Porfidio

(several different producers)

Porfidio has one of the most unique stories in the tequila business. Its owner, Martin Grassl, successfully predicted the expanding export market for 100% blue agave tequilas. Using a series of different distilleries to produce his various tequilas along with some of the most dynamic packaging in the industry, Grassl took his Porfidio brand to great success in the United States.

Marketing and packaging are Porfidio’s strong points. Porfidio is most famous for its hand-blown "cactus bottle," which actually contains a small glass cactus in every bottle. It seems not to matter that cactus has nothing to do with the production of tequila, and that this packaging encourages misinformation about the product. Grassl uses a different shaped bottle for each type of tequila he produces. His Aņejo Extra comes in a ceramic bottle in the shape of a gourd with a replica of an agave plant adorning its surface. His Silver and Aņejo tequilas come in different colored long-necked bottles labeled with modern designs in bold colors. Grassl even has a triple-distilled tequila, in a long-necked frosted bottle.

It may be difficult for consumers who want to know which distillery is producing their favorite bottle of Porfidio at any given time. Porfidio tequilas have been produced by the same distilleries who make El Viejito, Arette, Tres Alegres Compadres, Regional, and J. R. Reyes tequilas. You can track your favorite Porfidio tequilas back to their original distillery if the bottle has an NOM number.

The future of Porfidio will at least be interesting. I have never met Mr. Grassl, but I have talked to the owner of one distillery who has produced Porfidio in the past. He told me he is considering legal action against Mr. Grassl. I have also contacted Porfidio’s former distributor in the United States. They refuse to discuss the matter on advice of their attorneys. Rumors of additional lawsuits continue to circulate. Whether some of this legal entanglement is due to jealously on the part of rivals, I don’t know, but tequila is already a volatile beverage. Introducing lawyers into the mix could be incendiary.

Tasting Notes

Porfidio Silver: Full and mellow on the attack, this colorless tequila has moderate agave intensity. Moderate agave aromas along with a dried grass floral character. Slightly sweet with medium mouth feel, the flavors are earthy agave, pepper and anise. The finish is tingly, of medium length, and slightly sweet.

Porfidio Aņejo (2 year): Golden color with a strong, pungent attack. Macho agave intensity. Moderate wet cement agave with some caramelized aromas that are overpowered by the hot burn of alcohol. A hint of sweetness and a full mouth feel. Smoke, caramel, and earthy agave flavors. A long, hot finish that mellows into a caramel and smoke aftertaste.

Porfidio Single Barrel Aņejo: Gold color with a strong, pungent attack. Macho and suave. Intense ginseng agave layered with caramel, pepper, and toasty oak aromas. Slightly sweet and full in the mouth. Flavors start with sweet caramel and agave, but burst into a long, smooth, smoky, caramel finish.

Porfidio Aņejo Extra: Yellow in color, with a strong, pungent attack. A sharp mineral, vegetal aroma redolent of overripe apple overwhelms the modest agave in the nose. Light and thin in the mouth. Vegetal and mineral flavors. A short, flat finish with very little heat. There is a slight aftertaste of cooked vegetables.