Death and Tequila


OK, we admit it: A skeleton on a bottle usually makes us think “cyanide” before it does “award-winning tequila,” but in the case of Espolón Blanco and Reposado Tequilas, it’s all part of the plan.


“The labels use traditional 19th Century ‘Dia de los Muertos’ imagery,” explains Umberto Luchini, Director of American Whiskeys and Tequila Portfolio at Skyy Spirits. As it turns out, they depict Guadalupe and Rosarita, two folk heroines as pivotal to Mexican identity as tequila itself. “The Blanco label tells the story of Guadalupe and Rosarita joining Father Miguel Hidalgo in his campaign for Mexican independence from Spain. While on the Reposado, the couple scheme to infuse elements of Aztec culture into every market in Mexico.”


History lessons aside, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Espolóns. Both were gold-medal winners at the San Francisco Spirits Competition back in 2000, and why not? Each, Blanco and Reposado, is super premium, 100 percent pure agave and handcrafted in the Los Altos regions of Jalisco. Aficionados flipped for them and bartenders swore by them, but there was a caveat to all the accolades – they were a limited release. Like true spirits from the underworld, they came, they partied, and – poof! – they vanished.


Re-released in 2010, Espolón Tequila Blanco (40 percent ABV) is crystal-clear tequila possessing a soft-mouth feel with notes of pepper, vanilla bean and grilled pineapple, finishing clean with a hint of spice. Espolón Tequila Reposado (also 40 percent ABV) has a golden hue, aged six months in American Oak barrels. The bold, round mouth-feel leads to a medium-dry, full-bodied palate with rich roasted agave, sweet tropical fruit, intense vanilla and brown spices, finishing slowly with a sweet spicy fade.


Says Andrea Conzonato, Chief Operating Officer at Skyy Spirits, “Espolón is inspired by Mexican culture and it is our hope that drinkers will be inspired to learn a little more about Mexico’s storied history and, at the same time, create memorable moments of their own.”


You can just picture Guadalupe and Rosarita rubbing their boney hands together.