Jose “Pepe” Hermosillo Brooks, Tequila Casa Noble
Meet Pepe. Co-owner of La Cofradia distillery, home to Tequila Casa Noble. The touchstones for producing Casa Noble are, in Pepe’s words “patience and care for every single detail.”
Consider this: a general practice in Tequila making is to use American whiskey barrels for the aging process. They’re cheap and plentiful. And Tequila aged in once used whiskey barrels tastes maw-velous. But here’s where Casa Noble comes waltzing around the Tequila tailgate party wearing the industry’s equivalent of a black Coco Chanel cocktail dress.
It’s all in the staves, darling.
Pepe’s company imports barrels made in Cognac, France. The wood grain is tighter than American Oak, and production differs considerably. The staves (the individual pieces of wood which are shaped to form the barrel) are split, not buzz sawn and allowed to air dry for 3 years, as opposed to being kiln dried. Patience, yes. Expensive, yes– very. But, appropriately so if you are setting out to create an expression of Tequila that is “the best [you] could do,” which is what Pepe and his noble cohorts have done.
Pepe elaborates on the patience and care doctrines. The agaves, he tells us, are single estate grown, then slow cooked in a stone oven and allowed to ferment naturally. After a triple distillation through alembic stills the Tequila is cloaked in the stylishly elegant import barrels from overseas.
Pepe’s distillery is the 7th largest exporter of Tequila from Mexico, and believe me you: ya gotta get a lotta Tequila across a lotta lips to achieve such a distinction. Pepe’s personal diary of drinking Tequila abroad reads like clips from an Ian Fleming escapade:
… from Moscow drinking Tequila and eating caviar in the middle of the red square with Russian and Cuban friends to the middle of China where not a sole spoke English and less Spanish … to Bordeaux having a tasting with some of the great wine connoisseur, and one of the most memorable is in London giving a Casa Noble tasting at the House of Lords where most of them had never even had tequila before!
Having traveled the globe drinking Tequila, Pepe remarks that an interesting twist to the antiquated lime and salt routine is the European practice of an orange slice with cinnamon. Interesting, perhaps, but truth be told: Casa Noble’s expression of Single Barrel 5 yr Añejo is liquid dessert! It is an expression of Tequila well worth the time and effort