It occurs to me as I get older that there is something to the 'old and crotchety' label. Let's clean that up a tad! The 'more mature and comfortably set in your ways' label makes a lot of sense now. You live life and experience what makes it good, what you will and won't tolerate and what makes it all memorable. I'd like to pull positives out of the long-considered negatives and say that it's not about learning what is great and thinking that the whole word has to comply lest you get ornery with the world. Rather, it more about learning what is great and sharing what you know since you are impassioned by your well-seasoned understanding that to share a good thing is more important than leaving folks uninformed in the dark.
With that said, I have discovered a simple wonderful tequila brand that I had the distinct pleasure of experiencing last week at an intimate tasting sponsored by the Barterhouse here in New York City's Flatiron neighborhood. La Hora Azul (Blue Hour) Tequila is a fresh and exciting tequila brand that is labored over with skill and patience which ironically leaves it with a taste that is clean and almost as refreshing as water is to the parched.
What I discovered with Blue Hour Tequila is a simple story with an extraordinary outcome. Their agave collectors pick it at sunrise/sunset (dawn/twilight) or 'the blue hour' when temperatures, light and humidity are at the best for the plant picking. It's this commitment at the very onset before initial distilling that inspires Blue Hour throughout it's whole tequila-making process. It's clean and organic with a characteristic premium nod that makes it a true high-brow stand out in the muddled world of tequilas.
My first sampling was the Blanco, poured from the skillfully executed artisanal and patiently labored-over Blue Hour branded glass bottles, that was served over ice with a sprig of mint. The youngest of the Blue Hour's trio was fresh, crisp and clean with the presence of the mint serving to add a distinctive element of herbal freshness that allowed the purity of the Blanco to shine through. The next was the Reposado, the middleman, paired with a couple of cucumber slices. It was smoky and, while it had more depth than the Blanco, had a smooth flavor that created a pleasant lingering. The third, and not usually my favorite, became my instant favorite with the Blue Hour offering. Their most-seasoned Anejo was just perfect without the heaviness one would expect from an anejo and, when paired with the orange slice in the glass, was full-flavored and incredibly soothing without that weight of a more-seasoned tequila. This particular fact was quite remarkable as it was explained that by Mexican tequila grading standards, Blue Hour's Anejo is actually at a double-anejo grade quality. That really lent credibility to the fact that this is a pure, untainted and honest tequila that in my opinion undeniably placed it at the forefront of noteworthy and top shelf tequilas that should be housed by more establishments in creating a proper and ideal tequila flavor profile for tequila connoisseurs.
What I was also very glad to be introduced to was the pairing of the Blue Hour Tequilas with fine chocolates. At first, my skepticism got the better of me, but my flame for tequila and love affair with chocolate had quickly turned my skepticism into intrigue. On hand at the event was Milène Jardine Chocolatier offering simply amazing artisanal chocolate truffles that when paired with the clean Blue Hour Tequilas became a sweet, exotic, palette-cleansing decadence that offered up a new dessert profile for after-dinner or occasions. Sourcing inspiration from international cuisines, Milène Jardine Chocolatier has flavors like Sanctuary, a ginger, turmeric and black pepper truffle inspired from Japan/India, Goddess, a hibiscus and mint truffle inspired by Egypt and Serenity, a whiskey and sea salt truffle inspired by Ireland.
An extremely fine tequila that you'll just want to keep streamlined with minimal garnishes to preserve the flavor and fine chocolate truffles that are as labored over, rich and thought-out as the unleaded approach to the tequila sums up this tasting. The result of one is purity and the result of the other is decadence. A match made in heaven. Blue Hour Tequila is becoming more readily available at your finer restaurants. Please visit BlueHourTequila.com for more information and cocktail recipes and visit www.MileneJardine.com to experience those decadent truffles and as always please remember to drink and enjoy responsibly.