Special thanks to Stacy for covering this event!
Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a tequila tasting with the owners and founders of Casa Noble distillery at TQLA on Washington Ave here in Houston. I’m by no means a tequila aficionado but the evening turned out to be a rather enlightening and complete sensory experience. Owner Jose Pepe Hermosillo gave us a brief history of the family-owned distillery before leading us in our tasting of Casa Noble’s five very distinct tequilas – Blanco, Reposado, Anejo, Single Barrel Reposado, and Single Barrel Anejo. Single barrels are very rare, each is aged 3 to 5 years and TQLA is actually the only place in Houston where you can a Single Barrel Anejo. Needless to say, I felt very special and privileged to be able to try it.
I’ve always thought of tequila as a party liquor – meant to be taken as a shot while sunbathing on the beaches of Mexico after one too many margaritas. But NO! With over 600 different aromas, tequila has so much variety in sight, touch, smell, and taste.
We began with the Blanco, looking at brightness and clarity first. Jose instructed us to hold our glasses up to the light, and then above a white background to observe the color, which was somewhat transparent with silver and gray hues. The next thing to look at is the body by swirling your glass and noting where the line and legs start to form from the tequila. The longer the legs stay, the more body to the tequila. Then, we smelled. First from the bottom of the glass, then from the middle, and then from the top. To help us with the overwhelming amount of aromas , each table was handed an aroma kit, not to be mistaken for a gift bag of mini tequila shots. (Wishful thinking). Each one had a different aroma to help guide you in recognizing which ones were present in the tequila. For the Blanco, it has some white pepper aromas towards the middle, some citrusy notes at the bottom, and some sweet honey-like notes at the top. After carefully observing the characteristics of the tequila, it was time to taste it. And after looking and swirling and smelling, you really have a whole new appreciation for the product. All the layers come together for a velvety smooth consistency on the palate.
The Reposado had a golden straw color, a full body, and notes of vanilla, nutmeg, and white pepper. It was a little thicker than the Blanco. The Anejo was darker in color with a much heavier body and a very complex, somewhat spicy aroma. The Single Barrel Reposado, which is very limited and done in very small batches, was fruity and light while the Single Barrel Anejo (aged 5 years) had a sweeter, almost caramel-like flavor.
I kept my fingers crossed that Carlos Santana would wander over to our table. He’s a new partner of the Casa Noble distillery and in town for a concert this weekend. Sadly, he never arrived. Oh well. At least if I ever run into him, I’m now well versed on the intricacies of single barrel tequilas. At least, I am in my mind.
If you’re interested in trying any of these Casa Noble tequilas, I suggest you meander on down to TQLA. And, as September’s Tequila of the Month, take advantage of $8 Blanco margaritas!
4601 WASHINGTON AVE
HOUSTON, TX 77007