Liquor & SpiritsNuetral Spirits
Tequila is a spirit made by fermenting and distilling the juice of the
blue agave plant, grown in an officially delimited region of west-central
Mexico. The are includes the state of Jalisco, four adjoining states (Nayarit,
Michoacan, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas), and the town of Tequila - for which
the spirit is named.
The agave plant is a tough-skinned plant with pointed, barbed leaves and is closely related to the lily. There are over 400 types of agave, but tequila is made from only one - the blue agave (so called because of its silvery-blue leaves). It flourishes in the dry, mineral-rich volcanic soil on the hillsides near Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco state, and a few other areas of Mexico. The plant is harvested when it has reached a height of about 4 ft., which takes about 10 yrs. Its heart - which resembles a pineapple and is called a pina, the Spanish word for that fruit - is baked (transforming the starches into sugar), then ground, shredded and washed with water. The resulting juice is fermented and distilled into tequila.
All tequila's are made from blue agave, but only the premiums and super-premiums are 100% blue agave. Mexican law requires all tequila to be made up of at least 51% agave distillates with the remainder being composed of sugar syrup distillates. Also, tequila's distilled from 100% blue agave must be labeled as such and premium varieties must be bottled in Mexico.
Clear, fiesh-from-the-still tequila is called banco and is sold as "white" or "silver", unaged tequila that has turned pale amber from a dose of caramel is called joven abocado, which roughly translates as "bottled when young") and is sold as "gold", tequila that has aged in oak for at least two months and up to a year is called reposado, meaning "rested", and tequila that has spent at least a year in oak is called anejo, or "aged". Most anejo's, however, spend at least 3 yrs in oak.
Jose Cuervo Gold - by far the leading brand in the U.S. It contains only 51% agave and is smooth and sweet tasting.
Herradura Silver - 100% blue agave distillates. Unaged yet smooth, elegant and full. Floral lemony bouquet with a long, creamy finish.
Dos Reales Anejo - 100% blue agave aged in oak 4 years. Rich, complex, smooth, this is the ultimate margarita tequila.
Patron Anejo - 100% blue agave, comparable in quality to a fine cognac or single malt scotch Crisp and smoky with tobacco and spice present on the palate. Recommended neat or over ice.
Porfidio Anejo - 100% blue agave, this is a single barrel tequila. Aged in small oak barrels for a minimum of 2 yrs and the equivalent of an XO cognac, very lush and complex. Layers of oak. vanilla, tropical fruit and spice A definite sipping tequila.