Agave Spirits Judged in San Diego

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San Diego Host of the Polished Palate Spirits of Mexico 2nd Annual Tasting Competition

Spirits of Mexico

San Diego is perfectly poised, historically and culturally, to be the proving grounds for agave spirits in the US. We are honored that the world's best Tequilas and Mezcals were presented this year. It gave us the opportunity to showcase their history and future.

The Hacienda Hotel in Old Town San Diego hosted, for the 2nd consecutive year, the Polished Palate Spirits of Mexico Tasting Competition on Thursday & Friday, September 11 & 12, including 70 Agave spirits. A strategic element to the Spirits of Mexico Festival, the Competition was co-hosted by Robert Plotkin/Bar Media and Jack Robertiello. Joining in the judging was Wilfred Wong/Beverages & More; Charlotte Voisey/William Grant & Sons; Tim Hirota/Southern Wine & Spirits Southern California, Junior Merino/The Liquid Chef, Mario Marquez/Café Coyote & Louise Owens/Dallas Morning News.

The blind tasting took place in the El Pueblo room. Dori Bryant & Rena Weinert of the Polished Palate were assisted by the enthusiastic & gracious staff of the Hacienda Hotel to ensure all entries were poured accurately & efficiently, enabling entries to be judged according to specifications. Entries are judged on 5 key elements including Appearance, Aromatics, Flavor, Mouthfeel & Finish, with a rating system totalling a maximum possible score of 100 points. Riedel Tequila Crystal was the stemware of choice.

The intensive schedule included entries from Tequilas 374, Alquimia, Casta Pasion, Cazadores, Chinaco, Clase Azul, Corrido, Corzo, Cristeros, Don Eduardo, Don Ramon, Don Tepo, El Jimador (Mixto), El Perdido, Gran Centenario, Grillos, Herradura, Milagro, Oro Azul, Querido Viejo (QV), Senor Frog's, Suavemente, Tanteo & Casa 1921 and Mezcals Beneva & Scorpion.

Of significance in this year's Competition, only one brand received scores consistently above a 90 point average from all judges. We are proud to announce that newcomer El Perdido Reserva Extra Anejo is the first brand to receive a Best of Show award.

In a field of 21 Blancos, Best of Category awards were given to (Tie) Tequilas Clase Azul Platino & Don Ramon Platinum. Out of 19 Reposados, Tequila Cristeros took home the Best of Category. Tequila Gran Centenario won Best of Category for the Anejos out of 18 entries. Of 5 Extra Anejos, El Perdido took home the Best of Category Award. Casa 1921 Cream won Best of Category for Flavors & Creams.

Also significantly, several brands won Gold Awards for all entries, newcomer Tequilas Suavemente-Blanco, Reposado, Anejo, Extra Anejo; Querido Viejo (QV)--Blanco, Reposado & Anejo; Corrido-Blanco & Extra Anejo; Scorpion Mezcal- 5 & 7 Year Old Extra Anejos; Senor Frog's-Blanco & Reposado; Tanteo-Chocolate, Jalapeno & Tropical Flavors.

Gold Awards are noted as follows:
Tequila Blanco Clase Azul Plata, Corrido Blanco, Corzo Silver, Don Ramon Platinum, Don Tepo Blanco, El Perdido Blanco, Milagro Silver, Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Silver, Oro Azul Blanco, QV Blanco, Senor Frog's Plata & Suavemente Blanco.

Tequila Reposado Cazadores, Cristeros, El Perdido, Gran Centenario, Herradura, Oro Azul, QV, Senor Frog's & Suavemente

Tequila Anejo 374, Chinaco, Don Eduardo, Don Ramon, Don Tepo, Gran Centenario, Milagro Select Barrel Reserve, QV & Suavemente

Tequila Extra Anejo Chinaco Negro, Corrido, El Perdido Reserva, Herradura Selección Suprema, Suavemente

Tequila Flavors & Creams Casa 1921 Cream, Tanteo Chocoloate, Tanteo Jalapeno & Tanteo Tropical

Mezcal Extra Anejo Beneva Reserva Especial, Scorpion Reserva 5 Year Old, Scorpion Gran Reserva 7 Year Old

According to Jack Robertiello, "San Diego is perfectly poised, historically and culturally, to be the proving grounds for agave spirits in the US. We are honored that the world's best Tequilas and Mezcals were presented this year. It gave us the opportunity to showcase their history and future."

To offer a sampling of San Diego fare, the judges were treated to a private dinner hosted by the Polished Palate at Zocalo on Thursday evening and the annual Tasting Dinner at Café Coyote on Friday hosted by Tequilas El Perdido, Milagro & Senor Frog's and Scorpion Mezcal. Judges were also special guests at the Spirits of Mexico event on Saturday evening, which took place at the McMillin Event Center and Luce Courtyard at the NTC Promenade located in Liberty Station.

Link here for the 2008 Polished Palate Spirits of Mexico full Tasting Competition results.

The 2009 Tasting Competition takes place at the Hacienda on Thursday & Friday, September 10 & 11 with the Main Event at the NTC Promenade on Saturday evening September 12. Joining our team of judges next year are Zack Romaya, Owner of San Diego's Old Town Wine & Spirits -- who carries the largest selection of Tequila in the USA-and Bill Dowd. Bill's weekly column, "Dowd On Drinks," is distributed by both the New York Times and Hearst news services to numerous North American newspapers and Web sites.

The Polished Palate is designed with consumers in mind, coordinating tasting events and creating awareness of world class brands. Events feature dozens of spirits, seminars hosted by experts in each field, master distillers, aficionados and authors. The company hosts events in NYC, Tampa, San Diego and Washington DC and is renowned in the alcohol industry as a leading provider of beverage promotions.

Dori Bryant
Polished Palate, LLC
(727) 947-3522


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