By Nicole Torres-Cooke| @vodkagirlATX |www.vodkagirlatx.com
So you all know, I’m a vodka girl. But I had the opportunity to meet and interview Scott Willis, the man behind Tequila 512 and had to confess to him that I couldn’t drink tequila. His response was “You’re not drinking it right”….. and what a true statement that was! He continued with first rule is to never shoot tequila. The only way I’ve had tequila in the past was in margaritas or as a shot. But when you shoot 80 proof alcohol, it’s going to burn. He said tequila should be sipped. And guess what? I actually got the taste of the tequila when sipping it. We started with his Tequila Blanco which is filtered for 24 hours, organic and glutten-free. Distilled 3x, this 100% Agave premium tequila is made in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico and just won the prestigious Double Gold Metal AND ‘Best in Show” at the famed San Francisco World Spirits Competition. That’s the best of the best in the world!
Next I tasted his newest addition, his Tequila Reposado. Made with his award winning 100% Agave premium blanco tequila, this was aged for 9 months in charred oak bourbon casks. Scott handpicked each barrel himself and the room they are aged in is an above ground stucco room that literally has mango trees growing through it that help regulate the temperature. This tequila of about 500 cases just hit the shelves a few weeks ago and I can honestly say, I will be one of the first to purchase some. Find it here: http://www.tequila512.com/where-to-find/
The Reposado has a light amber color, almost no smell and is sweet with a light woody pepper taste and a hint of vanilla. I was impressed and surprised at the same time at how much I enjoyed it.
So what does this have to do with vodka? Well, Scott came to Austin 15 years ago to get into the music scene. When that didn’t pan out like he wanted, he took a tech job at Dell which led to Apple. Yet, Scott still yearned to be in the music realm so he started doing research 8 years ago and came across an article about Tito Beveridge (Tito’s Vodka). He was inspired by Tito’s determination, perseverance, and grass roots approach. While he wasn’t passionate about vodka, he WAS passionate about tequila. He decided spirits is where he wanted to be. 7 years of planning, design, etc and a year to raise funds, he started his dream. Still primarily a one-man shop, he travels to Mexico frequently to check on his product, does his own social media and until recently, his own distributing. “What’s important is what’s in the bottle vs. what the bottle looks like” – hence the simple Tequila 512 logo featuring the Texas Capital and agave plant.
By the way – “Best in Show” is the same award that Tito’s Vodka received in 2001 — after which took Tito to the next level, and why Scott is so excited about winning the same award that could do the same for his tequila. Read more about Scott and his tequila at http://www.tequila512.com