DEERFIELD, Ill., April 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hornitos® Tequila is redefining the premium tequila experience with the launch of new Hornitos® Black Barrel®, a 100% blue agave tequila, distinctively aged through an innovative process that conveys the classic tasting notes of a whiskey. Triple aged to create a uniquely complex tequila with whiskey characteristics, the newest premium offering from Hornitos® is aged first for 12 months in American Oak barrels before transitioning into deep charred American Oak barrels for four months. In the final aging process, the liquid is transferred to specially-toasted American Oak barrels for two additional months to further enhance the whiskey-like notes of this one-of-a-kind premium tequila. The distinctive Hornitos® Black Barrel® aging process creates a spirit unlike anything else in the tequila category. With oaky-vanilla notes and a peppery spiciness, the tequila offers light smoky oak notes and smooth, sweet agave character. The spirit is full-bodied with a clean, mild flavor finish and a slightly lingering tingle sensation. Prior to hitting shelves, Hornitos® Black Barrel® quickly became an award-winning tequila with accolades at international spirits competitions. Hornitos® Black Barrel® won the 2014 Best of Show Award and received Double Gold honors at the 2014 International Denver Spirit Awards. The spirit also won a Double Gold award at the San Francisco Wine & Spirits Competition. "With the recent growing excitement around the whiskey category, now is the perfect time to introduce Hornitos® Black Barrel® – a one-of-a-kind product that is sure to please both tequila and whiskey fans," said Gary Ross, Senior Brand Director Tequila at Beam Inc. "We are also extremely proud of the industry's response to our newest spirit. The success of Hornitos® Black Barrel® at the 2014 International Denver Spirit Awards and San Francisco Wine & Spirits Competition serves as further evidence that this storied brand will continue its 140-year history of revolutionizing the tequila category." "The groundbreaking aging process that Hornitos® Black Barrel® undergoes is unlike anything else on the mass market and gives it remarkable depth, complexity and rich character," said Servando Calderon, Casa Sauza Distillery Director. "This tequila takes on two unique spirit profiles and truly delivers a new and innovative product with the same high quality standards that tequila aficionados have come to expect from Hornitos®." Hornitos® Black Barrel® is 80 proof and is available for a suggested retail price of $29.99 for a 750ml bottle. It can be sipped on the rocks, neat, or mixed in cocktails. For those looking to enjoy Hornitos® Black Barrel® in a cocktail, some recipes for inspiration can be found below.