The tequila market has become increasingly flooded of late, with dozens upon dozens of brands vying for a slice of a steadily growing world audience. But even with so much competition, Avion retains its enormous popularity. 

Its cameo on the HBO hit "Entourage" — where it came across as a hip, craft alternative to Patron — was undoubtedly a boost to its profile, but this craft brand from the small town of Jesus Maria, Mexico, built its success the slow, old-fashioned way, by remaining steadfast in its time-honored philosophy and methods.

That head-down, artisanal approach has won it legions of followers, as well as commendation from the highest quarters of the spirits world. Last year, the company's Extra Añejo netted the top prize at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York. Earlier in the decade, it was named "World's Best Tequila" at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

A strict and methodical process governs the making of all of its premium tequilas. Only single origin, blue agave grown at high elevation is used. The agave is hand-harvested and slow-roasted at low temperatures in brick ovens for two days, and the resulting liquid is ultra-slow filtered (which takes up to ten times longer), and aged in former American whiskey barrels.

Everything that is done in the facility, is done with a single goal in mind: to preserve the character and flavor and purity of the agave.

With this bottling, the crew at Avion has sought to combine the brightness of agave with the depth of Añejo.

What our tastings showed was a fresh and aromatic tequila that nevertheless achieves the complexity of a barrel-aged tequila. On the nose, beyond the primary notes of oak, vanilla, caramel and warm spices, we were delighted to encounter a subtle minerality, along with the presence of lime zest and fresh agave. On the palate, this is a rich, multi-dimensional drinking experience, with creamy notes of vanilla, pecans, roasted agave and pineapple.

It's a marvelous slow-sipper, superb by its lonesome, but we couldn't resist and also made a round of excellent margaritas with it — glorying in its cleanness and richness, and wondering how it was that we had all drained our glasses so quickly.

But that's Avion: supremely pure and smooth, a tequila for sophisticates.

Our allotment is not large, and tequilas tend to go fast around here, so don't delay!




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