BEST of the BEST 2014 | Leisure | Spirits: Clase Azul Añejo Edición Indígena Mazahua

  • Photo by Paul Dimalanta
    Clase Azul Añejo Edición Indígena Mazahua Photo by Paul Dimalanta

Clase Azul, a boutique tequila fábrica located in the Jésus María region of Arandas in Jalisco, Mexico, not only has produced its first commercially available añejo but, in so doing, also has created what is one of the world’s few truly handcrafted spirits. After slow-roasting the organic Weber’s blue agaves (which are at least 9 years old) in traditional brick ovens called hornos, workers ferment the pressed tequila nectar using pure springwater and Clase Azul’s proprietary yeast, then double distill it in copper-lined stills. The spirit’s true transformation, however, takes place during 25 months of aging inside ex–Jim Beam bourbon barrels. The rich añejo that emerges from these vessels is deep amber in color—much darker than most añejos—and possesses flavors of caramelized cedar and citrus. The tequila is then triple filtered and bottled in handmade, hand-painted Talavera ceramic decanters that feature both glazed and unglazed surfaces to symbolize the Old and New Worlds. Christened Clase Azul Añejo Edición Indígena Mazahua (www​.claseazul.com, $450) to honor the indigenous Mazahua people who still create these decanters, Clase Azul’s premier añejo is as rich in cultural allusions as it is in flavor.  

From Around the Web...
Riedel Vinum Extreme Rosé Provence Glass, $69 for a set of two
An exquisite new way to enjoy rosé, just in time for summer…
These blends of rare old malt and grain whiskies elevate the art of blending to new heights…
Glenmorangie Bacalta
This limited edition from the legendary distillery is destined to become a collector’s item…
Photo by Damion I. Hamilton
Cuban cigar legend Montecristo turns 80 with a big party at Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer in Napa...
The 2006 Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is “an all-Chardonnay cuvée, in the style our ancestors created,” says  Taittinger
A classically trained artist, Vitalie Taittinger is furthering her family’s traditions in Champagne…
5 Superb American Whiskeys
These top non-bourbon made-in-America spirits showcase the freedom of whiskey distilling in the U.S...
Puebla ($85)
Mezcal is gaining in popularity and entering the premium market…
 Hochstadter’s Family Reserve Straight Rye Whiskey ($200)
This premium rye whiskey is an homage to pre-Prohibition spirits…
Nikka Coffey Malt Japanese Whisky ($75)
This Japanese whisky uses Scottish barley in its malting…
Legacy Collection from the Macallan in Lalique sold for $993,000
The Macallan and Lalique Legacy Collection sets a world record for a single whisky lot at auction…