Azuñia is smooth, clean craft tequila with authentic flavor from the local terroir in every sip. It is the exclusive export of Agaveros Unidos de Amatitán and its second-generation, family-owned-and-operated Rancho Miravalle estate, which has created exceptional tequila for nearly 20 years. Made with 100% pure Weber Blue Agave grown in dedicated fields of the Jalisco lowlands, we harvest by hand and roast the organic agave in traditional clay hornos to ensure authenticity and depth of flavor. We then finish with a natural, open-air fermentation process and bottle on-site in small batches using a consistent process to deliver field-to-bottle quality.
When we moved to Florida, the first thing I did was look for the closest Total Wine & More. There is a store in Naples, not far from where I work, and another location in Fort Myers, about equally as far north as the store in Naples. When I found out they were building a store in Estero, which is right next to where we live, I could barely contain myself.
The new store is located at Coconut Point and we got the chance to attend the grand opening a few weeks ago. The store was packed, they had a bunch of vendors pouring beer, wine and spirits, and I was just excited to have another option for buying alcohol. We walked around the store, trying a wide variety of things, including tequila from Azuñia Tequila.
While I was sipping tequila, I got the chance to meet and chat with Denny Larson, sales manager, Florida. He told me more about the distillery, their different tequilas, and how their tequila is all organic. Denny was pouring from a few different bottles, but I went straight for the Añejo.I was impressed with the flavor and asked for his card. A few days later we were sitting down for a private tasting of all their tequilas.
Denny and I met at Tacos & Tequila Cantina in Naples, right off Vanderbilt Beach Road. We started with an order of chips and queso. Then we ordered a couple of margaritas. They carry Azuñia at Tacos & Tequila, and even have a signature drink on their menu featuring Azuñia. Denny ordered us an Organica Skinny Margarita. This drink is simple, but delicious. I ordered mine with salt on the rim. Ingredients for this cocktail are listed below:
- 1.5 oz Azuñia Blanco Organic Tequila
- .75 oz Azuñia Organic Agave Syrup
- 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice Splash of Water
They have a laundry list of cocktails on their website including the Blood Moon, The Secret Garden, Greater Roadrunner and Vera Blanco. We only had time for the Organica Skinny Margarita, but I was hooked!
As I said, Azuñia makes 4 different tequilas:
Clean floral notes with hints of agave and lemon
Long finish of light pepper and citrus
Light agave aroma with hints of butterscotch and wood
Warm, slight vanilla finish
Rested 8 months
Rich with fruit and caramel essences
Smooth butter finish of vanilla, spice, chocolate and caramel
Aged 18 months
Up-front vanilla aroma and long finish
Full-bodied flavor of caramel, cocoa, sarsaparilla and spice
Aged 2 years
We started with Blanco. While we were tasting, I took some notes on what I was experiencing. Below I will highlight each tequila commenting on the color, aroma, flavor and aftertaste. Cheers!
This is where all tequila tastings should begin. It doesn’t get much more simple than this.
Color: Since this tequila is unaged, don’t expect much color. This spirit is clear and would look like any other white spirit in your glass if served neat or on the rocks.
Aroma: The Blanco smells like fruit juice! Denny served all of these samples warm, which I prefer, but that means I’ll smell more alcohol. On this tequila, I’m not getting much booze on the nose. It smells crisp and clean.
Flavor: The flavor is intense producing a nice finish. There is no way this is 40% alcohol by volume!
Aftertaste: The aftertaste lingers for days. Drinking a tequila like this you would expect a burn in the finish, but it just isn’t there. For my first impression, I am impressed.
When people think of tequila, Jose Cuervo comes to mind. Blanco is also popular in a lot of bars and restaurants because of its diversity. But this bottle, for the sheer quality, is on another level. I am excited to see what’s to come.
It is time to try a bottle that has some age on it. They age their Reposado for 8 months.
Color: It isn’t much darker than the Blanco, but you can tell it has picked up some flavor from the wood. The color is an off white.
Aroma: That smells clean, too. I am not getting the typical burn in my nostrils that you might expect. If you handed this bottle to someone and said, “What does this smell like?” They wouldn’t say tequila! I’m picking something up on the end here, too… A subtle sweetness. Dennis drank with me and he said he was picking up clove.
Flavor: The flavor is a bit more complex. It has an oaky flavor around the edges of my palate. Most bars will use Blanco tequila when mixing drinks, but this is what I would expect craft cocktails to be made with.
Aftertaste: The initial aftertaste is good, but I get a little bit of heat in the finish.
This was good, but not my favorite. I would like to try this in a cocktail to see if it changes my mind.
This is the tequila that inspired this blog post. Now that I think about it, this is one of the only things I sampled at the Total Wine grand opening. Glad I stopped!
Color: For as long as this was aged, it is not much darker than the Reposado.
Aroma: This has subtle sweet notes. I could smell this all day.
Flavor: That is incredible. It is SO smooth. It is hard to believe that tequila could taste this good!
Aftertaste: The finish is quick but it has a nice lingering subtle sweetness on the back of my palate.
These just keep getting better. The Black must be something extra special.
This tequila is aged in Jack Daniel’s barrels, so expect more vanilla and caramel notes that is being pulled from the oak. When it leaves the bourbon barrels, it is then transferred and aged in cognac barrels to add even more complexity.
Color: This is the darkest tequila in their portfolio.
Aroma: It doesn’t even smell like tequila. I am getting a ton of vanilla and sweetness from the barrels on this.
Flavor: Nope. That’s not tequila. No way! That is something like I’ve never tasted before. It is smooth, has a smoky flavor and finishes smooth. That is just amazing.
Aftertaste: The finish just sits there. It has a “bourbon” finish, which makes sense. I would never call that tequila in a blind taste test. Dennis commented on this, saying, “It’s a beautiful spirit.” You can say that again!
Having a certified organic seal adds to the credibility of this product and with so few other brands out there doing organic tequila, it puts them ahead of the curve. Former PGA TOUR player Peter Jacobsen is one of the brand’s key investors, and former NBA superstar Bill Walton is also involved. It is cool to see such big names involved with such a small craft distillery. Azuñia only produces 40,000 cases annually, but they have a lot of growth potential, and names like Jacobsen and Walton will help them reach new heights in the coming years.
Want to try Azuñia? You can pick up a bottle of online or at your local Total Wine & More. Sadly, the Black is not currently available on the shelf, but you can ask for it at pretty much any liquor store. I hope you enjoy this spirit as much as I do. Cheers!