A review of “Profiles in Agave Spirits”. Vol. I+II

The ever hardworking people at Tequila Afficionado Media, have recently published no less than three books! The books are basically formalized interviews with some of the many passionat people working professionally in the agave spirits business.

The book “From Babes to Boss Ladies” has already been reviewed here on TequilaList, but not so the two new books, “Profiles in Agave Spirits”.

Where “From Babes to Boss Ladies” took a gender specific approach to the interviews and on focused on women, the two later volumes are a mix of men and women. Each person is presented with the same bunch of questions and can answer as they please.

Profiles in Agave Spirits, Volume I:

  • Refugio “Ric” Contreras
  • Phillip Bayly
  • Martin C. Duffy
  • Blair Salisbury
  • Alex Delgado, DipWSET
  • Martin Pazzani
  • Joe Cruz Jr.
  • Martin López Alvarez
  • Esteban Luis Soto
  • Ryan Berry “Don Ryno”
  • Octavio Herrera Ortega
  • Sergio Gutiérrez Torres

Both books are to be found on Kindle and can be ordered in print too. I’d suggest going for the Kindle version. The layout and editorial setup fits the ebook format much better than the printed version.
Amongst the interviews, some are better than others and while the book is more a snapshot of people in the industry, than a “deep” book of interviews, it is facinating to read about how other people enter the agave business.

Some stumble into the business, like Phillip Bayly, who has made an enormous impact with his work on spreading the knowledge about mezcal. With an education in arts and an interest in Mexican art and and culture, discovered the world of tequila and mezcal.

Some have very clear an pointed answers and tries to make the chapter worth reading. Alex Delgado, for instance has some interesting point on marketing and the relationship between the regulatory councils an the communication of the brands.

Tierra Noble Tequila

Tierra Noble Tequilas Octavio Herrera Ortega is also in the book

Some write too little, like Octavio Herrera Ortega – owner of Tierra Noble (one of my own favourite tequila brands) and Martin López Alvarez – both people with very interesting products, who should have take more time to elaborate on their work.

Profiles in Agave Spirits, Volume II:

The second volume of the “Profiles in Agave Spirits” features this list of interviewees:

  • HP Eder “El Padre”
  • Mena Jibran
  • William Holdeman
  • Bernadette Guerrero
  • Megan Capriccio
  • Rafael Loza
  • Mario Gomez
  • Alan Ruesga-Pelayo
  • Carlos G. Maier
  • Francisco Javier Gonzalez-Garcia
  • Shawn Harlan
  • Jim Riley

Some highlight from this book…
Bernadettes Guerreros account of starting Mezcal Lixcho is very personal and a good read, because you as a reader, gets close to the person and a better understanding of what the project is about.

Vikera Tequila

The crew at Vikera Tequila

Megan Capriccios piece on Vikera Tequila is also interesting. She is a good communicator and has obviously put some effort in writing the chapter.

The interviews in the books are all based on formal questionnaires, which the particpants can fill at will. This open approach, with little editorial assistance to the participants, does sometimes produce good stories, but also sometimes stuff where the reader is a bit stuck.

The chapter by William Holdeman for instance. From the text alone it is virtually impossible to figure out what he is doing. There is no reference whatso ever to brands or institutions to guide the reader to an understanding of what the chapter is about.

All in all, I think the books are worth the money though. Especially for someone who wants to have a peak inside the tequila/mezcal industry and who tries to figure out how it all works.

Find the books on Amazon here:

Profiles in Agave Spirits. Volume I

Profiles in Agave Spirits. Volume II

Comments are closed.