Avion Silver Tequila
Review: Avion Silver Tequila 92.5/100
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published July 1, 2012
According to the website, Avion Silver Tequila is a pure 100% Weber Blue Agave tequila made from the hand-picked agave grown in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. As a highland tequila,we can expect the Avion Tequila to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the delivery and in the finish. (This is as opposed to lowland tequila which has stronger earthier flavours of agave and less hot pepper.)
To produce Avion Tequila, the harvested agave from the highlands is first slow roasted in brick ovens to bring out its natural flavors and aromas. After distillation, but before the tequila is bottled it is run through a proprietary “Ultra Slow Filtration” process which apparently lasts ten times longer than the filtration process for other tequilas. Something good must be happening because according to the Judges at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, this tequila is pretty darn good. They awarded Avion Silver Tequila as the Best Unaged White Spirit, and then gave it a Double Gold Medal for the second year in a row.
This product has been brought into my local market by Corby, and I was delighted when the local rep arranged for me to receive a bottle to review on my website. I thought I would begin the review with an amusing commercial I found on the Avion Website:
The video clip uses humour to good effect. I am curious to see if the Avion is as painless as the commercial implies.
In the Bottle 4/5
The Avion Silver arrives in the clear, somewhat squat decanter style bottle shown to the left. My bottle is hand numbered on the neck as from batch number 019AST, bottle number 3404.
A. Lopez has certified that he was the distiller for this particular batch.
Although the bottle presentation is not bad, it is not stellar either. Some of the label information is hard to read against the backdrop of the clear bottle and the clear tequila inside. As well, the spout of the bottle is slightly flaired which causes only the very bottom of the cork to have contact with the inside of the spout. (When I opened my bottle, and examined the cork I noticed that only the very bottom third of the cork had any sign of dampness. This led me to examine the flared spout, and I realized that most of the cork had no contact with the inside of the bottle.)
In the Glass 9.5/10
I poured out a small sample of the Avion Silver into my glass and began with a good look at the spirit before I began to nose it. The tequila is clear, and I see no sign of colour. This is consistent with a blanco tequila which has had no contact with wood. I gave my glass a light tilt and a slow swirl, and I discovered a light sheen was left on the inside of the glass which slowly disappeared but gave up no legs. I am happy with my observations.
When I brought the glass to my nose, I was taken aback. The nose is wonderful. There is a light effervescent aroma of grapefruit zest which caught my attention immediately. The aroma is very reminiscent of the smells of springtime just after a light rain shower; it is fresh, clean and very enticing. I also discovered a moderately punky/fruity agave aroma with a mild white pepper scent rising from the glass. A light sweetness is carried by the agave. The overall effect of the glass upon the senses is very relaxing, and I must have spent at least five minutes just nosing the glass, which for me is very unusual when I sample blanco tequila.
In the Mouth 56/60
This is exactly how I want my highland tequila to taste. A lightly hot white pepper leads out chased by a light honey-like sweetness. Some punky agave flavours remind me of cucumbers and baked squash, and these impressions settle into the flavour profile nicely. There are also some nice anise-like accents that seem to further soften the flavour. The result is a blanco tequila which is very easy to sip. I can see why the Avion Silver won the awards for Best Unaged White Spirit at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition; like those judges at that competition, I find the tequila very smooth and very good.
Although I can sip the tequila quite easily, I was very enthusiastic about trying a few cocktails as part of the review process, I always start with a traditional Margarita, and then I try a few of my own recipes as well. There were no surprises when I mixed the cocktails. The Avion tequila performed extremely well in the cocktail format just as it had when I sipped it neat.
In The Throat 13.5/15
We have a classic highland tequila finish with soft agave followed by a nice tonsil licking bite of hot pepper. Despite the hot pepper, there is no burn down in the lower in the throat, just a lingering spiciness that leaves the palate heated and the back of the throat heated. This is very smooth and very good. (In a highland tequila sort of way you understand.)
The Afterburn 9.5/10
I will be honest here and admit that when I saw the bottle of Avion Tequila for the first time I was not overly impressed. The bottle was nice, but it really gave me an impression of ‘average’. Boy was I wrong, and just like you can not judge a book by its cover, you also cannot judge a Tequila by its bottle. The Avion Silver Tequila is absolutely wonderful, and worthy of the highest score I have given for any white spirit on my website thus far.
The Dreadful Lemon Sky
2 Oz Avion Silver Tequila
1 Oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/2 Oz Sugar Syrup
3/8 Oz Triple Sec
(optional add two drops yellow food colouring)
Place a lemon slice in a cocktail glass
Place the first four ingredients in a metal shaker with equal parts of crushed ice and ice cubes
Shake vigorously until the sides of the shaker frost
Strain over the Lemon slice in the cocktail glass
Note: This cocktail continues my series of Tequila cocktails named after the Travis McGee novels of American author John D. MacDonald. I have always like the Travis McGee novels, and the titles of these novels just seem to me to be particularly well suited to be also the names of great cocktails.
You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing Tequila. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, (we are probably still cocktail in territory).
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing delicious cocktails!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)