“With El Tesoro Paradiso, I can offer my guests an experience that can’t be duplicated anywhere else on the planet,” exclaims Thomas “Mac” Gregory, food and beverage director for the 643-room Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. He’s talking about his exclusive stock of private-label tequila crafted by Carlos Camarena, master distiller at El Tesoro de Don Felipe.
In 2008, Gregory and his beverage team selected an eight-year-old tequila double-matured in Bourbon and Cognac barrels. “The only cask on the planet,” he reiterates, available only to guests of the luxury resort. The extra aging more than qualifies El Tesoro Paradiso as an extra añejo. The singular cask yielded 330 750-ml. bottles, each is hand-numbered, bearing the Phoenician name and logo on a gold-embossed label with a gold-foil seal.
El Tesoro Paradiso has sold faster than expected; Gregory also admits that he charged less for the Tequila than he had anticipated. “I thought why sit on this, let’s share it. I didn’t want a trophy item that would sit on the shelf.” The Phoenician’s guests responded positively. The stock is now down to about 100 bottles.
The food and beverage director recommends sampling Paradiso in a snifter; a three-ounce pour is $30. That’s a relative bargain, considering the spirit’s exclusivity. The Phoenician’s boasts a collection of 300 to 400 tequilas; the price for a three-ounce snifter ranges from $8 to all the way up to $500.
An even better deal for resort guests is the 5ive P Bellini that is poured resort-wide for just $10. The drink is made with pomegranate puree, prickly pear syrup and El Tesoro Paradiso, topped with Santa Margherita Prosecco. “It’s a $10 experience that can’t be had anywhere in the world,” points out Gregory. “Really, sharing Paradiso with our guests has been the big win.”
When the stock of Tesoro Paradiso runs down, Gregory plans to seek out another tequila treasure. “I have to get my feet on the ground in Jalisco, start kicking barrels,” he says. It has to be a unique product, he notes. “This is not just a marketing thing, we want to be able to tell a story and share a memorable experience with our guests.”