Spirit Cartel brings Tequila Clase Azul to the UK

Taking the art of the spirit bottle to a level of fine craft that’s almost intimidating, Tequila Clase Azul is definitely sweet on the eyes, with its hand-sculpted, hand-painted ceramic and glass bottles. They’re not exactly practical for your speedrail, though with the hefty price tags that come with adding 24 carat gold and sterling silver to bottles, this is unlikely to be an issue.

La Pinta liqueurMade from minimum nine-year-old organic blue agave that’s slow-cooked for 72 hours, the reposado and añejo are then aged respectively eight and 25 months in American oak barrels, while the ultra is aged five year in refill sherry casks. Nosing the reposado (£132.99) feels a bit like cracking open a can of cream soda at first, before aromas of orange and blood orange come in, followed by a creamy note. That’s big on the palate too: it’s creamy and quite sweet, with notes of honeycomb and dulce de leche, and a dusting of white pepper.

On top of the tequila, there’s also a pomegranate liqueur called La Pinta (£59) made with the plata that’s inspired by a traditional Mexican punch. There’s no doubt there’s fruit in there; it’s a pinkish red, with fruity aromas and an underlying almond cake note, but is also fresh, slightly peppery and a little grassy. The fruit’s flavours marry well with the tequila, creating a balanced palate that’s fruity, with nice acidity and freshness. The mouthfeel’s very light though, and the abv quite low, but while we’re not sure liqueur is the right word for it, the flavours definitely work.