From our partners: Annual limited-edition series debuts with master artisan Angel Santos.
Clase Azul has long demonstrated a commitment to celebrating Mexican craftsmanship. In their latest showcase of the country’s design talent, Mexico’s first luxury spirits brand, the creators of Clase Azul Tequila and Clase Azul Mezcal, has launched an annual limited-edition collection of exclusive collaborations between Clase Azul and Mexico’s most renowned creative forces.
The Master Artisans collection will feature a collaboration with a Mexican artisan who has impacted Mexico’s cultural and artisanal scene. The first edition is a partnership with Ángel Santos, whose work has been displayed at some of the world’s most prestigious art exhibitions and festivals. But collectors will have to move fast; only 300 decanters are available for purchase.
Famed for his work in ceramics, Ángel Santos has won over 25 awards in Mexico alone. Through his role as teacher and curator, he is also in the vanguard of safeguarding and promoting Mexico’s next generation of talent. Santos is the co-founder of the Herencia Milenaria, a local artisan community in Tonalá, Jalisco — considered the cradle of ceramics in Mexico.
The artwork on the decanter is painted by hand in a process that takes 10 to 12 hours for each piece. Santos collaborated with five Clase Azul artisans during the design phase, resulting in a superb example of high-temperature ceramic production and a majestic, hugely collectible piece of art.
In fact, Clase Azul Master Artisans by Ángel Santos amounts to a tribute to the essential elements of ceramics: earth, water, air, and fire. The decanter is inspired by the beauty of long-plumed pheasants, which symbolize light, prosperity, the sun, and wealth in various cultures. The use of blue represents the air, sky, and water. The five and six-petaled flowers adorning the vessel are traditionally used in artisanal clay techniques in Tonalá. A central orange flower with yellow brushstrokes and the flower in the upper part of the decanter symbolize the sun and fire.
This gorgeous decanter houses something similarly unique; an eight-year-old extra añejo tequila, which began its journey in casks previously used for American whiskey, where it was aged for 64 months. For the following 41 months of aging, the tequila was distributed into three different types of sherry casks (amontillado, oloroso, and Pedro Ximénez). The result is a blend with incomparable complexity – and Clase Azul’s most aged tequila to date.
With its fragrant aromas, complex flavors, and copper highlights, this full-bodied extra añejo is a truly exquisite experience. On the nose are sweet plum, fresh grapes, orange, red berries, sweet pear, and toasted oak. The taste boasts flavors of orange peel, berries, notes of toasted wood, and features a long, toasted oak and tobacco finish.
“For this edition I wanted the flavors and aromas of the tequila to really convey the magic of Mr Santos craftsmanship,” said master distiller Viridiana Tinoco. “This exquisite blend has subtle yet delightfully complex qualities that beautifully complement every detail on the outside of the decanter. We are honored to feature a tequila as precious as the enchanting art created by Mr Santos.”
Clase Azul Master Artisans is available in a 1l decanter, 40% ABV (80 proof), for $5,000 USD exclusively at the Clase Azul Boutique in San José del Cabo, Mexico. claseazul.com