Last week I had lunch with Sang Chae, the distributor of tequila brands Aha Toro and Amigo. I told him I liked tequila, especially late at night with friends, but that Patron shots usually ended badly for me.
Obviously agitated by my comment, he insisted that we immediately do some taste testing at his office. Who was I to argue after he bought me a wonderful sushi lunch?
So, here is what I learned about his tequilas:
- Aha Toro is a premium brand at around $44-50 per bottle (depending on the type)
- Aha Toro Anejo has been aged in a barrel for 18 months. That’s why it is darker than most tequilas I have gulped. Nice wood barrel favoring. Full.
- Aha Toro Blanco has been aged only 3 days in a stainless stell container for the young and non-wood flavor. Light and smooth.
- Aha Toro Reposado is aged 8 months.
- Amigo is the new brand that Sang has launched and sells for around $27-31.
- Amigo Reposado is aged only 2 months, so has a young flavor. Very easy to drink. Agave obvious.
I also learned how to evaluate tequila:
- Smell the boutique. Can you smell the agave? It shouldn’t smell of too much alcohol (news to me :))
- Swirl the glass to look for tears. If too runny, it is not good.
- Pour some onto your open palm and rub your hands together. Then, smell the odor. Is it like agave cologne or rubbing alcohol?
- Finally, sip and taste. That’s right sip — it’s not a shot.
In my evaluation, I much preferred Amigo and Aha Toro over Patron. In fact, the Amigo Reposado was my favorite overall.
I told him that he really had a wonderful brand that needed more exposure. I gave some ideas about leveraging social media, as well as some marketing campaign ideas. What marketer wouldn’t want to work with Aha Toro?
Later, I took a bottle of Amigo Reposado that I scored from the lunch for a party at a friend’s condo at the Cristalla in Seattle. I encouraged people to sip the tequila. By the night’s end, more people drank the tequila than the Grey Goose vodka or the MacCallan scotch whiskey. That was a surprise.
Then, I walked out into Belltown and tripped in a pothole, severely spraining my ankle. But that’s another story, and had nothing to do with the tequila.