Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mi Casa es Su Casa: Casa Noble Tequila

Long before I became a whiskey nut, I was drinking Tequila. Prior to my first trip to Mexico, I had mostly been a wine and beer drinker with the occasional cocktail thrown in. I wasn't sipping straight spirits.

That all changed for me one night at the Bar La Opera in Mexico City, a beautiful nineteenth century establishment with holes in the ceiling that allegedly dated back to a shooting spree by Pancho Villa after a night of drinks.

It was at La Opera that I was served up a shot of Heradurra Reposado along with a side of sangrita, the citrus/chili juice that is a popular Tequila chaser in Mexico. I couldn't believe the smoothness and flavor of the drink, and I was an immediate convert. It was this introduction to straight, brown spirits that eventually led me to whiskey, but that's another story.

This was somewhat before the big super-premium Tequila boom, so good Tequilas were few and far between in the US. Over the last ten years, of course, Tequila has cashed in, and now it is everywhere. It is also increasingly expensive and encased in ever more elaborate designer bottles. I still go back to Hearradura (both reposado and añejo) as my favorites, but I also like to branch out.


Casa Noble Añejo is a 100% blue agave Tequila that is 40% alcohol. The agave for Casa Noble is grown exclusively in their fields near the town of Tequila in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. Unlike most Tequila, which is double distilled, Casa Noble is triple distilled and aged for five years in French white oak barrels.

The Casa Noble Tequila is probably the smoothest Tequila I have ever had. In whiskey terms, I'd compare it to a Lowland Scotch or Irish whiskey...smooth and light while still quite flavorful. The aroma has some pronunced vanilla, while the flavors present include sweet berries, cream, and some salt. The agave flavor, while present, is understated.

Undoubtedly, the smoothness of this Tequila is at least partly the impact of the triple distillation. As I'm a lover of strong flavors and I like a big agave punch, the Casa Noble is perhaps too smooth for me, but it is a perfect drink for someone who is new to premium Tequila, especially a Scotch or Irish whiskey drinker.

Casa Noble Añejo sells for about $70 and is available at most good liquor stores. They also make Tequila blanco and reposado.

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