Happy Hour: Casa Noble Tequila and Cheese Tasting

In my quest to become more educated on the world of spirits, I've taken a liking to high-end tequilas. Beyond Patron, there's a huge variety of wonderfully complex tequilas that are perfect for sipping solo or shaking into a classic margarita. One brand, Casa Noble, produces an amazing collection of authentic tequilas. Packaged in a traditional yet sexy bottle, Casa Noble's tequilas are uniquely modern because they're triple-distilled and naturally produced in French wine barrels. Recently I attended a tequila tasting hosted by the founding partner of Casa Noble, David Ravandi. To illustrate the fact that his tequilas are distinct from anything else on the market, Ravandi paired them with cheese. To find out what I thought of the unexpected combination of cheese and tequila, read more.

Although the idea of tequila and cheese together is shocking, I was pleasantly surprised by the duo. Ravandi paired Casa Noble Crystal (the brand's easy-drinking, award-winning silver) with a creamy goat cheese. The lingering finish of the cheese eliminated the usual bite of tequila.

The delicate Casa Noble Reposado (aged for 364 days in French oak barrels) was my favorite of the three tequilas. Fruity and floral, it has a peppery finish. Paired with roquefort, the reposado was rich, layered, and smooth.

The third pairing — the Casa Noble Anejo and stilton — was the least pleasing to my palate. While I enjoyed both alone, together the powerful spirit and pungent cheese canceled one another out.

After the cheese tequila tasting was finished, Ravandi invited me to sample Casa Noble Crystal in a vibrantly hued cocktail. Created by the bartender at the Fifth Floor, the tequila mockingbird was an interesting, almost salad-like concoction of celery juice, lime juice, and bitters. Rimmed with a mixture of cayenne and celery salt, the drink was refreshing, and the tequila blended flawlessly with the other ingredients. I enjoyed my experience with Casa Noble so much, I plan on adding a bottle of the reposado to my liquor cabinet.

How about you? Do you enjoy tequila? What's your favorite premium offering?