Small Craft Brand Shocks the Tequila World

Pura Vida Tequila, touted as "the best damn tequila you've ever tasted" by Billy Gibbons (ZZ TOP), firmly established itself as the maker of the world's finest Tequilas by taking home top honors for all four expressions at the prestigious 9th Annual Spirits of Mexico Festival in San Diego -- North America's largest event dedicated to tequila and other Mexican spirits. Pura Vida dominated the awards ceremony, most impressively, the Best in Class Award for its Silver expression, the foundation of all tequilas -- ranking it the highest of all Blanco Tequilas, a clear indication of the significance the judges placed on quality and taste. With a record-breaking number of agave-based spirits, totaling 79 brands with 213 expressions, the competition also awarded Pura Vida's Reposado and Extra Añejo (soon to be released) Gold medals, while its Añejo earned the Silver.

"In my seven years of judging at the event, I can't recall a brand of tequila performing better," says Robert Plotkin of BarMedia. "As one of the co-host judges, I can assure you the quality of the entries was top-notch, which makes the brand's accomplishments all the more impressive."

"Winning these awards, particularly Best in Class of all Blanco Tequilas, is a great honor for Pura Vida," stated Stewart Skloss, the Company's Founder & Chairman. "I began this venture to create remarkably smooth Ultra-Premium tequila at an affordable price. To be recognized with such prestigious awards by a panel of industry Superstars is a testament to Pura Vida's dedication to excellence."

The ninth-annual Spirits of Mexico Festival, held September 10-15, 2012, named the top agave spirits in the world. Entries were judged by blind-tasting on five key elements including appearance, aromatics, flavor, mouthfeel and finish, with a rating system totaling a maximum possible score of 100 points.

The competition was co-hosted by Robert Plotkin of BarMedia and Jack Robertiello of Drinks Ink. A who's who list of industry professional judges made up the panel including Carlos Camarena, master distiller of tequilas Tapatio, El Tesoro de Don Felipe, Excellia and Ocho; Charlotte Voisey of William Grant & Sons; Courtenay Greenleaf of Richard Sandoval's La Biblioteca; Eric Hay of Wirtz Beverage Group; Levi Walker of Young's Market; Phillip Soto Mares, president of El Duende Tequila, Inc.; Thomas 'Mac' McFarland Gregory III of Starwood Hotels, and Zack Romaya of Old Town Liquor.