Primary Navigation

‘Agave’ (Get It?) My Heart To Tequila: A Brief History And Tasting Notes By A Very Recent Convert | Quill & Pad

‘Agave’ (Get It?) My Heart To Tequila: A Brief History And Tasting Notes By A Very Recent Convert | Quill & Pad

I’ve consistently been probably as attached to tequila as Superman is of kryptonite – indeed, as most such fears, it traces all the way back to a deplorable encounter made no simpler by the sky’s comical inclination in guaranteeing that wherever I went for the following week in the wake of drinking tequila I heard the Eagles’ “Tequila Sunrise” playing. Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” may have been a smidge more palatable.

Subsequent research has uncovered that country and western vocalists appear to have a specific affection for this soul. I’m not sure that any further comment on this would be to the advantage of anyone.

It isn’t hard to track down scorching surveys of tequila on the web, despite the fact that I am sure one could say similar regarding all spirits. Nonetheless, my number one comment would need to be “lukewarm water off a corroded tin rooftop.” And on the off chance that that was all there was to it, we would not have even gotten this far.

The tequila industry obviously traces all the way back to 1795 when an honorable man called Don José Antonio de Cuervo y Valdés originally made a type of the soul in the town of Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico. Before that, the Spanish had been cooking the blue agave plant and calling it mezcal. Significantly prior, the nearby clans had made liquor from the plant and given it the fairly trite name of pulque .

These days, the decisions to enjoy the soul appear to be centered around a portion of the extraordinary mixed drinks that incorporate it, margaritas being particularly well known. Be that as it may, there are numerous others.

Tequila shots with lime

The understudy top choice – lip, taste, suck (a shot with salt and lime or lemon) – is a commendable fallback. Yet, actually, the tequila required for this is probably going to be the least expensive around. Try not to squander your valued tasting spirits here.

Mexicans, and one expects that they may know something about this, appreciate it as bandera. All in all, they “drink the banner” (bandera meaning banner) by filling three shot glasses – one with lime juice, one with tequila blanco (the unmistakable adaptation), and the last one with sangrita (a well known Mexican beverage of blended squeezes and flavors in with however many forms as there are fans) – green, white and red! Bandera!

I have, in any case, been dependably educated that there are tequilas presently viewed as quality spirits, assigned for tasting – I will say that I gulped this crazy and evident lie on an event numerous years prior, yet in light of a legitimate concern for research indeed I sallied forth.

In reasonableness, I am certain that there should be some dazzling tequilas out there – no uncertainty awfully costly – except for up until this point, they had escaped my fairly docile endeavors to find them.

In its courtesy, one of my #1 creators, the superb Tom Robbins, depicted tequila as the beverage of criminals in Still Life with Woodpecker .

What is tequila?

There are five explicit districts in Mexico in which tequila can be made: Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, Tamaulipas, and Jalisco. The last by a long shot the biggest. A huge piece of Jalisco has been considered as a World Heritage site by UNESCO .

The blue agave, important for tequila creation, lean towards high elevations and sandy, volcanic soils. The leaves can surpass seven feet and the stalks in excess of 16 feet, however whenever expected for commercial utilize the tail is hacked off so the plant empties its endeavors into its “heart.”

One tail, a houseplant in Boston, arrived at in excess of nine meters – its proprietors had to cut an opening in the top of their nursery to accommodate it. Fertilization is by the more noteworthy since a long time ago nosed bat and every so often bugs and hummingbirds.

The blue agave – it can’t be some other kind of agave – is obviously a plant, not a prickly plant, and is firmly identified with the lily (which was brand new information to me). Clearly, one requirements to sit tight for right around 10 years before it is prepared for hand-reaping, whereupon it is stripped to mash and generally ground in a stone receptacle.

Tequila should be in any event 51% blue agave; the rest of be an impartial soul. Numerous quality tequilas are 100% blue agave, which will unquestionably be nitty gritty on the mark. Something else, expect them to be just possibly along these lines, and in all likelihood less expensive and best bound for the mixed drink bar.

Blue agave mash in the Destilería La Fortaleza in Tequila, Mexico

The blue agave functions admirably as the center of the plant has a high level of sugars, ideal for maturation into liquor. It is viewed as that plants filled in the good country locales yield better, grassier and fruitier tequilas, while those from lower territories give forward an earthier flavor. Each plant must be utilized once, in contrast to grape plants. When reaped, an altogether new one should be grown.

I referenced that the plant required 10 years before it was forfeited to the special stepped area of tequila. The real period shifts somewhere in the range of seven and 14 years, at which time the heart is taken out. It will weigh somewhere in the range of 40 and 110 kilograms. It is stripped, simmered, and squashed to give the sweet fluid used to maturation and afterward distillation.

The most recent details, which date back to 2009, so kindly think about them while taking other factors into consideration (and lime and tequila), list in excess of 100 dynamic distilleries, in excess of 900 brands, and in excess of 2,000 enrolled brand names.

The more popular brands are presently generally claimed by huge global organizations. Arrangements, with hesitance, were set up recently to take into consideration packaging of tequila in the USA, however it still should come from the five assigned areas.

In 2006, a class of tequila called extra añejo – “ultra-aged” – was presented. These, clearly with an eye on the always extending quality spirits market, should be matured for at least three years.

At the opposite finish of the quality range, who among us has not thought about whether or not we ought to have a go at the worm. This is really an advertising ploy – not customary – and just found in a couple of mezcals. Never tequila – it is illicit to add the gusano (worm) to tequila.

Technically, mezcal is any soul distilled from the agave plant, so tequila is a mezcal, yet not all mezcals are tequilas as that soul is confined to the blue agave and the characterized regions.

Occasionally, you may even discover a mezcal with a scorpion. The worm is really the larval type of the map book moth that lives on the agave plant. It is a long way from uplifting news in the event that one is found during preparing as any invasion prompts a more unfortunate quality tequila.

There are four sorts of tequila.

Blanco/plata, which means white/silver, is essentially non-matured white soul, packaged following distillation or matured under two months in tempered steel or impartial oak barrels. “Joven/gold” is additionally exceptionally youthful and gets its tone from options or conceivably an amazingly brief timeframe in barrel or even by being mixed with more established material.

Reposado (as in “rested”) will have been matured in barrels (size is immaterial) for between two months and a year.

Añejo (which means matured or potentially vintage) will have been matured somewhere in the range of one and three years in little oak barrels; the Extra Añejo will have seen in any event three years in oak barrels.

Overcoming kryptonite: tequila tasting notes

So would one be able to overcome kryptonite? I have two tequilas to take a gander at, which I am guaranteed will change my perspective of this soul. I questioned some American companions. They were astounded that I was not swimming in the stuff, such is their commitment. Whatever floats their boat . . .

The first comes with what I initially thought was a pineapple joined to the stopper, yet that is actually a portrayal of the core of the blue agave. It is from Fortaleza , a new brand dispatched in 2005, however by a family with tequila in its blood.

Destilería La Fortaleza in Tequila, Mexico

The current proprietor’s incredible extraordinary granddad, Don Cenobio, established his first distillery in 1873 in Tequila, Jalisco. His commitments to the advancement of tequila included utilizing steam to cook the agave as opposed to earth pits. He was the first to fare to the USA and he abbreviated the name from “mezcal de tequila” to just “tequila.”

His child, Eladio, likewise settled a distillery. Eladio’s child, Javier, was engaged with the foundation of the section of source for tequila after he was offended to find a container of “Japanese tequila” during his travels.

It was he who bought the land and distillery that would become La Fortaleza, however it shut during the 1960s. In 1999, Javier’s grandson, Guillermo, restored the first distillery.

The Fortaleza Still Strength 46 Blanco (AUD$150) is gin-clear with lifted aromatics – fresh pears, green olives, flavors, garden spices, anise, conceivably the merest whiff of nectar, and more.

Fortaleza Still Strength Blanco tequila with portrayal of the blue agave heart appended to the cork

In wine terms, one may think sauvignon blanc notes. This is a long way from the marginally flavor-insipid yet red hot soul one anticipates from the old “lip, taste, and debilitated” days.

Finely offset and with weight and great surface. It is twice distilled from 100% blue agave and matured in wooden tanks. The spotless completion, brimming with life and flavor, waits with incredible determination. This could without much of a stretch be utilized as a tasting spirit.

Indeed, I would contend it ought to be utilized as a tasting soul. Many discuss it being illustrative of the kinds of agave. Anybody questioning that tequila can be the smoothest, mellowest of spirits needs to get hold of a container of this as quick as could really be expected. A brisk look around the web uncovers that this is for sure an exceptionally respected tequila blanco, for some as great as it gets.

The name that is frequently raised as an authentic competitor for that job is our second tequila.

The Calle 23 Criollo Tequila ($150) is from 100% blue agave, yet with a slight difference.

Calle 23 is one of the more up to date makers, set up by Sophie Decobecq, a French-conceived organic chemist who moved to Mexico very nearly twenty years prior while contemplating the study of maturation. She fell head over heels in love for tequila and is currently making her own. Decobecq is a firm top pick with mixologists around the world.

Calle 23 Criollo tequila

The Criollo is Sophie’s pride of the reach, considered at the hour of the introduction of her first child when she needed to make something exceptionally uncommon. She utilized just the “criollo” blue agave, which is typically mixed with the “standard” blue agave. Fundamentally, the criollo is an agave plant that is more modest than expected, giving an extraordinary centralization of the characteristic sugars.

It is an exquisite occurrence that criollo signifies “somebody brought into the world in Spanish America yet from European birthplace.” In English, think Creole. At 49.3 percent ABV the liquor is higher than most, however it isn’t intrusive.

The seasons here are riper, more obscure natural products, more pleasantness, dark cherry notes, a trace of dim chocolate. More extravagant and better, somewhat more provincial and maybe a clue greater spirity as one would presume. Genuine profundity of flavor. It has excellent length, however maybe not exactly that of the Fortaleza. There is complexity to be found here.

Two breaking spirits and compelling proof that tequila can sit with the better contributions. It would come down to individual inclination to settle on a decision between these two. On the off chance that you incline toward a more refined, exquisite and complex style select the Fortaleza, though if strong flavors, extravagance, and somewhat more pleasantness is your thing, the Calle 23 Criollo is for you.

Neither will disappoint.

No question there are numerous other fine tequilas out there. We anticipate any recommendations you may have.

For more data, kindly visit and

You may likewise enjoy:

Michter’s Kentucky Bourbon (Plus The Difference Between Whiskey, Whisky, And Bourbon)

Buffalo Trace Antique Collection Bourbon: Cult Treasure

Hine Antique XO Cognac: Not Compulsory To Enjoy With A Good Cigar . . . In any case, Highly Recommended

Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Les Cintres 2008 Champagne: Magnificence From The First Single-Vineyard Champagne Ever Made