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We Ask Marina Wilson About Launch, Espanita Double Barrel Añejo

With tequila-making comes centuries of tradition and heritage, but companies like Espanita continue experimenting with innovative new methods to elevate the spirit.

The just released Espanita Double Barrel Añejo Tequila is the latest expansion of the company’s range of distinct offerings focused on aging and maturation. By working with two styles of wood, this new launch brings a unique aged tequila to the market that can hold its own with the finest premium whiskeys.

Since launching in 2017 under the guidance of Founder and President Marina Wilson, Espanita has been producing some of Mexico’s finest tequilas from 100% Blue Agaves grown at high elevations in the Highlands of Jalisco. Each handcrafted tequila is made according to labor intensive, often ancient traditions that allow the region’s unique terroir to shine. We ask Marina to tell us more about this exciting new expression.

Tell us about the launch of Espanita’s Double Barrel Añejo.

Espanita Double Barrel Añejo is the latest addition to our brand family that was launched in November of 2023. To create our Double Barrel Añejo, we age our 100% Highlands Blue Agave tequila in American oak for at least twelve months and then finish maturation process for up to eight more months in Bourbon barrels. The result is unique and intriguing double barrel aged tequila with an authentic style, excellent structure, and long, seamless finish that showcases delectable Bourbon accents resting on a slow-roasted Agave center. This new release is a culmination of our many years of work with Bourbon cask finishes, including cask curation, researching the influence of bourbons with different ages and mash bills, and represents our first age expression in ultra-premium price range. I very much look forward to sharing this excellent double barrel aged tequila with bartending community and with all tequila-loving consumers.

What inspired this expression?

While Blanco, an unaged kind of tequila, deservingly remains the most sold category, consumer interest towards aged expressions of their favorite Blue Agave spirit is on the rise. In 2022, as market data shows, Reposado accounted for 31.69% share of sales value of tequila produced in Mexico and Añejo – for 19.58%.* These consumption trends have inspired us to start experimenting with various barrel finishes for aging tequila and with different maturation approaches. Creating a well-balanced aged tequila is an extremely interesting but also a very challenging endeavor because delicate floral and citrusy Agave notes can be easily overpowered by strong wood-derived flavors. This work eventually led to the launch of our Barrel Reserve collection in 2023 and an inaugural release of 97-point rated Espanita Double Barrel Reposado tequila, which is now followed by Double Barrel Añejo.

For our flagship launches in this collection, we have carefully curated freshly emptied casks used to house Kentucky bourbon with particular mash bills and experimented with aging techniques, perfecting the process. The goal was to create an aged tequila enriched with tantalizing Bourbon notes, but still expressing its grassy, fruit-driven Agave foundation. To achieve this goal, the first round of maturation takes place in toasted American White Oak casks and then tequila is transferred to Bourbon casks where aging is completed. Second round of barrel-aging allows us to precisely control the maturation process and development of desired flavor notes. Experimenting with different barrel finishes celebrates the innovative spirit of our brand as well as the creativity and skills of the artisans at our distillery.

Source: Statista

What makes this spirit stand out from the rest?

We believe that the craftsmanship behind Espanita Double Barrel Añejo and our steadfast commitment to quality and adherence to time-honored traditional production techniques, a core foundation of our brand’s identity, make this double barrel aged tequila to stand out from the rest thanks to its unique flavor profile and its unmatched versatility. I am particularly proud that our new double barrel aged Añejo is not only an excellent sipper but also pushes the boundaries on tequila’s application in mixology. It truly opens up a realm of cocktails waiting to be discovered.

What would you like bartenders to know about this launch? What are bartenders doing with the spirit?

Espanita Double Barrel Añejo tequila has surpassed all our expectations on how well this expression would perform in mixology applications. Extended aging and subsequent maturation in freshly emptied Bourbon casks enriched the flavor profile with bold, opulent notes of toasted honey oak, caramel, vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted nuts, and cinnamon, the hallmarks of a well-aged brown spirit. Combined with citrusy and herbal notes contributed by slow roasted Blue Agave, the result is an elegantly balanced, nuanced Añejo with excellent structure and great aromatics that creates truly outstanding riffs on such classic cocktails as Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Negroni, Sidecar and numerous spins on Sour cocktails.

Double Barrel Añejo pairs well with such Italian bitters as Aperol, Campari and Cynar, and shines in amari-based cocktails whose bittersweet herbal complexity provides an excellent match to our tequila’s vegetal Agave foundation. We also recommend experimentation with bitters and liqueurs such as ginger, apricot or coffee, and nut-flavored liqueurs such as Amaretto or Frangelico. We were amazed at how consistently Double Barrel Añejo outperformed conventional spirits in mixed drinks and resulted in more flavorful, mouthwatering cocktails; possibilities are truly endless! It’s a perfect time to redefine how people enjoy tequila and let your creativity flow.

What can you tell us about the premium tequila category?

Premiumization remains one of the main drivers of spirits’ growth in the US and this is a particularly important trend in the tequila segment. While negative economic trends can affect the degree of growth of super premium spirits, a lot of factors work towards supporting sales volumes of super premium tequila brands, including the rise in innovative cocktails, and growing cocktail culture across the country, product innovations, exclusive limited releases as well as evolving consumer education about Blue Agave spirits and their preference for high-quality spirits and natural ingredients. We believe that the corner stone of enduring success in premium category is to enhance people’s knowledge about craft tequila, encourage their curiosity and inspire experimentation in mixology.

What’s next for you and Espanita?

At Espanita Tequila Company we believe in innovation being a key to holding consumer interest and we are constantly working on new expressions while staying faithful to traditional, artisanal production techniques that are crucial to creating authentic, agave-forward tequila. In the heart of all our innovations is desire to find new creative ways to express the spirit of Blue Agave, to celebrate and honor its roots and essence. In 2023, we launched two new tequilas in our Barrel Reserve collection, experimenting with Bourbon casks and maturation techniques, and are encouraged by the success of these releases.

We are currently working on aged tequilas with different barrel finishes that, as we hope, will please bartending community and tequila aficionados. We also continue our work on expanding our 100% Agave “Signature Infusions” collection, curating natural ingredients complimenting tequila’s flavor profile and developing maceration approaches. I believe that soon we shall be able to unveil more exciting new age and flavor expressions as we are building our brand’s legacy.

The post We Ask Marina Wilson About Launch, Espanita Double Barrel Añejo appeared first on Chilled Magazine.

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