Tequila has become an exciting category. For a few decades, the agave spirit known for cocktails and shots has evolved, and it now represents the best of two worlds, casual drinking and high-end sipping spirits.
The finest Tequilas are as complex and enjoyable as premium Cognac, Whiskey, and Scotch. No spirit collection is complete without a few bottles of premium Tequila. Spirit lovers and connoisseurs are more than excited to see new premium tequila brands hit the shelves every few months, but no launch has been as anticipated and well received as the one of Volcán XA. Is this the most luxurious Tequila on the market?
Volcán de mi Tierra XA, "My land's volcano," is the luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessy's new undertaking in the agave spirit category. The company is well known for premium brands of other types, including Hennessy Cognac and Dom Perignon Champagne. This time, LVMH made headlines by releasing perhaps the most luxurious Tequila that has ever existed by turning to the most artisan agave-growing traditions. Then, they merged them with the art of aging Cognac.
Volcán XA is made 100% with Blue Agave grown in Jalisco's highlands and lowlands, in some of the region's most fertile, iron-rich volcanic soils. Volcán means volcano, and the spirit's name was chosen for the volcanic soil's importance in growing the highest-quality agave. Every plant ripens for an average of 3,250 days before being harvested — that's almost ten years! Patience, of course, pays off.
Once the agaves reach peak maturity, they are hand-harvested, roasted in rustic 'mampostery' ovens, ground in the region's famous 'tahona' stone mills, and fermented in wood tanks. No expense is spared in making the most wholesome Tequila with pain-stalking and labor-intensive methods by people that have crafted artisan tequila for generations. That's how a premium spirit is born.
Volcán Tequila is not ready to swoon spirit lovers off their feet until it spends time in oak barrels. The time spent in this maturation process determines the tequila style. And although young Tequila is not as complex (or expensive) as those aged for months, no type of Tequila is better than others — they're different and suit distinct palates. Before we explore the XA version of this modern yet traditional spirit, let's meet the family.
Volcán de mi Tierra Blanco is a beautiful expression of the land, and it's perhaps the Tequila does the best job of reflecting the agave's ripe personality. This award-winning clear spirit offers notes of fresh herbs, citrus peels, and spices with hits of white flowers and pears. This delightful yet fiery stand-alone spirit can also be part of the most creative cocktails.
Volcán de mi Tierra Reposado is made with riper high-altitude blue agave and ages for a minimum of two months but less than a year in American and European oak casks. The result is a golden spirit reminiscent of black currants, red apple peels, and yellow peaches over a medium-bodied palate infused with toasted nuts and dried fruit extending long into the aftertaste. This great Tequila is extraordinary on its own and the rocks.
Volcán de mi Tierra Cristalino is a carbon-filtered blend of añejo and extra-añejo tequilas. The crystal-clear spirit has the complexity of a well-aged spirit, offering hints of dried fruits, chocolate, caramel, and vanilla over a full-bodied palate with immense elegance.
Volcán XA. The Best of the Best
This year, LVMH released a rare type of Tequila inspired by its success with the Volcán tequilas described above. Premium tequilas are often made in the extra-añejo style, a legal term reserved exclusively for agave spirits aged for a minimum of three years. Still, Vólcan XA is not an extra-añejo but something else entirely.
According to LVMH, Volcán XA took 50 trials to develop, and the spirit ages for 36 months in American oak "Grace" casks, the period required by law for the extra-añejo category. Still, the premium spirit is a blend of reposado, añejo, and extra-añejo tequilas of different ages, so it's not correctly an extra-añejo; it falls into the company's proprietary designation XA.
Regarding blending and aging XA Tequila, LVMH has borrowed a few plays from its Cognac playbook, resulting in Tequila, which shares the polished traits of fine Cognac. Concisely, Volcán XA is premium tequila à la française.
Volcán XA is not only made artisanally with blue agave and no additives but also roasted in brick ovens and ground in tahona stone mills. It is fermented with natural spring water, distilled twice in old-fashioned copper pot stills, and aged in American oak. What makes the premium spirit unique is the convoluted blending and aging process that gives it its refined personality.
Don't get excited just yet. Volcán XA is released in small quantities and is still unavailable at retail. Only a few prestigious restaurants and nightclubs worldwide, from Ibiza to Miami, have XA on their menus, which won't change anytime soon.What to expect when tasting Volcan XA?
This amber-colored spirit with golden hues opens with scents reminiscent of dried cherries, caramel, orange peels, and vanilla. The palate is equally complex, with flavors of raisins, toasted nuts, and brown spices. Volcán XA is best enjoyed at room temperature in Cognac stemware after dinner, paired with long conversations with good friends.
Why try Volcán XA? Let's say the premium tequila checks all the right boxes, from how they grow the spiny agaves to the diligence throughout the process; from the Cognac-inspired aging process to the beautiful and creative bottle design evocative of Mexican craftsmanship and Jalisco's black, volcanic soils.
LVMH has done it again. If there's something the international conglomerate does right, it is premium brands, and they just crowned the already impressive premium Tequila category with the best agave spirit yet. Volcán XA is not alone in the premium Tequila category, but it indeed adds a tempting alternative for brown spirit lovers worldwide.
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