On April 7, Casa Noble co-founder David Ravandi hosted a small group of liquor writers at Maison 140 – a boutique Beverly Hills hotel – to showcase their premium organic tequilas. We gathered in the luxe black bar, surrounded by tongue-in-cheek silhouettes, to explore the differences in Casa Noble’s five-bottle portfolio. It was a unique learning opportunity that left a lasting impression.
Ravandi and business partner Jose Hermosillo founded Casa Noble in 1997, but utilize a Jalisco distillery that dates to the 1700s. They triple distill their 100% blue agave, slow-cooking the prized hearts for 38 hours. Another notable fact: Casa Noble is certified USDA.
Ravandi started our tasting with pours of Crystal, Casa Noble’s only un-aged tequila. He said it was important to understand “the pure flavor of the agave.” The tequila was crisp and smooth, with none of the burn that’s found in lesser tequilas. “In Mexico, tequila makers bring each other bottles of blanco,” said Ravandi, “since that’s’ the basis of the portfolio…others are tainted with wood.”
With each glass of tequila, Ravandi paired a different cheese, an unorthodox but rewarding pairing idea. First up, a soft Spanish goat cheese called Queso Leonora.
Any tequila aged 2 months to a year is considered reposado. Casa Noble ages their reposado to the legal limit (364 days) in French white oak barrels. Casa Noble’s reposado had a distinct vanilla body and a spicy finish.
The accompanying cheese: Gabriel Coulet Roquefort, which had some serious bite and managed to outmuscle the tequila.
Casa Noble’s anejo is aged for two years in French white oak barrels, which imparts a rich amber color and rich butterscotch flavor.
The best pairing yet: Stilton. I added sweet sheets of quince paste and syrupy sweet candied fig.
Casa Noble produces 3.1 million litres per yer. Distribution to 41 states and 21 countries.
Ravandi next poured samples of their single-barrel tequilas. The “single barrel” concept is more commonly applied to liquors like Bourbon. Ravandi said, “The beauty of the single barrel is how it coats your tongue…No two barrels taste the same.” The barrel we enjoyed: 342 out of 360. While both reposados were aged for 364 days, Casa Noble’s single-barrel seemed to have a slightly spicier finish than their standard reposado.
“Nobody else has a single barrel, so we like to rub it in,” said Ravandi. Casa Noble’s single sarrel Anejo was aged for 5 years, which imparted a much richer amber hue and an intensely oaky flavor.
We also sampled two new Casa Noble cocktails that are both available at the Maison 140 bar. Unfortunately, the first cocktail – the Nobelita – masked the flavor of the tequila with sweet fruit juice, and the second (pictured) cocktail – Casa 140 – was an interesting variation on a Mojito, but by the time we grabbed hold of our glasses, they’d already become watered down. You’re welcome to try them at Maison 140 to decide for yourself, or you can make them at home using the following recipes:
2 Parts Casa Noble Organic Crystal
3 Parts Fresh Pomegranate Juice
1 Part Organic Orange Juice
1 Lemon Wedge
1 oz. Casa Noble Organic Crystal
Fresh Mint* muddled with Lime Juice and one cube of Sugar
Fill the remainder of the glass with ice cubes and a dash of Sprite
*Fresh mint plucked from mint tree in Maison 140’s own back garden