Solento Tequila, available as both a Blanco and a Reposado, was launched by founder Taylor Steele and special guest Dan Macpherson at Three Blue Ducks Rosebery earlier this month.
Solento is a small batch, single estate organic tequila, made from 100 per cent blue weber agave harvested in the Jalisco highlands. The tequila’s name is a portmanteau of the Spanish words for “sun” and “slow” – reflecting both the brand’s ‘take it easy’ ethos, and the slow growth of the agave.
Steele is renowned for his highly regarded surf-films, and in Australia, for Corona beer’s ‘From Where You’d Rather Be’ marketing campaign.
Steele states that surfing has heavily influenced the product: “Solento is a spirit that emulates surfing; it’s all about slowing down, calibrating and appreciating what is around us.
“We know that good things take time, and by crafting our tequila from certified organic agaves that have been slowly growing in the Mexican sun for seven years.”
Though Steele is a Californian by birth, he has a close connection to Australia: he lived in Byron Bay for 10 years, having fallen in love with the country as a 16-year-old on holiday.
“I have a huge love for the culture, the surf and the relaxed way of life. Australia is the perfect place to expand our global footprint outside of the USA,” Steele said.
The spirit itself is produced by a small family-run distillery in Jalisco, which Solento has kept secret. According to Steele, the brand only settled on this producer after visits to 30 different distilleries.
Solento’s Blanco expression is said to have citrus notes and touches of vanilla. The Reposado has been aged in American oak barrels for nine months – considerably longer than the two months required. The result is an amber-coloured spirit with flavours of caramel and roasted agave. An añejo expression has also been produced, but is not currently available in Australia.
During Solento’s introduction, former Neighbours star Dan Macpherson named some of the other investors already on-board: championship surfboarder Kelly Slater, world-famous skateboarder Tony Hawk, and Steele’s fellow filmmaker, Spike Jonze. Jonze also works as part of Solento’s ‘creative team’ – helping Steele to develop the bottle’s vividly yellow presentation box.
Solento’s Blanco and Reposado bottlings are available at Dan Murphy’s nationwide, with RRPs of $98.99 and $108.99 respectively.