LOS ANGELES – Revel Spirits, the maker of Revel Avila, an artisanal, award-winning agave-based spirit, further expanded its footprint in the U.S. with launch of a new market – New York.
Distributed by Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits, New Yorkers across the state can now experience the agave spirit with Minnesota roots.
“We've had our eye on New York for quite some time and are proud to now have a presence on both coasts,” said Micah McFarlane, CEO co-founder of Revel Spirits. “Revel Avila has been incredibly well received by our consumers in California and Minnesota and the momentum and excitement we've seen following our award wins across some of the industry's most prestigious competitions, further drives us to build out this new agave spirits category as we plant our flag alongside tequila, mezcal, sotol and bacanora.”
Introduced earlier this year, Revel’s Avila is not just a new spirit – it represents the formation of a new category under the agave umbrella. Like tequila, Revel Avila is distilled using 100 percent blue weber agave; however, that's where the similarities stop. Avila can only be produced using agave grown and distilled in the Morelos region, a small state in the south-central part of Mexico.
"As a distributor, we're always looking for brands that are doing something different, and Revel is doing exactly that," said Larry Romer, vice president and general manager of Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits of New York. “We're excited to work with Revel as they stand up this new agave spirits category and educate the industry about Avila.”
Sold in upscale bars and liquor stores in Minnesota and California, Revel is currently available in two expressions: Blanco, which is immediately bottled after distillation, and Reposado, which is aged for 12 months in a once-used whisky oak barrel to provide a scotch-like taste.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, two or Revel’s founders, McFarlane and Jacqui Thompson both have roots in Minnesota. McFarlane is a member of the reggae band Ipso Facto and Thompson is a former music executive who worked closely with Prince.
McFarlane and the Revel team introduced the brand to New York in a gala tasting event at The Jimmy in Manhattan.
“Absolutely none of this nor the incredible success and accolades we’ve received to date, would have been possible without the support of my partners,” McFarlane told excited agave aficionados.
“Grammy award‐winning singer, songwriter and producer, Kenny Edmonds, whom you may know as Babyface, has recently joined our REVEL family as an investor and we couldn’t be more excited nor humbled by having him with us here tonight.”
“Unlike the agave farms of Jalisco, which have been over farmed for hundreds of years, the farmland of Morelos boasts incredible, virgin soil which has produced some of the world’s finest agave. This is all done in the shadows of Popocatépetl, an active volcano which recently erupted in September.
Thanks to the volcanic ash, the soil of the region is mineral rich and the pinas of the Blue Weber agave that REVEL uses to produce its Avila, couldn’t be healthier or more robust.
Once our farmers harvest those pinas, they’re roasted or steamed, and then blended together before heading to distillation,” McFarlane said.
That process, of marrying the old-world style of mescal production with the newer process of tequila production, gives REVEL Avila a remarkable, and unforgettable taste. At Revel Spirits, our sights are set on building out this category even further, with plans in place to launch and import new Avila brands alongside REVEL. One of these brands is called El Popo, named after the volcano I briefly mentioned earlier. El Popo will offer a smokier profile similar to that of mezcal, using just roasted Blue Weber agave from Morelos. This will be a double distilled Avila which we’ll be debuting in Q2 2019,” McFarlane said.
Moreover, Revel Spirits will be working closely with the state and local governments in Morelos to support growth in the region through employment opportunities and will establish new and long‐lasting relationships with agave farmers throughout the region. It’s our hope that agave aficionados around the world will come to know what Morelos, its terroir and its people have to offer,” McFarlane said.
Micah McFarlane is brother to Insight News editor-in-chief, Al McFarlane.