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Noth: My Tequila is better than Clooney’s

Sex and the City star Chris Noth has revealed he believes his recently acquired Ambhar Tequila is “better” than fellow actor George Clooney’s Casamigos brand.

American actor Chris Noth and Ambhar founder Jaime Celorio at the first tasting of the Tequila in London yesterday

Speaking exclusively to the drinks business at the first tasting in London of Ambhar, held at Boisdale in Belgravia yesterday, Noth said:

“Casamigos is a great product and is sold in a great way, but I believe Ambhar is a better Tequila as it’s richer and more complex. There’s room in the market for both.”

In September Noth acquired a majority stake in Ambhar Tequila for an undisclosed sum. The liquid is made in small batches from 100% Weber Blue agave. All harvesting is done by hand and the agave hearts are steamed, roasted, mashed and fermented in accordance with ancient recipes.

Ambhar’s Añejo expression

Noth, who was in London to pick up his Cigar Smoker of the Year award at Boisdale on Monday night, told db that taking a majority stake in Ambhar this year was a case of ‘right place right time’ rather than a long-held dream.

“I met Ambhar’s founder, Jaime Celorio, through a mutual friend, tasted the Tequila, loved it and started drinking it. He asked me to come on board and I thought, why not?

“Before that I was an amateur Tequila fan and enjoyed Margaritas and shots. Jaime taught me there was an art to high-end Tequila, which is as rich and complex as a fine brandy and not something to be swilled.

“Smoking a cigarette is like having sex, while smoking a good cigar is like making love, which is how I view Ambhar, particularly the añejo – it’s a civilised way to drink. I’m confident about the product and am convinced it’s better than other Tequilas,” Noth said.

The American actor, known for his roles on Law & Order and The Good Wife, revealed to db that he’s planning a series of commercials for the brand that he’s due to star in, which run with the tagline: ‘Why not?’

“One of them is going to be set in a bar like Rick’s Café in Casablanca. There’s going to be a guy at the bar who’s too shy to buy a beautiful stranger a drink. Then I swoop in and slam a bottle of Ambhar on the bar and say, ‘why not?’”

Noth has taken on the role of creative director for Ambhar and is busy growing the brand in the US and UK, where it will go on sale next spring.

George Clooney sold his Casamigos brand to Diageo last year for US$1 billion

In September he helped secure a national distribution deal with the Republic National Distributing Company in the US, to take the Tequila across America.

“I’m keen to take Ambhar around the world and am starting in London. Tequila isn’t huge here at the moment and I want to change people’s perceptions about it and show that it’s something to be sipped and savoured.

“Fine Tequila is a drink that promotes conversation and mediation. In America Tequila is undergoing a revolution similar to what has happened with Bourbon and American whiskey.

“My father used to drink Cutty Sark and Jim Beam but things have evolved a lot since then, and the same evolution is happening with Tequila now,” he said.

The Ambhar range includes a Plata (silver) expression, an oak rested Reposado and an oak aged Añejo, which boasts “smoky aromas and a silky palate”.

The bottle is inspired by the ‘canteen’ bottles cowboys used to carry alcohol in, and features a dragonfly luck charm tied to a leather chord.

Noth is the latest star to enter the celebrity spirits game. In February, Ryan Reynolds bought American gin brand Aviation, based in Oregon.

Meanwhile, Hollywood heartthrob George’s Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila brand was bought by Diageo last summer for US$1 billion.

Other celebrities that own Tequila brands include wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, rapper P Diddy, and singer Justin Timberlake.

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