Here in an agave field in Mexico’s Jalisco state, I’m savouring an incomprehensibly smooth añejo (That’s Spanish for “aged,” and yes, we’re still talking about tequila.) LVMH chose this spot, nestled at the base of the aptly named Tequila Volcano, to create Volcán De Mi Tierra, its first original spirit in 30 years.
“We see a really big future in the agave category,” says Adriana Baca, Volcán business development manager. “With tequila, maximizing the aromas and characteristics of each terroir is going to be the next step for people to explore.”
Maybe terroir isn’t a word that springs to mind while slurping a margarita, but consider this: since 2002, North American tequila sales have risen 121 per cent, while sales of super-premium tequilas have grown eightfold. With the recent billion-dollar acquisitions of George Clooney’s Casamigos and Patrón — and now, the launch of our hands-down favourite, Volcán — the spirit has evolved into a swanky sipper.
These high-end tequilas are made from 100 per cent blue agave, and should be complex, silky, and aromatic. Hold the lime and salt.
Clear, bold, and aged less than two months. Tequila in its purest form.
Aged in oak barrels for up to 12 months. Ideal for mixing, as the slight aging softens it.
Aged in oak for one to three years, which gives it an amber hue and rich vanilla flavour.
Aged for over three years, it’s dark, smoky, and comes with the highest price tag. If you like sipping whisky, you’ll like sipping this.
THE REALLY BUENO STUFF
Volcán’s Cristalino expression is an añejo that’s been charcoal-filtered to extract its colour, so it becomes clear again. This strips it of its stronger woody notes, allowing it to retain its fruity agave flavour while expressing the robust caramel finish of an aged spirit. So new is this type that it’s still in the process of being officially recognized by the Tequila Regulatory Council. “Compared to other spirits,” says Baca, “tequila is still in diapers.” Enjoy it — they grow up so fast.