The price of tequila is set to skyrocket.
DON’T PANIC…but you might like to carry a towel.
This increase probably shouldn’t come as a surprise given that Blue Agave (from which tequila is made) takes at least 7 years to mature before it can be processed.
Thus, as demand increases (and it has increased almost 200% in the last 10 years), there will be a significant lag between when that demand presents and when the product is available to meet that demand.
The consequence of this shortage of agave has been threefold:
- Younger plants are being processed – these produce less tequila per plant meaning more have to be used to produce the same amount of tequila. A further consequence is that there will be less mature plants available next year
- There has been a significant increase in the theft of agave plants
- There has been a 600% increase in the price of blue agave at market. You can be confident those increased costs will be passed on to the consumer.
These market shortages are likely to last until at least 2021.
All this adds up to a looming increase in the cost of tequila to the consumer.
My advice? Buy good tequila now and enjoy it!
With that in mind, I recently sat down to try Casa Noble’s more accessible range
Casa Noble is a tequila that I haven’t seen a lot of in Australia – Indeed, every one of my bookmarked online bottle shops either didn’t have it listed, or were sold out. A quick google search didn’t reveal any available bottles either.
The distillery uses organically grown agave which it triple distills in small batches so as to enable them to experiment with concepts focussed around aging the tequila (barrel selection.
For example, they are using French Oak rather than the more traditional ex-bourbon barrels, how they treat their barrels using virgin lightly toasted barrels, and how long they leave the tequila in the barrel – up to 8 years for their Extra Anejo – (the expensive one!).
Their founder and Master Tequilero Jose “Pepe” Hermosillo is the 7th generation in his family to make tequila – he seems to have a good idea what he is doing!
The first thing I noticed about this tequila is how beautiful the bottles are. They are squat, heavy, square, hand blown glass with large silver stoppers that would look great in any bar.
That said, the corks on all three of my bottles started to crack after just a couple of uses – I suspect they will break in the not too distant future.
This tequila is as far from the bottle with the silly red hat as you can imagine. It is what I call a “sipping” tequila. Don’t even think about “slamming” these drops.
- Colour: As you would expect with a Blanco, this tequila is absolutely clear.
- Nose: The Blanco starts with a raw (but not unpleasant) spirit nose. The agave is obvious and delicious. It is abundantly clear that what you are drinking here is a “pure” tequila without the influence of oak. However, given a little time (and particularly in a whisky tasting glass) a sweetness reminiscent of honey presents.
- Neat: It is strange to describe tequila as “subtle” but that is exactly what presents here. The agave/tequila flavour is upfront and dominates the palate, although with time there is a subtle sweetness reminiscent of honey, some saltiness together with white pepper and some grassy notes.
- Where this tequila excels is in its mouth feel. There is no alcohol burn, it has a very smooth mouth feel and good length.
- A drop or two of water really emphasised the softness and the sweetness of this tequila.
- Cocktail – Disclaimer – I tend to drink most of my spirits neat or with a touch of lime/soda. With this particular tequila I found that both lime and then a dash of soda tended to simply “dumb down” the flavour.
- Where this tequila did shine was straight with fine slivers of your favourite chilli – a slice of chilli followed by a sip of tequila – repeat ad nauseum…
- If you must turn thus into a cocktail, I’d suggest a softer style of margarita, although the very subtle detail of the flavour would be lost.
- ABV – 40%
- Find their website here
- Friend them on Facebook
- Purchase / RRP: I bought mine from Nicks at $59.95 for the Blanco; and $79.95 for the Reposado and the Anejo.
Disclaimer: this review is of a sample from the writer’s personal collection. All opinions expressed regarding the product are my own.
Coming up in Part 2, a look at Casa Noble Tequila Reposado and Anejo styles.
1. Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”
2. Accessible in that the price is reasonable and there is a significant supply available – as opposed to the US$1500 bottles they have released (only 300 bottles) – which is itself only a fraction of the cost of the Patrón en Lalique: Serie 2 will cost you US$7,500 per bottle (299 bottles made)…Ouch!
About our Guest Contributor
Chris Gillot from Queensland has been exploring flavour for as long as he can recall. A love of good food led naturally into the world of wine.
Working in sales, as a bouncer, a barman and a lawyer, exposed Chris to more opportunities to have a drink than most doctors would recommend.
Nevertheless he persisted!
The journey through various wine styles and trends eventually led him to spirits including rum, tequila, scotch and gin. He particularly enjoys teasing out the subtle differences between similar spirits (say 3-4 tequilas) as one would do with a flight of wine.
He takes these flavours and tries to bring them back to the food he would like to be enjoying whilst tasting that particular drink.
Chris is currently looking into starting a new career as a distiller whilst brewing (and drinking) good beer.
His articles will be focusing on Tequila and fine Single Malts (mostly!)