Austin, TX (Vocus) October 6, 2009
New on the distilled spirits scene, Artisanal Tequila Ambhar® is steeped in legend and lore and rich in taste. It's a hand-crafted cultural treasure with a long and colorful history. Ambhar represents a return to the original roots of tequila. It's something Mexico can be proud of.
Everything about tequila Ambhar®, produced in small quantities at an artisanal distillery in a small town in Jalisco—the Mexican state where tequila was born—is extraordinary.
The story begins in the mists of pre-history with the legend of the goddess Ambhar, who fell in love with a mortal and was slain by the other deities out of jealousy. The stars sent her remains to earth as the blue agave—the star-shaped succulent whose hearts, or piñas, yield the nectar that produces the best and purest tequila.
Modern-day farmers, working as their ancestors have for centuries, harvest the finest blue agave for Ambhar today, by hand in the time-honored way, from sources in both highland and lowland regions. "We've found that a mix of the two gives us the best flavors and nose," explains Sabino Diaz Galasso, CEO and co-founder of Austin-based Santo Spirits, Inc., which produces and imports the artisanal tequila. "We make Ambhar in a very, very traditional manner, but we've standardized the process as much as possible for consistency. We control distillation very carefully, using small stills and uniform heat to bring out the best characteristics of the raw materials."
The finished product is transferred to stainless steel tanks where it is allowed to mellow. At that point, a portion of it is bottled as Ambhar Platinum. (This is unusual in an industry that usually packages and ships its un-aged tequila almost immediately.) The remaining tequila is put into oak barrels repurposed from the Jack Daniels distillery in Tennessee (American whiskey barrels are highly regarded for the aging of fine spirits; even some of the finest single-malt scotches use them). Some is removed from the barrels after about a year and becomes Ambhar Reposado (literally "rested"); the remainder sleeps in the wood for up to two years or more and is bottled as Ambhar Añejo.
Even the iconic decanters that hold the Ambhar tequilas are special: Made of heavy virgin glass in a graceful form that recalls a fine cognac bottle, they are ornamented with a polished nickel stopper and dragonfly medallion—the dragonfly, an ancient Mexican symbol of joy, also appears in a stylized design on the decanter itself—and are hand-filled, hand-numbered, and hand-labeled.
What's inside these beautiful bottles is worth all the fuss: Ambhar is a smooth and elegant tequila, but also one redolent with that magical agave flavor, a little earthy, a little herbaceous which typifies tequila at its very best. Refined and smooth enough to sip straight, Ambhar also adds new levels of complexity and flavor to a wide range of cocktails, both traditional and innovative.
It is now sold exclusively in Nevada, at such venues as The Mirage, The MGM Grand, Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, and Caesar's Palace. Ambhar will be coming soon to the rest of the country and…Mexico itself.
"Tequila shouldn't be a sterile, manufactured product," says Edward Bradfield, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Santo Spirits. "It's a hand-made cultural treasure with a long and colorful history. Ambhar represents a return to the original roots of tequila. It's something Mexico can be proud of." Something special indeed.
Tequila Ambhar, imported by Santo Spirits, Inc., of Austin, Texas, is artisanal ultra-premium tequila affordably priced. Hand-crafted at a small distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, it is produced in Platinum, Reposado, and Añejo bottlings, according to time-honored traditional methods and packaged in an elegant iconic decanter.