AquaRiva Reposado Tequila NOM 1499 (40% Abv.)
AquaRiva is the brainchild of Cleo Rocos, the officially recognized 'Tequila Queen of the U.K.', collaborating with Stuart Freeman - both whom co-founded the The Tequila Society of United Kingdom. Note: Unlike most celebrity endorsed/owned tequila marcas - Ms.Cleo Rocos is in fact listed on the CRT's NOM list as the title owner of this tequila.
This 100% agave tequila is produced at NOM 1499, otherwise know as Distillery Casa Tequilera de Arandas, in the Arandas region of Jalisco. Currently there are 40+ contract tequila brands (marcas) and 10+ distillery owned brands being produced at this distillery - 100% agave and mixto. AquaRiva sources 8+ year old blue agave from the Highlands region of Jalisco - known for its red, mineral-rich volcanic soil. The agave pina halves are cooked in large stainless-steel autoclaves for 8-14+ hours. The cooked agave is shredded with a mechanical shredder then the agave juice is extracted with a conventional roller-mill system - water sourced from the Highlands being used in conjunction with this process. The extracted juices are captured in tanks and transported by pipelines to large stainless tanks for open air fermentation. Proprietary yeast(s) and sourced water is added and the mosto is allowed to ferment for days till it reaches the desired alcoholic gradation (between five and seven percent). It takes a few hours to be transported through pipelines to the distillation stills. The fermented juice is distilled two times with one of the distillery's copper pot stills. The first distillation (la primera) takes the mosto to about 20-25 percent alcohol - this is the "tequila ordinario" - removing undesirable products. The second distillation (la segunda) takes the alcohol gradation of 20-25 percent to anywhere from 40-55 percent - no idea if tequila at Casa Tequilera de Arandas is distilled to proof (only a handful of distilleries do this ie. La Altena) but suspect it's distilled at a higher proof then filtered and diluted with sourced water. AquaRiva Reposado tequila is the result of being rested anywhere between 3 and 6 months in used American Oak Single Cask whiskey barrels - no idea which brand of bourbon or whiskey.
Appearance: Light golden colour with medium - skinny legs in my Riedel glass. Aroma: cooked ripe agave, corn?, marzipan?, smokey/peppery, and subtle hint of alcohol. Flavour: loads of cooked agave, caramel, hints of wood, mild spice (black pepper?) and cinnamon, honeyed smoked almond candy?(guessing where the marzipan came from), hints of citrus and pineapple?, and slightly herbal. Semi-oily and mild tingling on the palate. Finish: medium duration, cooked agave, and a mild lingering spice. Not overtly complex yet I found this reposado nicely balanced with an interesting flavour profile that'll keep a person guessing. Look forward to trying this tequila in some cocktails a la Margaritas. RECOMMENDED