Tequila. The spirit you either love or hate, rarely found outside of one of two forms: shot glasses or overly sweet margaritas.
And that’s a damn shame.
You see, Tequila has come quite a long way in the past few years. More brands are exporting, with higher-end distillers carving out market share. And Tequila has topped the growth of any other spirit in America, including whiskey.
So what, you say? Still don’t like Tequila? Think it lacks depth of flavor? Believe that it’s only good for a quick shot? Think it makes you take your clothes off, and you’d rather not do that in your client meeting?
First of all, I agree; you should not take your clothes off in a client meeting. But blaming Tequila for that (power move?) would be silly. And second, I sincerely believe that the high-quality Tequila — just like any other high-quality spirit — that is now readily available could make any non-Tequila drinkers reconsider their biases.
The 123 (Uno Dos Tres) Organic Tequila Line
This small-batch, seven-year-old, 100 percent blue agave Tequila line comes in signature hand-blown, recycled glass bottles from the lands surrounding the town of Tequila in the Mexican state of Jalisco.
The tequilero behind the line, David Ravandi, created 123 Organic Tequila in the spirit of wine enthusiasts, as he wanted to create a complex, full-bodied flavor profile across his offerings, all meant to be enjoyed at each sip. Proof of his achievement is the 96 points from Tasting Panel Magazine that he received for the entire line, which consists of four selections: Blanco, Reposado, Anejo, and highly limited release Diablito.
123 Blanco (Uno): The youngest and foundational member of the collection, the Blanco is earthy, citrusy, and herbal. It’s born from agave plants that are up to ten years old, which are then cooked for approximately two days in stone ovens. A seriously sippable Blanco. ABV: 40 percent.
123 Reposado (Dos): Aged in white oak barrels for six months, this Reposado builds upon the Blanco’s existing profile, with an extra touch of vanilla and anise. ABV: 40 percent.
It is the boldest of the four, capable of converting any non-Tequila drinker.
123 Anejo (Tres): The Anejo spends an additional year in white oak barrels after aging like the Reposado, giving it a more pronounced vanilla and wood-oil profile, with an added hint of smoke. Due to its aging process (and popularity), Anejo is limited-release and can be a bit harder to find. ABV: 40 percent.
While all of the offerings on the 123 Organic Tequila line are truly exceptional in their craft, Diablito Extra Anejo Organic is the pinnacle. It is the boldest of the four, capable of converting any non-Tequila drinker.
The Diablito is cooked in stone ovens for 38 hours and then barrel-aged in new (not bourbon) American oak barrels for just over three years. The Tequila’s flavor profile is full, rich, and smoky, consisting of vanilla, citrus, and black pepper notes, with hefty traces of wood-oil and spice. Like the others, it clocks in at 80 proof.
For the time being, prices hold around $150. But there were only 1,000 bottles released, and that’s all there will be. So I suggest you get to it.
Photo credit: 123 Tequila