barrels, while the añejo is aged 15 to 18 months.
“The Demetrio difference starts immediately on the nose. It’s soft and briny and doesn’t have that pungent agave and ethanol smell,” says sales manager Douglas DeNicola. “The biggest difference has to be the finish. There’s no burn. It is a pleasant all around experience from the nose to the finish.”
• DON FELIX — This extraordinary, limited edition añejo was created as a gift from a loving family to its patriarch, Don Felix Bañuelos, one of the pioneers of the reposado expression and creator of Hacienda Vieja Reposado and Cazadores Tequila.
Introduced in 2011, Don Felix Añejo is handcrafted at Destiladora de Los Altos [NOM 1412] in Arandas. Every step of production is slow and deliberate from roasting the agaves to patiently fermenting the sugar-rich juice of the agaves. After being twice distilled, the tequila is matured for two years and eight months in virgin American white oak.
Be prepared to be impressed. During its stay in oak, Don Felix Añejo develops an enticing bouquet and a lavish palate of cinnamon, honey, vanilla and baked agave. The lip-smacking flavors persist an amazingly long time.
“Don Felix’s commitment to the quality of the distillate led us to create the tagline, ‘not all 100% agave is created equal,’” explains Monique Huston, national spirits education ambassador for importer Marsalle Company.
• DOS LUNAS — This 21st century brand is made at Tequilas del Señor [NOM 1124] from mature agaves grown in Zapontlañejo, a growing region in central Mexico. The agaves are cultivated with organic compost and the tequila is made without the use of glycerin, artificial colors, or pesticides.
Dos Lunas Silver is triple-distilled tequila, after which it is briefly rested in new white oak barrels and cold-filtered prior to being bottled at 80 proof. Ultra-premium Dos Lunas Reposado is a blend of tequilas aged for 9 months in seasoned Tennessee whiskey barrels and new
American white oak. The diversity in wood finishes imbues the reposado with the flavors of caramel, mocha, vanilla and baking spice.
The Dos Lunas Añejo is also matured in Tennessee whiskey barrels and new American Oak casks only it stays in wood for 18 months. “The añejo is an ideal tequila to drink neat,” says Stephanie Scott, operations manager for Dos Lunas Spirits. “The longer you allow it to breathe the more aromatics seems to come to the forefront.”
• GRAND LEYENDA — The agaves used to produce this elegant range of Lowland tequilas is USDA certified organic. It’s more labor-intensive and significantly more expensive, but there is no better way to make tequila than to start with mature, essentially pure agaves.
After reaching peak maturity, the harvested agaves are brought to Tequilas Las Americas [NOM 1480] in Amatitán where they are baked in traditional stone ovens over several days and fermented using natural, airborne yeast.
Grand Leyenda Reposado is matured for 11 months in both French Limousin and American white oak barrels. Its palate is a lavish affair of honey, butterscotch, nutmeg and zesty citrus flavors. The brand’s añejo is also aged in both varieties of oak for 24 months. It’s a sophisticated tequila loaded with engaging aromas and long-lasting, bakery-fresh flavors.
“Tequila has been the fastest growing category of spirits for the past decade or so,” states Jesus Santoya, CEO/founder of Grand Leyenda Tequila. “If you take a step back and analyze the spirits sector as a whole, I would argue that the market is not becoming saturated, but rather just highly competitive.”
• JENNI RIVERA LA GRAN SEÑORA — For the two years preceding her tragic death in a plane crash in 2013, international recording artist Jenni Rivera was actively working on developing her own brand of tequila. The limited edition range of 100% agave tequilas has now arrived in the U.S. Like the young diva’s voice, the tequila is a thing of beauty.
Jenni Rivera chose to make her namesake spirits at Destiladora Del Valle de Tequila [NOM 1438] in the town of Tequila. The portfolio leads off with Jenni Rivera Blanco, a fresh and exuberant tequila bottled fresh from the still. It has a lively set of aromatics and a broad palate of citrus and ripe red fruit. The barrel-aged reposado has a light amber/gold hue and the oak- induced flavors of vanilla, dried fruit, cinnamon, citrus and nutmeg.
The capstone of the range is Jenni Rivera Añejo. Aged in American white oak for more than a year, the tequila features the lingering flavors of caramel, toffee, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate and toasted oak.
• TEARS OF LLORONA — This spectacular extra añejo was originally created by acclaimed Master Distiller Germán Gonzalez for his private stock. The limited edition Tears of Llorona is handcrafted at La Tequileña [NOM 1146] in extremely small lotes (batches). The agaves used in production are cultivated on estates in and around Atotonilco in the Highlands of Jalisco.
Tears of Llorona is aged for nearly 5 years in various types of barrels, after which Germán blends a few barrels at a time. The extra añejo is comprised of tequilas half of which were finished in Scotch whisky barrels, a quarter in Sherry wood and a quarter in French Limousin barrels used previously to mature Cognac.
Tears of Llorona is exquisite in every possible way. “I made this tequila for my friends and family to enjoy together. Sit back, relax and savor the aroma, flavor and the perfection of the day,” suggests
Germán. “Like a great whiskey or Cognac, this extra añejo is ideally served neat in a brandy snifter after a fine dinner. It’s the perfect way to discern the extraordinary flavors in Tears of Llorona.”
• TEQUILA EMBAJADOR — This classy, ultra-premium range of Highland tequilas is made in its namesake distillery, Tequila Embajador [NOM 1509] in Atotonilco. One of the distinguishing features about Embajador Tequila is a certain percentage of their estate-grown agaves are roasted in traditional brick ovens, while the remainder is steam baked in the autoclave. This combined cooking style is one of the processes that influence the tequila’s character.
Embajador Platinum Blanco is double-distilled in traditional pot stills and rested in stainless steel vats for 40 days, which allows its constituent flavors to fully integrate. The Embajador Reposado and Añejo are both matured in French Limousin and American white oak barrels—the reposado for 8 months and the añejo for 18 months. Each variety of oak has a distinctly different affect on the aromatics and taste of the tequila.
“It is a positive thing to have a wide variety of tequila brands in the market so consumers can experience the various styles and expressions,” says Andres Garcia, regional sales manager and family member behind Embajador Tequila.
• TEQUILA PEÑASCO — Puerto Peñsco is a picturesque fishing town situated on the Gulf of Cortez about an hour’s drive from the American-Mexican border. The popular resort community will soon be known as the creative inspiration behind Tequila Peñasco 100% Puro de Agave. The range of tequilas laudably captures Puerto Peñasco’s understated beauty and elegance.
The tequila is produced at Tequila Quiote [NOM 1433] in the heart of Jalisco. One of the bona fide gems of the portfolio—Tequila Peñasco Reposado—is aged for 4 to 6 months in
charred American oak barrels. It has a wafting floral and fruit bouquet and the flavors of plums, cinnamon, clove, cacao, caramel and vanilla. The lingering finish is spicy warm.
Equally impressive is Tequila Peñasco Añejo, which is barrel-aged for 14 to 16 months. The tequila has a flawlessly smooth body and a fetching bouquet of fresh fruit, chocolate, fresh cut flowers, heather honey and cinnamon. The elder statesman of the range is Tequila Peñasco Reserva del Pueblo Extra Añejo. The special edition release is matured for no less than three- years in charred American oak.
ROBERT PLOTKIN is a judge at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and author of 16 books on bartending and beverage management including Secrets Revealed of America’s Greatest Cocktails. He can be reached at www.AmericanCocktails.com or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2014 BarMedia
Embajador Premium Reposado tequila takes Platinum prize from among 403 entries at the prestigious SIP Awards...(Press release)
Austin, TX--On April 27, 2014, at the luxurious St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, CA, a 100 member panel of judges voted Embajador Premium Reposado tequila a Platinum prize at the 6th annual SIP Awards. Embajador Tequila Platinum blanco also received a Silver medal while Embajador Tequila Supreme añejo scored the Bronze.
"Winning the Platinum SIP award for our Embajador Premium Reposado expression is truly an honor," beams Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager for the family owned brand. "We are super excited to be recognized and to be mentioned in this category alongside some of the most respected brands in the industry."
The family estate and distillery of Tequila Embajador is nestled in Atotonilco, in the highlands of Jalisco, the same region made famous by such legendary producers as Don Julio and Siete Leguas. Those same values that created these mythic tequilas are the exact ones that drive Embajador to perfection.
"We are a family who is motivated and inspired by the idea of crafting superior quality and distinguished Tequila. Embajador is produced in small batches to focus on the brand's consistency and quality principles," states the Embajador website.
"Our family motto has been 'quality over quantity,'" continues Garcia. "This is about giving this noble spirit the time honored respect it demands and that we do every step of the way--with honor."
True to their word, Embajador uses only their own estate grown 100% blue weber agave that is carefully tended for 8-10 years. Baked in an adobe oven, the piñas are shredded using water from the distillery's own aquifer, and then fermented from 3-5 days. After double distillation, the luminous Platinum expression is rested 40 days in stainless steel vats to ensure a complete balance of character.
The SIP Platinum award winning Embajador Premium Reposado is rested for a period of eight months in American and French Oak barrels, while Embajador's Supreme Añejo is aged with devotion for one year and six months in American and French Oak barrels.
The Embajador family is so serious about presenting the soul of Tequila to the rest of the world, and being true ambassadors, that they have partnered with Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, one of the hottest mariachi groups in Mexico. As they travel globally, these talented mariachis bestow special bottles of Embajador (ambassador, in Spanish) to foreign dignitaries at each Mexican embassy they visit.
"We are building more than just a brand," explains Garcia. "We are creating a legacy that is focused on producing quality Tequila."
Not only is the Platinum SIP award winning Embajador reposado fast becoming a favorite with mixologists, but all of the expressions are cocktail ready. Embajador tequila signature cocktails are featured prominently on the brand's website and correspond to the level of the consumers' experience in crafting cocktails at home.
Have fun concocting poppers, lucious margaritas, and even Fluffy's Chock-lit-D'lite, a whimsical drink inspired and dedicated to popular Latino stand-up comic, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, himself a fan of Embajador tequila.
"The Embajador Tequila family, along with everyone involved, felt a high degree of honor, accomplishment and excitement because each person's hard work and vision in producing a quality juice came to be recognized at the SIP awards," admits Garcia.
"After all," he concludes, "Tequila is Mexico and we are proud to be one of its Ambassadors."
Distributors/Vendors: Contact Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager, to discuss the benefits of adding SIP award winning Embajador Tequila to your portfolio at email@example.com. More details on Embajador Tequila on their website here. To learn more about the SIP awards, click here. Spirits Writers: For an in-depth interview with Andres Garcia, dial 469-216-0567. Hurry--slots are filling up fast!