The other day we visited David Yan, Marketing Director for Casa Noble tequila in Mexico, at his house in Guadalajara. Part of David’s job is to bring guests to the Casa Noble distillery, conduct tastings and delve into the fine points of how to really taste and enjoy tequila. When it comes to tequila tastings, David really knows his stuff.

During our visit, David showed us how to warm up our mouths for tastings. Yes! You need to warm up so don’t sprain anything. Okay, it’s actually to activate your taste sensors. (See the video on how to warm up your mouth.)

Once we were done with the warm up, he tapped into his collection of treasure bottles and let us sample a 11-12 year old Casa Noble Crystal, second release. This is Casa Noble blanco from another era entirely, and given how much I enjoy their current blanco I couldn’t wait to try it.

The beautiful, iridescent bottle of Crystal did not disappoint. Upon smell, it had fresh agave, herbal and citrus aromas and not a lot of alcohol. Once we dove in, the taste was a bit sweeter than I expected, but balanced and completely pleasant, with a slight tingle at the back.

During our tasting, David pointed out what to look for as you smell the aromas of a tequila, and where you can find certain aromas in the glass. For example, when you smell with your nose at the bottom of the glass, you usually find agave and alcohol aromas. In the middle of the glass is where you’ll get more herbals and citrus. At the top of the glass you’ll be able to detect secondary aromas produced during the distillation process, such as florals and chemicals.

Of course, you don’t need a treasure bottle to start practicing your tasting skills, so grab a bottle of tequila, warm up your mouth and conduct a formal at-home tequila tasting. You might discover something entirely new!