The essence of Clase Azul Spirits is inspired by a mission to reveal and rediscover a deeper appreciation for the beauty of Mexican traditions. In order to comprehend the importance of these traditions you must first understand the culture and history of México by learning the stories, legends and tales that remain relevant in our society.
In honor of our 15th anniversary in 2012, we decided to tell the story of México Through Time by incorporating 4 Mexican Designation of Origin items: Amber, Olinala, Talavera and Tequila. The challenge was to use all of these materials and cre- ate one handmade product. In early 2011, we brought together México’s most creative designers, writers, and artists to initiate the project. After nearly two years, the result is a series of extraordinary pieces which reflect the essence and culture of México.
The collections includes 15 bottles with their respective cases.
Amber is the only precious or semi-precious stone with a vegetal origin. It belongs to a group of organic gems such as jet, pearl, ivory and coral. Formed out of a residual plant resin of certain trees, amber is typically between 25-40 million years old. During the Tertiary Period, this resin went through a fossilization process forming large, irregular masses with layers of sandstone and shales.
In Mexico, amber is located in Simojovel de Allende, Huitiupan, Totolapa, El Bosque, Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan, Pantelho and San Andres Durazanal, municipalities of Chiapas. Amber, located in the Simojovel zone, has existed for 25 million years. In Europe, amber is formed out of a Pinus succinifera resin, whereas in America, it comes from Hymenea Courbaril, a legume, known in Chiapas, Mexico as Guapinol. In 2000, this precious stone from Chiapas was declared a Designation of Origin.
Olinalá is stunning, lacquered wood produced since pre-Hispanic times. To conform to the Designation, each piece is designed, created and produced in its namesake village of Olinalá in Guerrero, Mexico. The base material is from a linaloe timber tree, which has a natural beauty and delicate aroma. The design technique incorporates the use of colored vegetable dyes made out of soil, mollusks, and insects. The process of stripping pieces of the wood to create and expose the design was incorporated during the 20th century. This technique was inspired by a similar process performed by early indigenous craftsmen.
The Olinalá style has influenced lacquered objects that arrived from nao Manila in the 21st century and spread to other villages such as Cualac, Temalacatzingo and Cheipetlan. This woodworking craft has also influenced artwork produced in places like Acapetlahuaya, Teloloapan and Texcatlan. The artists who work with this precious wood are celebrated as truly skilled artisans, particularly because of the precision necessary in applying the “dorado”, or liquid gold, by hand using a delicate paintbrush. The traditional motifs seen in the craft are birds, flowers and real and imaginary animals. In 1994, this craft was declared with a Designation of Origin.
Talavera is a type of pottery that merges the various influences of ancient Chinese, Morrish-Andalusian and European Majolica pottery (tin glazed, decorated earthenware pottery). This combination has made Talavera into a superior, cultural product reflecting the social evolution and craftsmanship of our mestizo community. Its production is completely artisanal, making each piece a true work of art. Each piece embodies over 400 years of tradition, and the process today is the same as that of the very first Mexican Poblano potters.
In 1997, Talavera was declared a Designation of Origin. It can only be produced in four municipalities in the State of Puebla: Valsequillo, Atlixco, Cholula and Tecali. In order to determine if Talavera is a Designation of Origin, it must be made from the original and exclusive ceramic of the designated “talavera zone”. This ceramic is composed of lead and tin, in accordance with colonial era formulas, and coated with a layer of varnish and fired at temperatures ranging from 1832oF to 2012oF. Also in accordance with traditional formulations, Talavera is hand painted using only six pigments and their possible combinations. The production of Talavera is carried out in five fundamental stages: shaping or molding of the ceramic, an initial firing, varnishing or glazing, design and painting and a second and final firing.
Tequila is a traditional Mexican spirit created through the distillation of fermented juices of cooked agave hearts. Tequila was declared a Designation of Origin in 1974. This designation requires that tequila can only be produced from the Tequilana Weber Blue Agave specie of the plant and only in specific municipalities of 5 states of Mexico: Jalisco, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, Michoacán and Nayarit.
The first agave plants were discovered in Europe in the 14th century and have since evolved into over 200 different species types. Tequila and its noteworthy qualities have inspired a variety of uses for the unused portion of the agave plant in the modern world. Blue agave is considered an ultimate renewable resource because every single part of the plant can be used for a variety of purposes. The heart of the agave is used for producing tequila. The leaves can be used in the manufacturing of roof materials, needles, rope, paper and recyclable containers. The dry stalks from the agave can be used for fuel and the ashes can be used in soap, bleach or detergent. Sap from an agave plant can also be used as a disinfectant healing ointment.
This one-of-a-kind blend of 2 ultra-aged, reserve tequilas is presented to reflect the spirit of the México a través del Tiempo project.
The first tequila was produced in the Tequilas del Señor distillery and aged for fifteen years in a Spanish barrel previously used to mature sherry. This is an historically significant barrel because it was sealed on May 27th, 1997, when the European Union signed the agreement officially recognizing the “Denomination of Origin, Tequila”.
The second tequila was produced in the Productos Finos de Agave distillery and aged for eleven years. The fist six years it was aged in a Portuguese barrel used to mature Port, and the following five years in American White oak barrels.
The result of this blend reflects the essence of Clase Azul tequila’s evolution through time.