The latest tequila distillery to jump on the cristalino craze is Avion, which formally drops this into its oversized Reserva Range. Avion’s Cristalino is a blend of añejo and extra añejo tequilas that is then double charcoal filtered to clear. Let’s give it a whirl.
Initially, the nose is decidedly on the green side, with peppery agave taking the lead against an eventually emerging backdrop of butterscotch and vanilla, a kind of best of both worlds in the tequila space. The palate flips the experience around nicely, with creamy vanilla and notes of cinnamon buns giving the attack some definite sweetness. There’s Mexican chocolate, a layer of duskier spice — not quite cloves but allspice, perhaps — and a finish of lightly honeyed graham crackers and another pinch of cinnamon — which appears to be an Avion trademark.
Ultimately this tequila softens up nicely, and while it lacks some of the complexity of the impressive Avion 44, it ends up engaging the senses wonderfully following a slightly rocky attack.
The jury’s still out on whether cristalino is a gimmick — particularly given the prices — but here Avion makes a good case for why it should stick around.