Read Food + Drink

Interview: Master Distiller Viridiana Tinoco on Clase Azul’s Latest Flavorful Expression

This limited edition release honors Día de los Muertos

Courtesy of Clase Azul

Hidden away in the Polanco neighborhood of Mexico City, you’ll find Clase Azul’s new home. This latest real estate acquisition by the brand joins their portfolio of beautiful destinations—from homes in Los Cabos Mexico to Brooklyn. Most recently, this stunning new venue played host to the tequila brand’s launch of their latest enigmatic expression, which honors Día de los Muertos. This special añejo is limited only to 3,500 bottles across the globe. Pulling notes from the beautiful marigold floral arrangements that are customary to the holiday (along with the beautiful candy skulls that adorn the windowsills of the homes), Clase Azul’s Día de los Muertos release tells the story of this incredible holiday in a flavorful and aromatic way. In advance of the celebration, we sat down with their master distiller, Viridiana Tinoco, to learn more about what makes this elixir so special. 

Courtesy of Clase Azul

This latest Clase Azul edition is inspired specifically by Dia de Los Muertos. How does it differ from previous releases? 

Día de Muertos is one of Mexico’s most emblematic traditions. At Clase Azul, as ambassadors of our culture, we’ve designed a series called “Nuestros Recuerdos,” with five decanters, each one telling its own story each year.

The 2023 edition is inspired by the aromas associated with the altars we set up for Dia de Muertos. With the distillate, I wanted to express those sweet notes of fruit and spices that envelop the ofrenda [a traditional offering]. To achieve this, I chose barrels that had previously been used for American whiskey and finished with Armagnac.

How long is this expression in casks?

25 months, first in American whiskey casks and finished in Armagnac casks.

Courtesy of Clase Azul

A big part of the Clase Azul brand is the beautiful bottle. What are some of the design details in this version? 

The bottle is a celebration of Día de Muertos. The creative team collaborated with Mexican artist Jimena Estíbaliz to create a beautiful illustration on the decanter, celebrating with cémpasuchil flowers. And of course, the finishing touch on the decanter, an ornament bathed in 24-karat gold with a fine patina finish, completely made by hand by Mexican artisans over the course of two weeks.

Courtesy of Clase Azul

 How is day of the day brought to life with this edition and how is the traditional marigold represented? 

Along with the creative team, we wanted to first capture you with the decanter and that beautiful marigold color representing the cémpasuchil flower. Once you get to the distillate, we wanted to continue the theme of the cémpasuchil, and used Armagnac casks to create herbal notes throughout the spirit.

Courtesy of Clase Azul

What does this pair well with? 

Matured pears, cashew nuts, duck with rosemary.

Are there special tasting notes for this edition?

Visually, we see a deep amber color with copper highlights. In the aromas and flavors, we get hints of peach, pear, plum, caramelized nuts, toasted oak and clove with an aftertaste of cinnamon and cacao. 

Leave a comment


More stories like this one.