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Tequila Talk

Thu, May 09, 24  |  spirits blog

by Chris Kotoun

In the past, Tequila’s reputation was synonymous with crazy nights, or days spent on the sand, listening to Jimmy Buffett. However, over the past 15 years the category has seen explosive growth. Currently, the Tequila market is dominated by brands that are celebrity-endorsed with production that sometimes exceeds a million cases per year. In an effort to produce that quantity, production methods are used that aren’t traditional.

Before we continue, it’s important to know the simplicity of this unique spirit. We’ll start with the ingredient list; like I said, it’s simple. Water, yeast, and most importantly, Blue Weber Agave are the three ingredients. To make exceptional Tequila, the Agave needs to be in-ground between seven and ten years to ensure that the plant is just right prior to distillation. (Sidebar: carefully tended agave can grow to over 150 pounds!) Once the Agave is harvested, it’s brought to the distillery and cooked, using traditional methods. The most common method is brick ovens. Autoclaving and cooking in earthen pits are the other methods.

After the Agave is cooked, its carbohydrates have converted to sugars and then it’s pressed. The pressed juices ferment and become the low alcohol wort, which is then distilled twice to make silver (also known as blanco) Tequila.

Silver Tequila can be transferred to oak vessels, usually old Bourbon casks, to mature for a period of time to become Reposado, Anejo, or Extra Anejo. Aging the Tequila in oak softens some of the strident flavors into a more smooth and complex spirit. Personally, I enjoy the stronger flavors in unaged Tequila; however, sometimes an aged expression is nice to sip and savor for its rounded qualities.

The newest expression of this spirit is additive-free Tequila—free of all flavor and color additives, these are some of the purest Tequilas. Additive-free Tequila may look more pale than other Tequilas, but they’re just as robust and come in a variety of price points.

Whether having margaritas on the back porch, palomas at the beach, or just sipping on ice after a long day, tequila is the newly fashionable drink that’s been around for ages. If you ever feel too overwhelmed with the choices, our staff will be more than happy to guide you to the perfect Tequila for your palate. Cheers!

By Chris Kotoun

Tags: tequila