For those who like to 'think outside the bottle' there's a range of tequilas as uniquely Mexican in spirit as the festival from which it has borrowed it's name. Kah - Dia De Los Muertos.
In the ancient Mayan language the word ‘Kah’ means life. Yet, the first thing you notice about this fabulous brand of tequila is the macabre skull shaped bottle which at first brings to mind death.
Undeniably the bottle does insist on being noticed. And rightly so. They are unique. Thoughtfully and exquisitely decorated using iconography from ancient cultures, each is a collector piece in its own right. A true work of art, individually numbered, painstakingly hand-painted and decorated by the artist.
They are at once ghostly and gruesome. Yet they are arresting, strikingly beautiful. Rather than depicting the chilling mournfulness of death, instead, just like the festival itself, and the Calaveras sugar skulls given as gifts to bereaved families they signify both death and rebirth. These skull bottles are bright, eye catching. They demand attention. They shout of high-spirited playfulness. One might go as far as to say that they've been designed with the 'soul' intention of capturing the 'very essence' of life.
The design of Kah's Day of The Dead range is reverently thought out. Alongside the lavish attention to detail, what is contained within must do absolute justice to the significance of the festival, and the deep rooted respectful culture it pays homage to.
The Mexican Day of the Dead festival falls on November 1st-2nd. On October 31st at exactly midnight, that the gates of heaven will open, allowing the spirits of all deceased children to reunite with their families for 24 hours. After this time has elapsed the adult deceased also arrive, joining in with festivities by now in full swing. During the final afternoon, festivities move to the cemetery itself. Families clean and spruce up the tombs, the villagers coming together as one to reminisce about their departed loved ones.
This ancient tradition holds firmly the beliefs of the indigenous people that spirits kept perpetually happy provide protection, good luck and wisdom to their living descendants. It's a beautiful, time-honoured way to honour the deceased, bringing family and friends together.
Retold in different ways
across the globe over hundreds of years the telling has become entwined, intermixed and influenced by other religions and cultural practices like Halloween, the eve of All Hallows Day, a Catholic celebration. All Souls Day on October 31st, and All Saints Day on November 1st.
Each country may celebrate in slightly different ways. In Bolivia old and decaying skulls are taken out and given cigarettes, food and tequila. In this way Kah Tequila's can perhaps be seen to reflect this practice. Albeit the skulls are already filled with the sacred juice of the blue agave!
Whatever your take on it, Kah Day of The Dead Tequila is an impactful spirit on many levels, particularly apt at this time in the year. Wherever you are, if you're intent on waking your dead, KAH Tequila can be part of a truly unique experience. One created for those that are well and truly living.
Once you’ve absorbed every stunningly detail, and been able to appreciate the significance of the design, ultimately it is what's inside the bottle that counts. One could be forgiven for thinking that somehow the sheer novelty of the bottle could attempt to hide inside it an inferior product. You could be forgiven, but only once. After that, the thought would never again enter your mind. Each Tequila is superior quality, spectacularly intensely flavoured, a liquor that absolutely does justice to everything that it embodies.
The different Tequila's are presented in differently coloured and decorated 750ml bottles. The design colour and motifs chosen to all tell their own story. If you can control yourself, simply select the Tequila you enjoy most.
I know already that, not only do I intend to collect the full set, I will thoroughly enjoy the journey.
The white Skull has inside it sweet, peppery Tequila Blanco, the black, Tequila Anejo aged in American Oak casks for two years to a mocha and tobaccoey richness. The yellow skull contains Tequila Resporado, aged in French Oak casks to be suggestive of caramel and vanilla. Then there's a second black skull this time not only painted but bejewelled with 700 Swarovski rhinestones, like the Mayan royalty who would be entombed with jewels and gems. This contains Tequila Extra Anejo aged for 41/2 in American Oak barrels and is smokey with notes of toffee and the finally there is a cobalt blue, painted like the gods with 24 carat gold and containing Los Ultimos Dias Blanco, made from silver blue Agave. Incidentally there are smaller 50ml ones too, as unique as the larger ones, instant collector’s items.
These are full flavour premium Tequilas. High proof. Well balanced. Smooth. Have it how you like it. They are perfect for the sippers amongst you. Dangerously decadent as shots. Cracking in cocktails. From the pungent herbal aromas of the Blanco, to the subtle flavours that can be carefully construed in the Resporado, there is full on satisfaction to be had here. In every single glass.
I love those bottles. I'm captivated by their stories. If you're a Tequila lover like me, don't just enjoy these at Halloween. You can, and indeed should, feel free to enjoy it.
Remember those lost. Celebrate. Contemplate.
Today. Tomorrow. Whenever. Always.