Although it costs a bit more than most blanco tequilas, Avion Silver is a wonderful option that makes a seriously good mixer—but try a glass of it neat to really be blown away.
Classification blanco tequila
Still Type pot
Awards 95 points/Finalist, 2020 Ultimate Spirits Challenge
It’s a complex, multilayered tequila that’s terrific for both cocktails and sipping on its own.
Unlike many tequilas, the flavor of agave is front and center, both on the nose and the palate.
It’s a little on the pricey side, though its high quality merits the price tag.
Nose: Gentle sweet notes of vanilla and pineapple, along with herbaceousness and savory notes of agave
Palate: Mild vanilla and coconut segue into roasted agave with grassy and mineral undertones, along with a hint of menthol. Clean and velvety on the tongue.
Finish: Quite dry and savory, with agave and a slight brininess lingering for quite a while. A very gentle alcoholic burn on the swallow; some might say it’s “smooth.”
Avion made a big splash when it debuted in 2009 as part of the story line on HBO’s hit series Entourage, featuring an image that made it the hip alternative to Patron, the tequila of choice for the bottle-service crowd. It had all the hallmarks of a style-over-substance spirit. To the contrary, it wasn’t just a good tequila, but at least in the case of the unaged Avion Silver, it was an excellent tequila that appealed as much to lovers of agave spirits as to name-brand fetishists, winning “World’s Best Tequila” at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
A decade on, Entourage is relatively forgotten, and the spotlight has dimmed on Avion as well. But it’s still a beautifully made tequila, and it’s still well worth trying, or revisiting if it’s been a while. The agave is grown at some of the highest elevations in Los Altos, where the volcanic soil imparts some of the mineral flavors in the tequila. The piñas are slow-cooked in traditional clay ovens rather than diffusers or steel ovens, and the juice is distilled in pot stills rather than larger column stills which can strip away some of the nuances. The final product is a flavorful, multidimensional tequila that’s quite sweet on the tip of the tongue, but the savory, mineral flavors of the agave come through loud and clear.
Avion Silver’s complexity and bold flavor profile make it a great mixer, and while it’s pricey compared to other blanco tequilas, it still costs less than Patron. But while it’s terrific in a Margarita, it really stands out alone in a glass. Many tequila drinkers prefer aged expressions for sipping, But Avion Silver is superbly balanced, reflecting the terroir and putting the agave front and center without barrel aging to obscure it.
Avion’s role as part of the storyline on the hit HBO series Entourage seems like it would be the ultimate springboard to success. The problem was, the brand was so new and so little-known that most viewers assumed it was a fictional brand. It wasn’t until an ad campaign featuring the tagline “Yes, It’s Real” rolled out that sales started to take off.