Avion Silver Tequila
Review: Avion Silver Tequila 87/100
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Originally Published July 1, 2012
Revisited and Re-scored May 09, 2015
According to their 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.)
Although the Avion website does not specify the exact distillery which produces this agave spirit, I did notice that the identified NOM on the bottom of the label 1416. This NOM identifier is required by the Mexican Government to be placed on the label of each bottle of tequila to verify that it is produced legally from agave sourced in the Tequila region of Mexico. Each distillery has its own NOM, and thus we can trace the distillery of origin. In this case it is Productos Finos de Agave who incidentally also produce Casamigos Tequila.
According to the information provided to me, 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 tequila. 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 two years in a row.
In the Bottle 4/5
Although the bottle presentation is not terrible, 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.)
Note: When I returned to this bottle more than two years later, I was happy to see that despite my concerns over the corkage, the seal on the bottle and the tequila inside were both doing fine.
In the Glass 9/10
It is almost three years since I originally reviewed Avion Tequila and whether my perceptions have changed, or whether the Tequila has evolved over time is hard to say. Visually the spirit is pretty much how I remember it. It is clear with no sign of colour which 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 and displayed only a few thin legs which disappeared quickly.
When I brought the glass to my nose, I noticed a light effervescent almost spicy aroma of grapefruit zest which was reminiscent of the smells of my back garden after a light rain shower. I found the aroma light and clean, almost refreshing. I also noticed a moderately punky/fruity agave aroma with a mild white pepper scent rising from the glass with a light fruity sweetness carried by the agave. The overall effect of the glass upon the senses is relaxing although perhaps just a little stronger push of agave would have boosted the score higher.
In the Mouth 52.5/60
When I brought my sample glass to my mouth I tasted a lightly hot white pepper which was muted slightly by a light sugarcane-like sweetness. The punky agave flavours reminded me of grilled zucchini or squash with perhaps a bit of raw cucumber and pumpkin. There were also some nice (although ever so light) mint and anise-like flavours which accented the flavour profile. As I indicated in my original review three years ago, 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 found the tequila very smooth and very good.
When my tasting group, the Rum Chums sampled the Avion spirit as part of our deliberations for the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge, we determined that the Avion was a nice mixing spirit, although its milder agave flavour profile tended to be dominated by the lime and the Cointreau in our Margarita Cocktail. (For this competition, I designed a standard cocktail (see recipe here).) I would suggest that a lighter Orange liqueur such as Bols Triple Sec would work better with the Avion Blanco.
In The Throat 13/15
The Avion Silver displays 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 throat, just a lingering spiciness that leaves the palate heated and the back of the throat heated. This is crisp and smooth, although perhaps I wanted just a little more fruity agave in the finish than was apparent.
The Afterburn 8.5/10
When I originally reviewed the Avion Silver almost 3 years ago I was to some extent blown away by what was then, the nicest Blanco Tequila I had reviewed to that point on my website. It was in fact, the nicest white spirit I had encountered. It is almost three years later and now with more experience, I find my enthusiasm for the Avion has waned just a little. It is very nice, but I am finding the spirit is perhaps just a little more laid back than I now prefer when I sip Tequila.
My score of 87/100 reflects a blanco spirit which is excellent for sipping and for mixing (see my suggested recipe below).
Note: I still had about half of my original bottle of Avion Silver and I tasted it to see whether it was I, or whether it was the Tequila which had changed. The blanco spirit showed me no differences between the spirit which had been given to me three years ago and the one which I was given this year, so the change in my preference appears to be a result of my evolving taste.
You may read some of my other Tequila Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
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)