Tuesday 31 March, 2015

10 Ways Casa Noble Tequila Is Different

Casa Noble's Pepe Hermosillo and writer EC Gladstone




I have to be honest: I wasn’t necessarily expecting to be impressed by Casa Noble tequila. Sure, I was happy to be invited to the distillery on the outskirts of the city of Tequila, Mexico (yes, It’s actually a place), but every distillery or winery visit doesn’t necessarily make a huge impression. Also, not to […]




-->

I have to be honest: I wasn’t necessarily expecting to be impressed by Casa Noble tequila. Sure, I was happy to be invited to the distillery on the outskirts of the city of Tequila, Mexico (yes, It’s actually a place), but every distillery or winery visit doesn’t necessarily make a huge impression.

Also, not to be cynical, but often a celebrity association with a spirit feels like it’s there to distract you from the quality. So for Casa Noble to be closely tied to Carlos Santana, one of the most famous and successful Mexican musicians of all time (okay, okay, he’s no Selena) actually made me a little more dubious.

The historic barrel aging house at the center of Cofradias

The historic barrel aging house at the center of Cofradias

But after meeting founder Pepe Hermosillo and touring the Cofradias estate where CN is made (alongside the traditional Cofradias brand, mostly sold within Mexico), one element after another changed my thinking about Casa Noble. And after doing a formal tasting, I’ll go out on a limb and say this: Casa Noble Anejo is the most refined tequila I have ever tasted (and I have tasted some very expensive, very special tequilas), with a nose of sweet cream, vanilla, dried fruits and white chocolate, and an incredibly soft mouth with a very mild spice finish.

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO OF MY TOUR AT CASA NOBLE WITH PEPE HERMOSILLO

Here are the top 10 things that I was happy (and usually surprised)  to learn about Casa Noble:

  • Terroir matters. Blue Weber agave may all look like big brutish plants, but they are as sensitive as any fruit to where they are grown. Casa Noble is planted in a semi-secret high altitude 650 hectare plot in Nayarit full of flinty obsidian, with lemon, avocado, and banana trees close by. Although most harvest at 8 years, CN waits until the plants are 10-12 years old, with pinas showing 28 brix of sugar. I got to try out the Jimadors' job, by the way--it's definitely serious work!
  • Traditionally, pinas were roasted then crushed with a tahona. Today, most distilleries pressure cook them then grind to extract the juice. Casa Noble cooks them in a more traditional steam oven for at least 36 hours then uses a custom-built screwmill, which reduces bitterness. The juice has an enticing roasty caramel aroma.
  • Cofradias composts all its discarded pulp, contributing minimal waste and no contamination to the environment. The tequila is certified organic and Kosher.
  • Fermentation uses yeasts from the same plants that made the juice.
  • All Casa Noble is distilled three times  in small-volume pot stills, reducing (over 9 hours) 18,000 liters to 100.
  • Even the “white dog” from the still at 114 proof is smooth and fruity.
  • Reposado is required to be aged in oak for at least 2 months, but Casa Noble ages their reposado for up to 364 days in Taransaud French Oak—just one day short of legally having to call it Anejo.
  • Tequila aging is strictly controlled, with barrel holes covered by government seals that can only be opened in the presence of an authorized CRT agent.
  • Casa Noble is one of the few distilleries to make single estate tequila. Even more uncommon is its bottling of single barrel tequilas.

I've definitely tried my share of tequilas (and your share, too). I think it's an under-respected spirit category in general, now to an extent being pushed aside by connoisseurs excited about mezcals--justifiably, perhaps. But I think we have a lot more to learn about the potential of tequila, and I think Casa Noble is one of the brands that's doing the most teaching. I'm glad I had the experience.


Related Posts


Discover a New Irish Whiskey for St. Patrick’s Day: West Cork reviewed
Discover a New Irish Whiskey for St. Patrick’s Day: West Cork reviewed
Whiskey/Bourbon/Cask Spirits
Review: Nomad Outland Whiskey
Review: Nomad Outland Whiskey
Whiskey/Bourbon/Cask Spirits
Finding the Perfect Rum? Diplomatico vs. Santiago De Cuba
Finding the Perfect Rum? Diplomatico vs. Santiago De Cuba
Rum/Agricole/Cachaça

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *