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Azunia Black, Special Edition Anejo

Azuñia Black, Special
Edition Añejo Tequila


By Robert Plotkin

The Zuñiga family—makers of Azuñia Tequila—is one of the oldest agave growers in Jalisco. Their legacy can be traced back for generations, during which they accrued a reputation for distillation mastery. The Azuñia range offers enthusiasts skillfully crafted tequilas and a multitude of authentic flavors at a remarkably fair price. Their most impressive release to date is Azuñia Black, Special Edition Añejo, a stately, ultra-sophisticated spirit that answers the often-asked question of which tequila to take to a deserted island.

Azuñia Black is crafted in the Lowlands of Jalisco at Agavero Unidos de Amatitán [NOM 1426]. The family owned and operated distillery is the artistic outlet of Master Distiller Salvador Rivera Cardona.

The process begins with hand-trimmed, mature agaves. The sugar-rich plants are taken to the distillery where they're roasted for 36 hours in traditional clay ovens, called hornos. The fibrous plants are then shredded to express their juice, transferred to vats and slowly fermented using natural, airborne yeast over the course of 5-7 days. Afterwards, the fermented wash is double-distilled in a copper pot still and filtered for purity.

"At that point, the tequila is either bottled as the fresh and vibrant Azuñia Blanco, or put into charred, American Oak barrels for maturation," explains importer Jim Riley of Intersect Beverage. "There it will sit for a minimum of two years. Azuñia Tequilas celebrates the flavor of the terroir in the finished product. Each expression in the range preserves the base flavor profile. Other brands often lose the essence of the agave during the aging process."

The 2-year old special edition añejo has a full, curvaceous body and a generous bouquet laced with the bakery-fresh aromas of mocha, caramel, vanilla and cocoa. It is an excellent tequila to allow for additional time breathing to fully open up. The tequila generates scant heat as it passes the palate and glides effortlessly to a long, sultry finish, a lingering fade marked by notes of toffee, dark chocolate and subtle smoky notes.

In case you're wondering, each expression of Azuñia tequila is better than the one preceding it, and it doesn't matter in which order you try them.

The Azuñia Blanco has a satiny textured body and an alluring floral bouquet with lively herbal and citrus notes. Frankly, its high aromatics are well worth the price of admission.

Azuñia Reposado is barrel aged in American oak for 3 months, while the Azuñia Añejo is matured for a minimum of a year. Both are graced with an herbaceous and black pepper nose. They fill the mouth with the flavors of lemons, oranges, vanilla, toffee and toasted oak. Their finishes are long and laced with the added flavor of dark chocolate, semisweet herbs and fresh citrus.