Ultimate in Groovy -- Judging at Spirits of Mexico Competition

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    Few spirits are as intriguing to me as handcrafted tequila. So you can imagine my good fortunate being invited to participate in the 2nd annual Spirits of Mexico Tasting Competition in Old Town San Diego. Spirits guru Jack Robertiello of Drink Ink and I again served as co-hosts of the formal judging portion of the event, which this year featured nearly 80 labels of tequilas and mezcals.

    If you're a tequila aficionado, enthusiast or just a good American, grab a pencil because here are the final results of the judging. After hours of swirling and sipping, our panel of spirit authorities handed out the following top honors:

        • Best of Show -- El Perdido Reserva Extra Añejo 100% Agave Tequila
        • Best of Category -- El Perdido Reserva Extra Añejo 100% Agave Tequila
        • Best of Category -- Tequila Gran Centenario Añejo 100% Agave Tequila
        • Best of Category -- Tequila Cristeros Reposados 100% Agave Tequila
        • Best of Category -- (Tie) Tequilas Clase Azul Platino and Don Ramon Platinum
        • Best of Category -- Casa 1921 Tequila Cream Liqueur

    El Perdido 100% Agave Tequila, which earned the competition's first "Best of Show" award, was the only brand to score 90 or above from all of the judges for each of their marques. I should mention that our panel rarely agreed on the time, no less the finer attributes of handmade tequila. So that was quite the achievement.

    Robertiello and I were joined as judges by industry notables Wilfred Wong of Beverages & More; Charlotte Voisey of Wm. Grant & Sons; Tim Hirota of Southern Wine & Spirits Southern California; Junior Merino of The Liquid Chef; Mario Marquez Tequila Ambassador at Café Coyote: and Louise Owens of the Dallas Morning News.

    Newcomer Suavemente 100% Agave Tequila drew considerable attention after earning four gold medals for their Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo. Other multiple gold medal winners included Querido Viejo 100% Agave Tequila (Blanco, Reposado and Añejo); Corrido 100% Agave Tequila (Blanco & Extra Añejo); Scorpion 100% Agave Mezcal (5 and 7 Year Old Extra Añejos); Señor Frog's 100% Agave Tequila (Blanco and Reposado); and Tanteo 100% Agave Tequila that earned 3 golds for their chocolate, jalapeño and tropical flavors.

    Kudos and congratulations to Dori Bryant, president of The Polished Palate  and host of the Spirits of Mexico Tasting Competition.

    If you attend the event next September, come by and say hello.

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