Does All Tequila Have To Be Made In The Town Of Tequila
No, but there is a strong historical connection between the spirit known as tequila and the town from which it takes its name. Located about sixty kilometers from Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, Santiago de Tequila is where much of the original distillation of the blue Weber agave plant took place, and centuries-old distilleries are still in operation there today. The town is also the location of the Museo Nacional de Tequila , and is the hub of most of Jalisco’s tequila-based tourism.
This Tequila Has Something In Common With Jack Daniels And Crystal Pepsi
Consumers tend to think older spirits should be darker in color, so some spirits producers feed our visual lust with caramel coloring. Don Julio bucks the trend with its Claro añejo. The brainchild of master distiller de Colsa, the Claro is aged for the same 18 months as the regular añejo, but the finished tequila is then charcoal-filtered to remove any color. Like Crystal Pepsi, it goes clear in a category where clear is uncool.
What Exactly Is Mezcal
Real tequila is made from blue agave and only in specific regions of Mexico. When it comes to mezcal, these guidelines are not followed. Mezcal has a smoky and much harsher taste than tequila because it is made from the more common maguey plant.
Now back to tequila. It takes about a decade for agave to mature. And once mature, the heart of the agave is full of the good stuff fermentable fructose. The juice is squeezed from the heart of the agave before being fermented, distilled, and, in the case of añejo varieties of tequila, aged.
The aging process allows the wood to come into play with the flavors of the agave, as well as the mysterious influence of the desert itself. Exactly how this works is the domain of master tequila makers. Its the kind of secret passed down within families for centuries.
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Luxury Latin America Blog
As Ive mentioned before on this site, if you want to bring a gift to impress to a Mexican who drinks, the safest bet you can make is Don Julio tequila. You could spend more on Clase Azul and create a bigger impression because of the hand-made porcelain bottle, but Don Julio Reposado or Anejo comes in a few bills less and garners instant respect.
Don Julio has been out as premium tequila since long before that was a trendy thing, since 1942. Whats also not trendy is its singular focus. While the likes of Cuervo and Sauza produce multiple brands in one facility, La Primavera distillery only produces this one. No crappy mass-market cocktail swill coming down the same bottling line. They also avoid the shortcuts some others take: the agave fruits are steam-cooked in traditional masonry ovens for three days to release the sweet agave juice slowly, without rushing.
Don Julio Gonzales is a real guy too. He founded the company at the age of 17, so hes still around.
We must point out that if youre willing to drop $100+ on something fancier, theres a Don Julio 1942 Tequila aged for at least two-and-a-half years. This ups the ante even more, and the second time I got to try it I saw the light: this is clearly one of the top bottles you can buy at any price.
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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The Master Distiller Knows His Way Around A Chemistry Set
Don Julio master distiller Enrique de Colsa was formerly an industrial engineer, working in what he describes as liquid handling, a field we have to assume involves lots of chemical equations and the vigilant use of rubber gloves. As a result, de Colsa handled things like filters, compressors, and even bombs. De Colsa eventually moved toward perfumes and, eventually, spirits. When he met Don Julio in 1998 he was actually working for a rival distiller Don Julio immediately plucked him away and made de Colsa master distiller for the entire brand in 2004.
What Is The Difference Between Aejo Reposado And Blanco Tequilas
The biggest differences in these styles comes down to oak aging. Blanco is not aged in oak and will have more agave flavor than the others. Reposado tequila spends two months to a year in oak. Añejo spends one to three years in oak, and if you see a bottle marked “extra añejo,” that spent more than three years in the barrel.
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Siembre Valles Ancestral Blanco
This labor of love aims for nothing less than a faithful recreation of how tequila was made 200 years ago. Tequila zealots will invariably decry the industrialization of the spirit, so enter Siembre Valles Ancestral, for which even a donkey pulling a stone is too efficient. This no machine spirit is hand-harvested, cooked in an earthen pit like mezcal, crushed by a team of men with wooden mallets and distilled in an ancient alembic still made of pine, yielding a smoky, complex sipper that is simply unique on the market. Some tequilas want to be smooththis tequila wants to take you back in time.
The Process Of Making A Bottle Of Don Julio 1942
The agave hearts for Don Julio 1942 are selected at peak maturity and then slowly roasted for 72 hours in traditional brick ovens until they have been perfectly caramelized. The alcohol is then double-distilled and aged before being bottled in the now-iconic sleek amber-colored vessel. The bottle comes in an elegant chocolate-colored box with gold leaf that further enhances the Don Julio 1942 prestige.
Choi says that the iconic elongated bottle is designed after the agave leaf, honoring both the brand’s roots while feeling relevant and contemporary . The bottle is made with hand-blown Mexican glass and features a lip to enhance the pouring ritual of Don Julio 1942.
Don Julio 1942 immediately differs from most añejo tequilas at first glance as it is nearly clear in color. Agave still hits as a top aroma, but you also may notice notes of rose, vanilla, and pomme fruit, along with oak and even chocolate.
This tequila is sweeter than the blanco tequila most of us are used to drinking or pairing with margaritas and it boasts vanilla, apricot, and baking spices on the palate, along with roasted agave hearts. It has a long, intense finish, which drinkers will love or hate that features minty, peppery notes with a hint of oak for a unique sipping experience. While this liquor may not be for everyone, its icon status certainly makes it worth trying at least once.
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Don Julio 1942 Near You
With Saucey, you can get Don Julio 1942 delivered to you. Just follow these instructions:
Best Gift: Casa Dragones Aejo Barrel Blend
Courtesy of Casa Dragones
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Nuts, Oak
Our job as bar pros is to be skeptical, but when I took the first sip, I was like, Oh, this is divine, says Chasse. A lot of bottles that people think about for gifting are on the sweeter side, but this one is not super sweet. Instead, the aging program, in both new French and new American oak, lends it complexity and balance.
Chasse finds plenty of peppery spice, nuttiness and a hint of cacao but with a lush mouthfeel that makes Casa Dragones’ tequila feel luxurious. Its sleek, charcoal-colored bottle and turquoise box present the kind of packaging that makes it giftable without wrapping paper.
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How Much Does Tequila Cost
As there are lots of different types of tequila, prices can be surprisingly sporadic. However, its not impossible to have an idea of what budget youll need when buying some.
Ignoring mixto and flavoured tequila, blanco and plata 100% blue agave tequila can be as low as just under $30. However, premium brands may retail it for as high as $60.
Given that ageing tequila requires both time and additional labour, it can be more expensive. That being said, some resposado expressions may go as low as $30 as well.
Nevertheless, its reasonable to expect that high-quality tequila that has been aged for multiple years can fetch for similar prices to Scotch whisky and cognac. Therefore, dont be surprised when you see some good bottles of extra añejo for over $150.
Tequila Ocho Plata 2017 Single Estate Los Patos
As mentioned previously in this article, Carlos Camarena of El Tesoro is a legendary tequila maker, which is why Tomas Estes enlisted him as a partner on Tequila Ocho. Estes wanted the best, so he teamed with the best. Tequila Ocho Plata 2017 Single Estate Los Patos smells of peaches, bananas, lemongrass and straw. The list of flavors in the mix includes chamomile, rosemary, peppermint, avocado and green olives. It opens and develops in the glass like a fine wine.
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Why Is Don Julio Expensive
Price: $350 And for as expensive as it is, Don Julio Real does not disappoint: Its one of the most consistent extra añejo tequilas on the market. Thats because Don Julio has a massive distilling operation to draw from, giving them greater access to the precise barrels needed to blend this spirit year after year.
Don Julio Tequila Limited Edition Bottles And Prices
Don Julio tequila not only has a wide range of tequila flavors but also a very personal limited edition. Lets check it out.
Don Julio Primavera
This limited edition bottle was made with high excitement and pride for the Mexican heritage of tequila distillery. Primavera was particularly made honoring the legacy of the innovative distiller Don Julio Gonzalez who made an unparalleled image in the industry of sophisticated tequila sellers. Every sip of this tequila is nothing but an extravagant taste of luxury. Made in an American white oak cask the aftertaste is ultra-silky leaving you with the perfect balance of honey and citrus. This tequila is perfect to be paired with cocktails and any outdoor drinks that you wish to fancy. The retail price for a bottle of 750ml is $164.
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Is Blanco Or Reposado Better For Sipping
Which is better for mixing in cocktails, and which is better for drinking straight up? A basic taste, tequila blanco is perfect for mixing into classic cocktails such as Margaritas or highball drinks such as Ranch Water. Tequila reposado is excellent in cocktails, since it imparts a nuanced dimension to the flavor of the drink when mixed with other ingredients.
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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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Best Overall: Tequila Ocho Plata
Courtesy of Drizly.com
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Citrus, Grass, Stone fruit
The beautiful story and unique process behind this tequila really help it shine, says Chasse. The family that makes Tequila Ocho Plata has been distilling for generations. They use traditional brick ovens to slow-roast extremely ripe agave, which is chosen from specific fields each year, so that the nuances of the terroir and weather come out, especially in the blanco.
It changes depending on the field and year, says Chasse, but in general, it offers crisp, clean peppery notes, bright citrus and grassy flavors, along with the fruitiness of the extra-ripe agave. The finish also offers a nice balance between floral and earthy notes.
Good to Know: How should you drink a sipping tequila? Hurley and Chasse suggest trying it neat in a tequila glass . Add a few drops of water to open up the flavor. Medina prefers to sip his aged tequila in a snifter with one large cube of ice, which melts slowly, keeping the spirit cool but not diluting it.
Do You Already Like Whiskey Or Scotch Tequilas Not That Different
When sipping a quality tequila, drink 3 to 5 ounces out of a snifter or low-ball glass. Its best served at room temperature. But on the rocks is acceptable too its up to you.
Unlike wine, theres no need to shake the glass or sniff tequila. The aromas of tequila will become more prevalent as you drink. And one pour should last you most of the night .
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How To Serve Don Julio 1942
A reviewer from Liquor.com advises first serving Don Julio 1942 neat in a Glencairn or horn glass, but any whiskey glass will do. If you prefer to enjoy it chilled, try serving with ice from a whiskey ice mold instead of with a handful of ice cubes to ensure it doesn’t become too diluted and at $140 per bottle, there’s no need to waste any of it. As noted, this tequila was created for sipping and trying it neat or on the rocks first is an excellent way to get acquainted with its aromas, flavors, and finish, even if you consider yourself to be a cocktail connoisseur.
Once you’ve gotten a taste for it, Don Julio 1942 is also fantastic for experimenting with a variety of cocktails, although not the best choice for parties due to its high price. Like with most añejo tequilas, Don Julio 1942 is an excellent substitute in whiskey-based libations. VinePair says that the Old-Fashioned is one of the best ways to enjoy this tequila in a cocktail and it would also be a nice pairing in a Manhattan, Boulevardier, Hot Toddy, or Godfather.
Just about any umami-influenced libation will do, but Drinkhacker recommends serving up Don Julio 1942 in a celebratory chocolate-chili martini, so the possibilities are endless.
Is Don Julio 1942 Dark Or Light
Its virtually impossible to believe that the Don Julio Real Tequila has been matured for 3-5 years because the hue is so pale. On the nose, there is a lot of sweet pepper and citrus, which is quite delicate and light. The rich caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla aromas that youd anticipate from an extra anejo are absent from this blend.
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Are All Tequilas Made Of 100 Percent Blue Weber Agave
Nearly all premium tequilas are made entirely from blue Weber agave , but there’s another category of tequila called “mixto” in which blue Weber agave need only compose 51 percent of the spirit. Producers utilize various types of sugar to make up the remaining percentage, including high fructose corn syrup and molassesalthough sometimes a lightly processed Mexican cane sugar known as piloncillo is what’s used. If your bottle doesn’t indicate on the label that it’s made from 100 percent agaveand if the price is on the lower end of the spectrumthere’s a good chance that you’re dealing with a mixto. While less expensive, these tequilas don’t reflect a historically anthentic approach to the composition of the spirit.