Let’s Talk About Aging Tequila
The amount of aging and the amount of agave used to make a tequila are what create the different varieties. Each variety has a different type of flavor, aroma, and price point.
These are blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo.
Keep in mind that añejo doesnt mean best, it just means oldest. If you prefer the flavor of blanco, then buy blanco. Extra añejos are often the most expensive tequilas.
How Is Tequila Made
While grapes, wheat, or corn can be harvested a few months to a few years later before being processed and distilled into alcohol, the blue agave plants used to make tequila are different. They take about 10 years to grow before theyre ready to be harvested for tequila.
The labor-intensive harvesting is done by hand by agave farmers known as jimadores. Here are the main steps for turning agave into tequila:
- Agave harvesting: When ready to be harvested, the spiny leaves and roots are cut off the main plant body, called the agave heart or piña, which goes to processing.
- Process the agave: The hearts are slowly baked, which can sometimes take days. The slow cooking reduces caramelization and prevents the juices from turning bitter, thus maintaining the flavor of the agave.
- Crush the agave: Afterwards, the cooked hearts are crushed to release their sugary juices. This can be done by a mechanical crusher and grinder, or by the traditional way using a volcanic stone wheel called a tahona. Historically, a mule pulled the tahona, but these days an electric motor does the job. In theory, this slower practice of extracting agave nectar that will be fermented and distilled creates a more robust and complex flavor.
- Ferment the agave into tequila: The extracted juices are then fermented and twice-distilled as dictated by regulations. The distilled alcohol can then be bottled straight away or aged in wooden containers.
Ready To Become A Tequila Expert
This tequila guide will cover what makes a tequila a tequila and go over some basic definitions so you can dazzle yourself and others with tequila knowledge. Ill provide some recommendations for tequilas that are widely available so you can begin to stock your home bar and ensure the best tequila experience for your next party or quiet night at home.
Leela Cyd Ross
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A Buying Guide To Tequilas
The tequilas recommended here are by no means a comprehensive list, but rather suggestions for widely available tequilas across many price points.
Some good buying guidelines are:
- Avoid anything that is packaged in plastic or that costs less than $15 as these are signs of cheap tequila thatll burn like hellfire down your throat and taste like lighter fluid.
- Buy only tequila that states 100% agave on the bottle.
- Its perfectly reasonable to find a smooth, flavorful tequila for $25-$30 thats great for shots, cocktails, or sipping. A high price does not always indicate high quality.
- If theres a worm or scorpion or, really, any animal in the bottle, then dont buy it. Its a marketing gimmick used to sell cheaply produced tequilas and its almost guaranteed to be dreck.
Casamigos Tequila’s Unique Taste Comes From An 80 Hour Fermentation Process
The first step to making great Casamigos tequila is sourcing high quality ingredients. Casamigos employ a Master Distiller in Jalisco to oversee the tequila-making process. The finest agave piñas are selected from where they are grown in Jalisco, Mexico, and they are roasted in traditional ovens for 72 hours. Most other tequila producers steam their piñas for just seven hours, but Casamigos Tequila’s longer roasting process brings out the depth in the agave’s sweet flavour.
A proprietary yeast is used by the Master Distiller to ferment the alcohol in order to produce a consistent, refined flavour. The roasted piñas are crushed and fermented, using Casamigos’ special 80 hour fermentation process. The average tequila is fermented for 48 hours, so Casamigos’ extra-long process brings a complexity of flavour which you can taste when you drink it.
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Casamigos Aejo Vs The Competition
- Don Julio Añejo
- Patron Añejo
- 1800 Añejo
Casamigos Añejo and 1800 Añejo will definitely compete for a tequila pundits liking.
Both have different fruits, confectioneries and spices in their respective tastes, with the 1800 Añejo displaying hints of cinnamon, candied pears, butterscotch and toasted oak . What could sink Casamigos could be the finish, as theres a slight lingering bitter feeling in the gullet as the last of the añejogoes down.
Practically the same case can be presented, when comparing the añejosof Casamigos and Patron.
Vanilla, raisins and oak wood are present in the taste, but they do not try to be the lead in the Patron añejo theater. The telltale peppery rush of agave is still in the drink, and is very much the dominant flavor.
Again, what could steer rookie and veteran tequila drinkers towards Patron is Casamigos aforementioned lingering bitterness in the finish. In contrast, Patron goes down the throat smoothly, aided by hints of caramel and ever-so-slight white oak smokiness.
However, when ranged against the Don Julio añejo, Casamigos is nowhere near close.
Mixto Tequila Verses 100% Agave Tequila
A tequila can be organized into two categories, mixto tequilas and 100% agave tequilas.
Mixto tequilas are made with no less than 51% agave, with the other 49% usually being fermented sugar cane juice. The result is a tequila thats very sweet in both smell and taste. However, the flavor usually stops there.
These mixto tequilas are often harsh in flavor, burn on the way down, and thus are inferior to other tequilas. Golden-colored mixtos are called joven or oro tequilas and have oak flavoring and coloring added. The reason these are made in the first place is because theyre affordable to make for producers and, frankly, they sell well in stores due to their low price point.
Mixtos arent ideal and I generally dont recommend buying them. But if youre planning a big party with a tequila-based punch that has a lot of juices and flavors to help mask the mixto, then a mixto is a practical option.
If a tequila is labeled as 100% agave, this means that the tequila in question was made with only blue agave. Generally, its recommended by most bartenders and tequila enthusiasts that you only buy tequilas which clearly state this on the label, as it will guarantee you a much better product that has a more complex flavor and significantly less burn.
Leela Cyd Ross
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Casamigos Tequila Prices List
$49.99 – $54.99
Much like every tequila producer, Casamigos gets its blue weber agave piñas from the red clay soil and relatively cool climate of Jalisco .
However, Casamigos boasts of a brick oven 72-hour slow roasting of the piñas and an 80-hour fermentation process all considered longer than the normal times needed for the aforementioned methods. Casamigos piña roasting is 10 times the average required, and the fermentation is twice as long. The company also claims that they use traditional pot stills and naturally filtered water so that the flavor profile is not changed.
Casamigos also boasts of its processes used to make its mezcal variant. Launched in early 2018 as its first mezcal, Casamigos Mezcal has purely Espadin agave from Oaxaca .
The agave is then split, then placed in earthen holes lined with oak wood-fire-heated volcanic rocks for four to six days. Once cooked, the fruits are then crushed to pulps by a stone wheel. After then, the pulp or aguamiel is fermented for two to eight days.
The spirit is also distilled twice and bathed in mountain spring water wells after 30 days. Also, the bottles have a distinct matte-black exterior finish and handcrafted for instant recognition.
At present, the Casamigos lineup has four drinks a blanco, a reposado, an añejo, and the aforementioned mezcal.
- $39.99-$41.99, 750 ml, 40%
Newcomers to the Casamigos brand should start with the Blanco version.
- $42.99-$45.99, 750 ml, 40%
There Are Three Varieties Of Casamigos Tequila For You To Try
Casamigos Tequila comes in different varieties, which are defined based on how long the tequila is left to age. The youngest, the Casamigos Tequila blanco, rests for just two months, so it is crisp and clean, with flavours of citrus, vanilla, and sweet agave. The finish is long and smooth. The next youngest variety is the Casamigos Tequila reposado, which is aged for seven months in American white oak barrels. It is soft and smooth, with flavours of oak, caramel, and cocoa. The finish is silky and medium to long. Finally, the variety which is aged the most is the Casamigos Tequila Añejo, which is aged for fourteen months in American white oak barrels. It has flavours of caramel and vanilla, with both sweetness and spice. The finish is lingering and smooth.
Whether you like to sip your tequila neat, to pour it over ice, or to drink it in a tasty cocktail, Casamigos Tequila is sure to please. You can purchase a bottle of Casamigos Tequila now from our online shop!
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What Is Tequila
Just as French law states that champagne can only be made in the Champagne region of France using specific ingredients and methods, Mexican laws detail what is and is not a tequila. These laws are recognized by more than 40 countries through various trade agreements.
Mexican guidelines state that tequila must meet the following guidelines:
- Tequila can only be distilled from only the blue agave plant.
- Tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and limited municipalities in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.
Fun fact! The name tequila comes from the city of Tequila, which was established in 1666, though tequila was produced long before the town was born.