Monday, July 26, 2010 | 12:05 a.m.
Before getting into the spirits business, Billy O'Rourke's experiences with tequila were not unlike those of your typical college student—which is to say, not the most memorable. But after moving to Cancún and meeting Don Julio Jr. (son of the Don Julio), the Minneapolis native's attitude changed, and he left the telecom industry behind to devote his efforts full-time to Ambhar tequila.
"It's probably the smoothest tequila out there," said O'Rourke, the senior vice president of sales for Ambhar's producer and importer, Santos Spirits. "I knew it was good tequila when I had it, but I didn't realize how good it was until I started tasting it compared to others."
Part of that smoothness comes from the fact that Ambhar is distilled five times. By law, tequilas must be distilled twice, but no other tequila is distilled more than three times. It's this process that has helped turn Ambhar into a critical and commercial success, with taste and design awards and distribution in six states and counting.
O'Rourke, based in Vegas, refers to it as a "showcase city," and its melting pot of experiences and cultures has helped spread the Ambhar gospel elsewhere in the country. Besides winning over celebrity fans like Brad Garrett and Rascal Flatts, everyday tequila drinkers have been blown away by the new brand.
"We had some guy that tried it at one of the casinos (in Las Vegas), and he went back to Florida ... and searched where he could buy Ambhar tequila. He found it and ordered 30 cases to give a bottle to all of his employees."
— Originally published in Las Vegas Magazine