Meet Justin Timberlake, distiller of fine tequila. That’s not his latest spoof for «Saturday Night Live» – it’s real.
Who knew the «Sexy Back» singer had a flair for both smooth moves, and smooth liquors? Experts agree – the stuff is good.
Timberlake’s new tequila, called 901, passed the sip test – and then some – among three New York tequila afficionados with very discerning tastes.
And they couldn’t have been more surprised to find themselves giving the drink high marks.
«It’s actually a really nice product,» said self-proclaimed «tequila geek» Dave Kaplan, owner of East Village speakeasy-style bar Death & Co.
«It has a nice richness to it, a full-body mouth feel, a nice finish.»
Head bartender Brian Miller agreed. «I gotta admit, I’m a little surprised,» he said. «I get some vanilla [notes] … I like that.»
Fellow bartender Joaquin Simo, dubbed the crew’s premiere tequila expert, applauded JT’s sweetness – his tequila, not, you know …
901 is great as a sipper on its own, he said, adding it would work well with «citrus, stirred drinks.»
Timberlake surprised fans in mid-March by announcing his plans to release «the smoothest tequila possible» this spring.
The spirit – named for the area code in the singer’s hometown of Memphis – is crafted from an old, non-Timberlake family recipe using 100 percent blue agave from Jalisco, Mexico.
Those details, Kaplan says, are a mark of quality that lands this $40 tequila somewhere on the spectrum between the upscale brands Herradura and El Tesoro.
But this isn’t the first time Timberlake has stepped outside his musical pursuits.
Other pet projects include his clothing line William Rast and the Manhattan restaurant Southern Hospitality.
The Timberlake name lent those efforts a bit of cache, but it the Death & Co. tasters said it could hurt his foray into the tequila biz.
«If I heard all the details and geeky talk and someone didn’t mention Justin Timberlake, I would take this very seriously,» Kaplan said. «Automatically, we have a preconceived notion of what he’s coming out with and we were wrong.»
Good thing he didn’t name the liquor «Timberlake’s Tequila» then.
«Oh yeah, without a doubt.»
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