Pasote (pronounced pa-so-te) is a traditionally made Tequila. Pasote is named for the fierce spirit of Aztec warriors and this new line includes Blanco, Reposado and Anejo tequilas. Let me say that again....Pasote is a REAL traditionally made tequila. This is great news and I am very excited about this, and would love to see this trend continue. Do you know how unusual this is? This means Horno oven cooked, tahona crushed, and copper pot still distillation. You don't usually get any better than that. And wait until you hear where it's made, and who makes it.
Pasote is produced at El Pandillo- NOM 1579 in Los Altos, by Felipe Camarena. Felipe is the Master Distiller, and this is his first tequila produced there, after his G4 line. El Pandillo was specifically designed to make only the best tequila in a purely traditional way. It is the ONLY production method used there. There are no autoclaves, no diffusers, no column stills, no other milling equipment, only his own inventions, and only the absolute best procedures are used here. A mechanical tahona, called Frankenstein or 'Felipenstein', as some call it, and his powerful shredder (called Igor), a 19,000 pound reclaimed steamroller, powered by a one-horsepower engine are used, and are made from old and used parts by Felipe himself. He even customized his ovens (hornos) to create an "even cooking" method to evenly roast all the agave pinas.
Camarena's unique capture of rain water, is an important part of his tequilas, and he told me himself how important the water is, in producing tequila. Pasote is a 40% mix of rainwater to 60% of spring water, opposed to a 50/50 mix for G4. It doesn't sound like much of a difference, but it is. Spring water gives you more naturally earthy minerals, which clearly adds this dimension to Pasote's profile. Often people describe the 'pleasant smell in the air before and accompanying a first rain', which is called 'petrichor'. This is a sweet, earthy scent produced when rain falls, after a dry spell. You can smell the sweet, fresh, powerfully evocative smell of fresh rain, here in Pasote Tequila as well.
Felipe Camarena produces this brand for owner and importer- August Sebastiani of 3 badge Beverage Corporation of Sonoma, California. Sebastiani announced back in September that they will diversify into products beyond the wine business, entering the markets for premium tequila, bottled water and nuts. Pasote features three bold, hand-screened graphics of distinct warriors. Each custom-made Pasote glass bottle is made by a family of glass artisans and has distinctive, wave patterns visible in the glass. The name 3 badge comes from a 'find of papers' that August discovered when they bought the local firehouse for their company offices, and discovered that their grandfather, being a fireman in Sonoma, was decorated with 3 badges of honor. In January 2016 the company name changed from 'The Other Guys Inc' to 3 Badge Beverage Corp. Brother Donny and sister Mia, run 3 Badge Beverage Corporation, along with August (President) on the right.
Pasote couldn't have picked a better distillery or a better producer than Felipe Camarena. Felipe gets the most out of his distillery and his production procedures. This man knows exactly what he's doing, and is a true Tequila Master, and his name is on every bottle (below). Besides using strictly traditional methods, Felipe gets extra floral, herbal and specious aromas by not cutting the heads like others. He knows exactly how his machinery works, and he knows where, and where NOT to cut. He explained to me recently that by using the tahona, a more gentle process than milling, he stays well below the limits for superior alcohols. So besides the extra flavors that are not cut away, and with no loss of alcohol, the change in the water mix here, gives Pasote....let's say a more 'rustic aroma and slightly less refined taste', from his G4 products.
Pasote's Reposado and Anejo are also aged longer than G4 as well. Although there is a similar taste profile with G4, as they both are made in a similar fashion, with the same procedures and equipment, Pasote will appeal to connoisseurs and beginners alike, as it has the added minerals and is slightly less refined, but is still very smooth, with plenty of cooked agave, vegital and earthy notes, and extremely easy to drink. This tequila is very smooth, which isn't a bad thing by any means, as it is not boring, which is what I always worry about. Although I find plenty of sweetness in the blanco especially, it is a nice natural sweetness. Everything seems perfectly balanced here.
This traditionally made tequila is bolder and full of flavors, and the blanco has a minty, licorice, earthy, agave forward, mineral profile. It is somewhat complex, but like G4, is also very smooth, silky and buttery, and so easy to drink. People that drink a lot of blancos are going to love this tequila and I believe the connoisseurs will appreciate it immediately, as the rest of the world will catch up soon thereafter. I mean there is definite sweetness here, possibly more than I wanted, but it's a natural sweetness, one that you will notice is not a fabricated, artificial sweetness. I was hoping that Pasote would have been even more rustic, but compared to other quality tequilas, especially ones produced with Los Altos' sweet agaves, this is different and bolder, and with this water mix, I like the direction that Pasote went in. It is a truly delicious blanco, and I immediately put it on Lou's Top Tequila List- (SEE the 'Top Tequilas' Tab- Lou's Top Blanco's). Pasote gives you something extra to taste and experience. Another great thing besides a slightly different profile, is the price. The entire line is priced very fairly, especially for the quality and procedures involved. ZEE Tequila has the blanco for $37.99, The reposado for $44.99 and the anejo for $51.99. All these can be ordered right off this website- See the "Buy tequila here" banner. Pasote is not for sale yet on the east coast, so on-line buying is an easy way to buy it, as I did.
It's no secret that I love the products from El Pandillo Nom 1579, and that I respect Felipe Camarena. I loved G4 when I had my first sips 2 years ago, and although this is similar, Pasote is a bit bolder, with the added heavy mineral taste, but still silky-smooth to drink. Pasote blanco has a sort of rustic, clay like taste, and more of an earthy, mineral rich taste over other tequilas. As Felipe told me, this water mix contributes to a different Ph level and I love it. All the Pasote tequilas are made at 40% abv. The Reposado looks light in color but don't let that fool you.The blanco and The Reposado are the big winners here. They both are absolutely amazing. Although I'm not generally a big Reposado lover, this one grabbed me, and didn't want to let go, it is exceptional. The Reposado kept many of the characteristics of the blanco, although not as sweet, and I really love both of these expressions. Not that there is anything wrong with the anejo, but I found it light and a little bland.
BLANCO- The blanco has lots of delicious sweet roasted agave, is clean and soft, earthy and fresh, very grassy and vegital. It is sweet, minty, heavy on the minerals, peppery and floral with fragrant notes, some citrus as well as some smoke, and definite anise (licorice). It has a very inviting nose, that you don't want to stop smelling. It has some nice anticipated heat, but you'll have to wait for it, as it's only on the back end. It was so sweet and silky-smooth all the way through. A Nice medium oil coats your mouth. There's a lot happening here, and I think connoisseurs, as well as people looking for a bolder, but still very smooth and silky blanco... will absolutely love this. Pasote has jumped right into the Top 6 of Lou's Top Blancos.
NOSE- a soft, sweet, fresh, earthy nose, vegital, with anise (licorice) and mint. Herbal with some pepper and spice, a pinch of brine, very mineral rich, with a pinch of smoke and citrus, along with tons of sweet cooked agave and very grassy. It has a rainy day aroma, with a pinch of scented floral.
TASTE- sweet, some citrus, buttery, soft, pinch of brine, baked agave, minerals, herbal, anise (licorice), minty, earthy, a vegital taste with some pepper, smooth and silky.
FINISH- The finish was really smooth, with some nice but welcomed heat finally appearing, mint, fresh and earthy with a nice clean long and lingering aftertaste.
REPOSADO- aged 8 months in used, charred American oak bourbon barrels. You can still taste the agave notes here, and nice oaky, fruity, rich, soft flavors, and a finish that is long, sweet and clean.
NOSE- bourbon/oak, some alcohol, pepper and spice, fruit, smoke, some sweetness, earthy, minerals, touch of caramel, floral fragrance, anise (licorice), clove, a pinch of cinnamon, some fruit, soft, with complicated aromas.
TASTE- thin to medium oils, some sweetness, some alcohol heat, buttery, caramel, citrus, pinch of spice and pepper and fruit. Smooth and silky, with a touch of smoke.
FINISH- spice, fruit, light heat, buttery and sweet with a nice long exit.
ANEJO- light and very soft overall, somewhat bland, with some cooked agave presence but much less minerality. Definite vanilla, a pinch of olive brine and some sweetness, but not much more. Aged 20 months in used, charred American oak bourbon barrels. This is my least favorite of the expressions, less complicated than expected, but still a solid anejo.
NOSE- sweet whiskey/bourbon aromas, caramel, a pinch of cinnamon, and olive brine, soft, some spice and pepper, herbal, vanilla, cooked agave, mild fruit, a pinch of smoke, and some heat. A light and mild nose.
TASTE- thin to medium oils, cooked agave, some late alcohol heat, caramel, spice, mild sweetness, vanilla, pinch of anise, caramel, some citrus, a pinch of dark chocolate and honey, some spice and a pinch of cinnamon.
FINISH- spice, oak, pepper, caramel, mild alcohol heat, some smoke and a medium to long smooth finish.
Pasote is an amazing line of bold and tasty traditional tequilas. This blanco and Reposado are world class tequilas, and will knock your socks off. If you can't find it... order in on-line. You will Love it!!
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