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Taking His Shot
Robin Barr Sussman | Photo: Phoebe Rourke Ghabriel | January 29, 2014
A biz whiz from the great Northwest by way of Mexico chooses H-Town to launch his artsian tequila—and raise his young family.
Washington state native Kayvan Taheri, 26, likes his new home base of Houston. But he loves tequila. “Of all the spirits, it’s the most complex—second to wine—and reveals nuances like herbaceous agave, citrus blossom and toffee-caramel notes,” says the energetic Taheri. The handsome former college rugby player of Persian descent was finishing his master’s in administration through Central Michigan University’s program at the Universidad de Autonoma in Guadalajara when Mexico’s Escencia y Sabor spirits company recruited him to launch its new tequila line, Circulo, in the States.
After learning the tequila ropes in Mexico—including touring top agave plantations and participating in the distillery and bottling process—Taheri moved here with wife Kharen, to raise their toddler son Kayden, and to market Circulo, which bows exclusively in Houston this month. The company chose to start here because of “Houston’s high tequila consumption, its diversity and strong economy, and great nightlife.”
From the first glance at the packaging, it’s clear Taheri’s product—whose slogan is “the tequila of the 21st century”—is unique. The bottle has an edgy circular design and unconventional off-center pour spout. And the flavor, carefully crafted in Mexico’s tequila region, is just as slick. “We don’t take shortcuts. We have two tequila masters, and we use Champagne yeasts for fermentation.” There’s a brisk, fragrant Silver ($46), a barrel-aged Reposado ($49), and Anejo tequila coming soon. Expect to find the goods at retailer Tony K’s, Eighteenth Cocktail Bar and Saint Genevieve bar.
Unsurprisingly, Taheri especially enjoys touting his better booze to prospective new club and restaurant outlets—tastings “required, of course”—even though his enviable but demanding job has crimped his former jet-setting, snowboarding style a bit. “Work,” he insists with a smile, “is my hobby now.”
The beach, Audis, Guadalajara Rugby Club, meditating, Persian food
Traffic, hangovers, cockroaches, spam mail, portable toilets, vodka