Top Shelf International has released Act of Treason, its inaugural spirit made with agave grown in Australia, as it seeks to “expand the horizons of the category”.
In August 2021, Top Shelf revealed its Australian Agave Project, with the aim of establishing a category for Australian agave-based spirits.
The company built a distillery to produce Australian agave spirits on a farm in north Queensland, which is now home to 600,000 agave plants.
Top Shelf said Queensland’s dry tropical region provides ideal conditions for growing the plant. The region’s microclimate is said to mirror the climate of Jalisco and the town of Tequila in Mexico.
The plants are grown, cooked, distilled and bottled from 100% agave tequilana (Blue Weber) at the Eden Lassie farm and distillery, which is powered by renewable energy.
The debut product from the distillery, Act of Treason First Harvest Blanco, is made for ‘all-Australian Margaritas or sipping quickly’.
The liquid is said to offer flavours of citrus and cut grass, cooked agave, lime peel and tropical fruits, with a ‘smooth savoury agave character’.
‘Geographically limited’ category
Top Shelf International CEO Trent Fraser said: “Act of Treason symbolises the pioneering spirit of a project that will create a new region of agave spirit. The dry tropics of north Queensland are the ideal place for that to occur.
“Like many others producers, we feel there is an opportunity for agave to be shared with the world and for others to put their distinctive imprint on a category that continues to surge in popularity in Australia and overseas.
“Act of Treason has joined the new global era of agave. We’re approaching this as an opportunity to create something new and expand the horizons of a category that has been geographically limited for centuries. In many ways it’s no different to the evolution wine underwent three decades ago.
“If some feel that we’re being treasonous, then so be it. The greater crime would be not doing it all.”
Act of Treason First Harvest Blanco (40% ABV) is priced at AU$120 (US$79), with the inaugural release currently sold out on the brand’s website. Another batch is planned for release soon.
We explored the rise of alternative agave spirits beyond those being made in Mexico.