A Bespoke Growing Process
Rather than buying land, Don Julio decided to lease it, allowing him to pick and choose exactly which plants to use on a year by year basis. His chosen agave hearts would then be taken to his distillery, La Primavera where they would be carefully cut, steamed, crushed and eventually mixed with water and yeast. Each bottles seal of authenticity details exactly which agave hearts were used while the microclimate and mineral-rich soil ensures a high standard of plants to begin with.
And the super-premium nature of Don Julio tequila boils down to more than just reputation. This is a brand whose name has never gone off the table of trending spirits and for a very good reason. Combining hand-harvested blue agave with a master distiller whose previous engineering experience features everything from explosives to perfume and liquids has resulted in a distinctive drink of the utmost quality.
This quality hasnt gone amiss: Don Julio is the largest valued brand of tequila all over the world and its counted among the eight largest produced liqueurs by volume at an international level. Its sweet aromas, traditional flavors and blue agave mouthful make every one of Don Julios tequilas a genuine treat to sample.
Don Julio Tequilas History
Don Julio came to be in 1985 when his sons commemorated his 60th birthday and the thought of creating a tequila named after him was considered to be a very fitting tribute. It gained such major popularity in Guadalajara and neighboring cities that they decided to launch it as an official brand in 1987.
From then on, it has set the standard for tequilas and has been considered the worlds very first luxury tequila during a time when they were being taken lightly and no one was willing to pay more than $30 for the best quality.
Tequila Don Julio, S.A. de C.V. has its corporate facility located in the Colonia El Chichimeco district, Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco, Mexico. Although it is distributed worldwide, Diageo makes it possible to be distributed in the United States through licensing from Tequila Don Julio, Sociedad Anónima de Capital Variable, Jalisco, Mexico, its patent holder.
The now defunct Seagram Company Ltd. had invested in Tequila Don Julio, S.A. de C.V. in 1999, and in 2003, Diageo signed a joint venture with Casa Cuervo, selling a 50% stake for $100 million. By November 2014, Diageo took full control of the Don Julio brand and paid Casa Cuervo $408 million plus the Old Bushmills Distillery.
Don Julio Blanco Prices
Considered as the signature blend, this provides you with the entry-level experience of drinking Don Julio. The drink is produced using locally harvested blue agave and distilled using Don Julios time-tested process.
It has that distinct agave flavor while also having some hints of citrus. It can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as the base of a wide range of cocktails and mixes.
Don Julio Blanco is available in different sizes: 375ml, 750ml, and 1.5 liter. Depending on the size, expect to spend anywhere from $20-90 for each bottle.
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Don Julio Tequila A Little History
The name Don Julio was from the founder Don Julio González-Frausto Estrada, who, at the early age of 17, began producing the type of item he envisions. His distillery was named La Primavera, where he first made Tres Magueyes. Don Julio González-Frausto Estrada revolutionized agave farming.
He believes that the price of his item depends greatly on the fruit of agave. He only uses the perfect blue agave plants for his tequilas. Because of his efforts, Mexico has grown the best quality fruit that produces high-quality tequila. And his product received a variety of awards resulting from that.
Don Julio Real Prices
The Real is considered as the ultimate version of the Don Julio Tequila. It has the reputation of being one of the first extra-anejo tequilas on the market, and its arguably the best of them all as well.
Aged for three to five years, the Don Julio Real has a fully developed taste that is unlike virtually anything else on the market. It has a premium scent and taste that can only be acquired thru such an intensive preparation process.
Given the ultra-premium nature of Don Julio Real, the price youll pay for a bottle of it is equally ultra-premium. You can acquire a bottle of this extra-anejo tequila at a price range of $390-410.
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What Are The Different Types Of Tequila
Tequila is classified depending on the time it has spent aging. Blanco is bottled right after distillation, leaving it with a short aging process. These tequilas are typically clear, hence the name. Reposado tequila is aged in oak barrels for 2 12 months.
Joven tequila is a blend of Blanco and Reposado tequilas. Añejo tequila is aged in oak barrels for 1 3 years, with the Extra Añejo aged for more than 3 years. Finally, Mixto tequila contains less than 100% blue agave and is usually mixed with other spirits or sugars.
The Agave Harvesting Process
In addition to increasingly limited supply, harvesting and preparing agave is still a very manual process. Many spirits have seen a mechanization and automation of this part of the process, with the advent of modern farming methods. Tequila making, specifically harvesting blue agave, continues to be a human-driven task.
The process of harvesting agave is still passed down generationally, rather than via a manual or online training modules. Tending to agave is arduous, as the plants require constant monitoring and pruning . Only those who work the agave fields know when it is ready to be harvested, as there are no obvious indicators for those lacking experience.
Harvesting agave is not as simple as observing that a plant looks mature and ready to be turned into a fermented product called wort. The jimadores are experts, with vast experience, in knowing when the agave plant has just enough carbohydrates and just enough sugar to ferment properly.
As you can imagine, with so much experience and manual labor required, a product like agave can be quite expensive. Thus, the labor intensive and specialized harvesting process alone can drive the cost of tequila.
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Don Julio Vs Patron Tequila: Whats The Difference
One of the biggest differences between the two brands is in their production process. Although both brands use Agave as its main ingredient, Don Julio cuts its pinas in even pieces while Patron crushes the Agave by using a tahona and miller.
Aside from that, Patron is slightly more affordable than Don Julio. At the same time, Patron also has more varieties than Don Julio. But, Don Julio is preferred by many due to its excellent and clean tequila taste.
Are you debating on whether you should opt for Don Julio or Patron? If yes, then you are on the right page. In this article, you will learn about the difference between Don Julio and Patron in terms of branding, taste, price, and many more.
Don Julio Anejo Vs The Competition
There are multiple anejo rums on the market, with some of them true anejos, while others may be only anejo by name. That said, some of the biggest rivals of Don Julio Anejo include the likes of 1800 Anejo and Casamigos Anejo.
Given the price range of Don Julio Anejo is $45-50, it compares favorably to most of its rivals. The 1800 Anejo is the only tequila thats significantly more expensive than Don Julio, but the Don Julio more than holds its own in quality to its contemporaries.
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Don Julio Reposado Prices
While prepared using the signature Don Julio style, the Reposado is aged for better flavor and character. The Reposado is aged for 8 months in American oak barrels, also known in-house as the reposado barrels.
The aging process also provides a distinctive amber color. More importantly, it provides a smooth finish, a must-have trait for any legitimate barrel-aged tequila.
Don Julio Reposado is available in 750ml bottles. Depending on where you will get it, the average price for each bottle is $45-80.
How To Drink Don Julio 1942 Tequila
A premium tequila like Don Julio 1942 should be drunk neat . with the flavor of the tequila, you should not need lime or salt to drink it. Technically, you could also drink 1942 tequila as a shot, however, for the quality and price, you may consider that to be a waste.
Añejo tequila can also be used as the base for a cocktail as the flavor of the drink could bring out the flavor of the additional ingredients more. An Añejo Manhattan is a classic option for a cocktail. To make this drink, fill 2/3 of a glass with ice.
Combine 2 ounces of 1942 tequila, ½ ounce of sweet vermouth, ¼ ounce of sweet vermouth, a dash of Angostura bitters, and a dash of orange bitters.
Stir in the glass of ice for roughly 30 seconds to chill. Finally, strain the cocktail into a martini glass and garnish with a cherry.
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Don Julio 1942 Prices
This tequila is named in commemoration of the year when Don Julio started to produce his own tequila. With a more elaborate distillation process, the result is full-bodied tequila that is as premium as it gets.
Produced in limited numbers, this tequila is aged in Don Julios oak barrels for 2 ½ years, which is a full year longer than their Anejo. A 3-step distillation process then yields a tequila that delivers a smooth taste that goes all the way down.
Just like most ultra-premium tequila, the best way to consume Don Julio 1942 is to do it the traditional way. Getting a bottle of this drink would not be cheap a 750ml bottle is worth $105-255.
The Man Behind Don Julio Tequila
Don Julio Gonzalez-Frausto Estrada, the man after whom the brand was named, started distilling his own tequila in 1942, at a tender age of 17 years.
He established a distillery, La Primavera, shortly after getting started. Over the next 40 years, he spent countless hours trying to perfect his proprietary blend.
At first, his tequila was only for private consumption and only shared with close family and friends. However, as word spread about his proprietary blend, Don Julios family decided to open his tequila for distribution.
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Don Julio Reposado Double Cask Tequila
The Don Julio Reposado Double Cask Tequila is another variation of the iconic Reposado Añejo this time, the final spirit is finished in casks previously used for Buchanans blended scotch whisky.
As a result, the alcohol has a remarkable depth of flavor: notes of honeyed agave, tropical fruits, and chocolate malt are present, laced with light peat from the casks.
- Color- The color of the spirit is very pale, almost straw-like.
- Nose This is a very fresh tequila, with aromas of bright lemon, caramel, and cinnamon, with a touch of cooked agave.
- Palate Reposado Double Cask Tequila is equally fresh on the tongue, with plenty of citrus notes and herbal agave. It has the taste of caramel and vanilla.
- Finish This spirit has a refreshing, medium-length finish with a lingering spice.
- Best Way To Drink Neat
Prices Variations & Sizes Of Don Julio 1942 Tequila
Don Julio 1942 Tequila is not a tequila you would keep around for everyday use. Rather, at its price point, it is a tequila that should be kept for special occasions like a birthday or other celebrations.
Don Julio 1942 is an Añejo tequila that is aged for a minimum of 1 year and up to 3 years in old oak barrels. The oak barrels hold no more than 600 liters of tequila at a time and must be a certain type for Don Julio to use them.
The cost per bottle of 1942 tequila has increased in recent years as production costs have increased along with increasing demand for the special tequila. The price is therefore much higher than the average everyday tequila, making it significantly scarcer.
Don Julio 1942 Tequila is sold in 750-milliliter bottles. The average price of these bottles is $150 putting it among the higher-priced tequilas at most clubs and bars.
The tequila is aged in Don Julios oak barrels for 2,5 years which is longer than the average Añejo produced by the brand.
This tequila is made in an elaborate 3-step distillation process that makes it ultra-premium and high-quality tequila. Given the scarcity of a bottle of 1942, the value of the tequila is much higher than the price you will find in a liquor store or bar.
If you are looking for another tequila made by Don Julio, there are several options to choose from.
Otherwise, a double shot of tequila costs roughly $30 $50 in the United States.
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How Don Julio Tequila Is Made
The secret behind Don Julios tequila starts with homegrown agave and a unique aging process. They use agave derived from their private plantation, which is located at the Atotonilco highlands.
The pina, which is the core of the agave plant, is hand-cut and baked over the course of days. It is then crushed and water is added to extract the so-called agave juice.
This juice is then fermented and then placed in stills for distilling. Once the distillation process is completed, the tequila is placed for either bottling or aging, depending on the variant.
How To Drink Don Julio
The only way to drink Don Julio is to savor it slowly. It might seem like muscle memory to drink tequila in shot form but for the super premium bottles, its worth experiencing the aroma and flavor notes of the bottle. Don Julio is best served neat or, at most, with a few drops of water to bring out its unique properties. Treat it the same way youd treat fine whisky or rum and take the entire process step by step.
Start by pouring the spirit into a tasting glass to let the aromas breathe. Then, nose it gently with small sips to let the individual flavors dance on your tongue.
You dont have to rule out shot glasses completely when it comes to drinking Don Julio. In Mexico, some say the traditional way to drink tequila is in a caballito a taller, slender shot glass thats served with a lime and salt. The main thing is to not rush the process, and to enjoy the spirit sip by sip to appreciate its quality.
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Comparing Brands And Their Pricing
So why is a Patron considered a Premium tequila by our standards, while a popular brand like 1800 comes out as a Standard offering? Lets compare some of the brands on our list and look at what might make one more expensive than another.
Patron tequila is often seen in night clubs and is considered an ultra premium brand in the marketplace. Easily identified by its uniquely designed bottle, Patron is one of the higher priced tequilas available on the shelf.
One major reason Patron is seen as a premium brand, and is more expensive, is because of their unique agave handling process. Rather than simply using agave grown on their property, Patron selects from an array of blue agave producers around the region. This ensures that only the perfect blue agave make it into their tequila.
Most would argue that Patron is worth the price as this is one of those tequilas that can be enjoyed sans salt and lime wedge.
On another note, Patron is incredibly environmentally conscious for a major tequila producer. They compost all the agave hearts after use and utilize natural gas to reduce carbon emissions.
Don Julio joins Patron as a Premium tequila on our list. It is also considered a super premium brand by the market, as well.
Jose Cuervo falls into the Standard category by price point, however, that does not mean it is significantly less quality. It has long been one of, if not the best selling tequilas world wide.
How Much Does Don Julio Tequila Cost
Tequila is a liquor type thats popularly known to have originated from Mexico and is considered a farmers drink because it is cheap and readily available whenever one needs a fix. What, with the producers old mentality of quantity over quality, do you expect?
But thats already a thing of the past as a lot of game-changers have sprouted here and there providing quality and uplifting the liquors reputation from being a poor mans drink to being a cellar superstar like Don Julio Tequila.
When we say superstar, we mean quality. And quality could be pricey.
We have gathered Don Julio Tequila prices from various sources like Totalwine.com, Saucey.com, and Wine-Searcher.com, so you be the judge.
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Don Julio Aejo Vs Other Brands
The flavor is somehow alike since both have that touch of orange, mango, dark chocolate, toffee penny, and of course, oak. Reviews from those who drank commented that Casamigos has a mild alcohol burn during the transition from mouth to the throat, giving it slightly negative feedback. Consuming the same quantity will still differ because of the result from each brand. Casamigos are cheaper at roughly $50.99-$69.99 in a store.
Tequila Avión Añejo
One of the brands that are considered as a competition of Don Julio is Avion. Price-wise, Avion has a cheaper bottle. Don Julio claims that it is consistent with its flavor, starting from the smell down to its flavor going down to the throat. The smooth transition is also promised as there will be no sting on the alcohol you swallow from your shot glasses. At 40%ABV, Avion is cheaper at about $44.99-$51.99 range.
This is coming from the same company that made Jose Cuervo, manufacturer of quality tequila. 1800 leaves the tongue marks of toasted oak, candied pears, butterscotch and finishes it with banana bread and cocoa, which is very interesting considering this is an alcoholic beverage. The quantity of smoke in the flavor is also evident, which can be a downside that Don Julio keeps minimal. With a store tag at around $37.99-$74.26, it is cheaper than Don Julio.