Mora’s October Tequila of the Month Club: Don Eduardo Reposado

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Don Eduardo
Don Eduardo Reposado Tequila
NOM Jalisco, Mexico

The Distillery: “Don Eduardo Orendain Gonzalez ranks among the patriarchs of the tequila industry. He built his first tequila distillery—Orendain—in 1926. Today, the family-owned distillery is state-of-the-art and among the few that only produce super-premium 100% agave tequilas. Of all the successful brands they’ve produced, perhaps their most prestigious achievement to date is Don Eduardo Añejo 100% Agave Tequila. “The agaves used to make Don Eduardo range are cultivated on the family’s estate outside the town of Tequila. After harvesting, the mature agaves are baked, crushed and slowly fermented using a proprietary strain of yeast. The fermented wash is then triple-distilled in traditional, copper pot stills. The all natural tequilas are bottled at 40% alcohol by volume.” –Robert Plotkin, American Cocktails, online The Tequila: “Don Eduardo originally introduced 100% blue agave Reposado in 1950. Today Don Eduardo Reposado is uniquely rested for six months in 100-year-old White American Oak vats to produce a naturally mellowed expression.  This wonderful tequila was recently introduced in the U.S., and it is quickly growing in garnering attention from the experts for its ultra-premium quality and smoothness.” – The Distillery Tasting Notes from The Distillery: Appearance: Light, bright straw Nose: Smooth, sweet and fruity, very fresh Taste: Fruity, floral and spicy Finish: Long, sweet (floral) and spicy

“Smooth, firm entry with aromas of brine and wood leading to lemon/lime and brine flavors; salty, peppery finish.”
–Sante Magazine, November 2004

Mora’s September Tequila of the Month Club: Crotalo Reposado

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Tequila Crótalo Reposado
Tequila Embajdor, SA de CV
Highlands- Los Altos, Jalisco, Mexico

Crótalo Tequilas: “Crótalo Tequila is a traditionally crafted, limited production premium tequila. One hundred percent blue agave is hand selected and harvested with a coa by our jimadors, ensuring that only the finest pínas are used to produce Crótalo Tequila. It is our attention to tradition and detail that provides Crótalo Tequila with character, taste and quality that are unmatched. We showcase Crótalo Tequila in artisan glass blown bottles with labels that are applied by hand.  Our triple distilled plata followed by our double distilled reposado, añejo, extra añejo reserva and extra añejo gran reserva have received special permission from the CRT(Consejo Regulador del Tequila) for our proprietary barrel aging process which provides Crótalo Tequila with character, taste and quality that are unmatched.” -The Distillery

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The Tequila: “Crótalo Reposado is double barrel aged for just over 11 months. It is aged for six months in French Oak barrels and is finished for 5 months in our proprietary oak barrels. The combination of barrels smoothens out the flavor of the Tequila while turning its color to a deep gold.” –The Distillery

Spirits of Mexico (2012) Tasting Notes:
“CROTALO REPOSADO TEQUILA offers a moderated, well-managed mix of roasted agave, tree fruits, spice and vanilla—a classic reposado opening. On the palate there’s a mix of baking spices, earthiness and roasted agave, along with a mouth-filling creaminess. Nicely balanced finish completes the package.”

 

Mora’s August Tequila of the Month Club: Dulce Vida Tequila Anejo

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Dulce Vida Tequila Añejo
Tequilero de los Altos de Jalisco, NOM #1443
Highlands, Los Altos, Jalisco

The Story: “Dulce Vida produces the only 100° proof, 100% organic tequila in the world and has been nationally recognized as a brand rich in tequila heritage, earning top awards in numerous competitions. 100° Proof provides Dulce Vida the purity, authenticity, and full agave taste that is the cornerstone of our brand. We make our tequila at 100° proof to fashion our spirit in an old-world means, cask-strength, the way spirits were enjoyed years ago.

One day, Ehecatl, the serpent god of the wind, went to explore the universe and spotted Mayahuel. He fell in love with her and curled his body around her. Mayahuel was enchanted—she loved being lifted up in the air amongst the clouds, and she fell in love with Ehecatl.

 “The concept of sustainability was very strategic in the selection of our facility for tequila production. The facility not only had to be capable of making a great product, with care and diligence meeting our specifications, but also had to meet requirements for organic production and overall measures of sustainability – being a kind partner to the environment and local community. A complete recapture of all production waste is performed that yields a nutrient-rich soil supplement to the local farming community. Furthermore, as a by-product of the waste collection & processing, methane gas is captured, creating an energy source utilized to power the facility.

“Dulce Vida produces our tequila in the village of San Ignacio Cerro Gordo at Campanario utilizing a Maquila approach to our operations, whereby our team is actively engaged in every detail, from harvest through distillation & aging. This vertically integrated approach is very different from an arms-length transaction of importing product, or buying liquid from a distillery.” -The Distillery

Mora’s July Tequila of the Month Club: Deleon Platinum Tequila

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Deleon Platinum
100% Agave Tequila Blanco
Los Altos, Jalisco, Mexico

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The Distillery: “Launched to the world in 2009 by a serial entrepreneur and tequila aficionado – DeLeon defied the conventions of the category to establish a new level of luxury in tequila. DeLeon Tequila is made from the finest 100% Highland Blue Weber agave sourced from the rich earth of the Los Altos region of Jalisco. Hand-selected at harvest for highest quality and peak ripeness, our plants yield the sweetest pinas, giving the tequila its abundant character and balance. Slow roasting of the agave in traditional brick and clay ovens, combined with slow fermentation, under the precise guidance of our master distiller contribute enriched depth and complexity to the agave’s natural sweetness, creating a remarkably nuanced character.”

“DeLeon achieves this astonishing depth of flavor in just two distillations – allowing the tequila to retain the unique character acquired during the fermentation process. With relentless attention to detail our master distiller artfully cuts the beginning and end of the distillation, allowing only the absolute best portion, or Corazon, to find its way into every bottle, creating a subtle taste profile with unrivaled smoothness.” – The Importer

The Tequila: “It takes time to create DeLeón and the process cannot be rushed using diffusion… DeLeón employs traditional yet lengthy techniques to fully develop a number of nuances of flavor… DeLeón’s taste profile is crafted through each and every step of the traditional batch process, which has been perfected over multiple trials and rounds of product testing. We do not use a tahona – the agaves used to produce DeLeón tequila are pressed using traditional mills.”

“DeLeón’s agave grows anywhere from 6-8 years in direct sunlight in the soil. Because conditions are not equal in all fields, the plants mature independently and are harvested individually as they reach prime maturation… Because each agave is unique, once they arrive at the distillery they are cut into halves, thirds or quarters dependent on the size of the particular agave. This is to ensure that we will have even baking in the clay ovens. The central part of the plant, known as the Cogollo, is removed as it adds bitterness to the final product. This isn’t a standard industry practice and helps DeLeón become a smoother, sweeter, and less-bitter tequila.”

“Next, the agave is transferred to the traditional brick and clay ovens where it is slow roasted. During the cooking process, I carefully decide where to cut the bitter syrup in order to remove herbal notes & bitterness. The length of cooking is important as agave needs to be baked for the perfect amount of time in order to ensure the desired delicious caramel flavors, but without any burnt notes.”

“DeLeón Tequila employs a slow, chill filtration that removes fatty acids that produce heavy vegetative notes which cover up DeLeón’s defining lighter fruity notes, fresh green agave notes and warm spice notes. The finished tequila is filtered using a proprietary unique chill filtration method, which takes some time to complete… The vision for DeLeón Platinum was to create a tequila with very complex, rich flavor attributes while maintaining a subdued and smooth finish that tequila aficionados and vodka consumers alike can enjoy.” -Interview from DrinkSpirits.com, with DeLeon Tequila Distiller Migeul Cedeno Cruz

Tasting Notes from The Importer
Color: Crystal Clear
Nose: Fresh citrus and crisp agave
Palate: Opens up with a rich complexity driven by notes of coconut and fresh citrus with a hint of lime
Finish: Warm brown spice and vanilla finishing with unparalleled smoothness

S92

 

92 Points Ultimate Beverage Challenge March 2015
Custard like aromas are soft and sweet, with hints of lime and lime zest. In the mouth it is spicy with sweet vanilla with laden creme brulee undertones. It is at once sweet and soft as well as spicy and piquant, tantalizing the palate.”

 

Mora’s June Tequila of the Month Club: El Tosoro Tequila

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El Tosoro

Tequila Anejo
Arandas, Mexico

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The Distillery: “Trucks loaded with piña arrive at the La Alteña distillery. This building has been part of El Tesoro since 1937, after the original distillery was destroyed during the Mexican Revolution. After unloading the piñas, workers meticulously prepare them for baking. Instead of the sound of machinery, the room is filled with the echo of chopping. Swinging razor sharp axes, they carefully remove the waxy stem, which can give tequila a bitter taste. The piñas are then hand stacked into a huge brick and stone oven called a ‘horno.’ Men climb deep into the horno to fill every inch. The piñas are then slowly steamed for 36 hours and then cooled for another 36 hours. Piñas fresh from the oven taste sweet and strong, full of tequila potential.

“To extract the juice from piñas, El Tesoro workers use a tool as old as tequila making itself: a one ton stone wheel called a ‘Tahona.’ …Once pulled by mule, the Tahona is now led around the basin by tractor. Slowly, methodically, it squeezes out flavor. The men who work alongside the Tahona wheel are called ‘Tahoneras.’ They hunch over directly in front of the rolling stone, swinging a hand tool called a ‘chivo.’ Named after a goat with two horns, the chivo is used to dig into the piñas to prevent them getting matted down…”

“With only the occasional stir from a worker atop a ladder, Mother Nature converts sugar to alcohol. Instead of fermenting the juice only, El Tesoro is one of the few types of tequila that keeps the piñas throughout the entire process, providing a rich flavor. Both juice and pulp are fermented in large wooden vats to enhance the agave flavor. The vats are alive with bubbling and boiling over 7-10 days. This creates a foamy crust called a ‘mosto.’ Eventually, Mother Nature finishes her work and the bubbling ceases and the liquid is moved into a holding tank to await the first distillation.”

“Our tequila is double distilled in copper stills to exactly 80 proof. First, it’s distilled with the agave fibers to retain the natural agave flavors. Liquid is run off in the first 12 hours of distillation to remove wax and dust from the original plant. This creates an alcohol called ‘ordinario.’ We then distill it a second time, which turns the ordinario into crystal clear tequila.”

“…El Tesoro Reposado and Añejo are aged in oak barrels to add the final touch of flavor… The bottles are uniquely square, which reflects the handcrafted tequila within. Even at this stage, the traditions are maintained. At long wooden tables, each El Tesoro bottle is inspected, labeled and finished by hand. You can see the pride in the bottlers’ eyes as they carefully hold each and every bottle and at the end of the journey, the bottler’s name is placed on the bottom of every bottle. It’s a final symbol of quality and pride in hand crafting tequila.” –El Tesoro

S92

92 Points Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2015
“Complex aromas of charred pineapple and hay are richly perfumed. Dark and sweet flavors abound in the mouth with plenty of caramel and vanilla, all the while with spice roasted tropical fruit at the core. Nicely suede in texture.”

Mora’s May Tequila of the Month Club: Trianon Anejo

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Trianon Tequila
Tequila Anejo, 80 Proof
Jalisco, Mexico

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The Distillery: “Our family takes great care to make each of our tequilas the same way we have for generations—by hand. We think that’s the only way to make tequila that captures the true taste of blue agave. So, that’s what you’ll find in every bottle of Trianon: True agave taste with a smooth and satisfying finish. Try all three expressions of Trianon and discover the true taste of tequila for yourself.”

“Our family has been making tequila here in Amatitán for three generations—using the passed-down traditions and techniques that were born here in this region. Now my brother Saul and I are the Maestros Tequileros (Master Tequila Distillers) of the family. We watch over every batch of Trianon Tequila to make sure it captures the taste of a true tequila. Not a single bottle of Trianon leaves our facility without meeting our approval.”

“You’ll find our family’s distillery in the town of Amatitán in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. People around here say that, centuries ago, this was home to the very first tequila distillery. And if you visit, you’ll see why. Amatitán sits at the foot of the El Volcan de Tequila (the Volcano of Tequila), where the rich, volcanic soil makes our Blue Weber Agave grow larger and more luscious than anywhere else. We even use the naturally occurring yeast from the area during fermentation, not synthetic yeast like other brands. It’s like this place was born to make true tequila—kind of like our family.”

“You won’t find any automated machinery here. Just hard-working people who believe in making tequila the traditional way—by hand. From when we harvest our blue agave to when a batch leaves our facility for delivery, we do it all ourselves. And what little equipment we do use… well, we often make that ourselves too. Even our labels are hand-painted and polished by a local family business, just like our handcrafted corks and bags. And our signature Triple Bottles are hand-blown by a local artisan, so every one is unique.” –Alejandro Ocampo, Master Distiller

The Tequila: “We age our Blanco a full eighteen months in specially made American and French oak barrels to make Trianon Añejo. Because that’s how long it takes to strike the perfect balance between the taste of oak and agave. We could stop at 12 months like other makers—but by now you know that’s not the Trianon way. Aging longer allows the oak’s rich flavor to reach its full expression, perfectly complimenting the true agave taste of our tequila. With its warm, amber color and sweet aroma, our Añejo is best savored neat.”

“The distilled liquid that comes from our blue agave (we call it ‘juice’) is made up of three parts: the ‘head’ (the top 15%), the ‘tail’ (the bottom 15%) and the ‘heart’ (the center of the batch). We could bottle it all like everyone else, but the truth is that the true taste of tequila comes only from the heart of each distillation. The alcohol found in the head and tail actually gets in the way of taste. So we throw those parts out and bottle only the heart of the ‘juice,’ where the purest agave flavor lies—something major brands cannot afford to do.” –Trianon Tequila

 

Mora’s April Tequila of the Month Club: Riazul Tequila Reposado

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Riazul Tequila
Tequila Reposado, Compañia Tequilera de Arandas, NOM #1460
Los Altos Highlands, Jalisco, Mexico

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The History: “Two hundred years ago, the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico served as a key battlefront in the Mexican War of Independence. During that struggle, Maria Higinia Gomez served as a high counselor to the Mexican rebel leaders. For her service, she was granted 10,000 acres of land — most of which she gave away to revolutionaries who fought for Mexico’s freedom. The remaining 620 acres was handed down from generation to generation and virtually untouched until Riazul’s founder, Iñaki Orozco, inherited the land in the late 1990s.”

“Iñaki knew that the land was located within the exclusive area of Mexico where agave could be harvested into what is officially recognized as tequila. He approached the family elders and pitched his idea to initially plant a few agave plants, with plans for more a much larger agave field in the future. The elders were skeptical and challenged Iñaki’s vision as naive and nearly impossible to achieve. But the young idealist was persistent and won them over. Soon, Iñaki had his chance to prove himself. He planted 100 initial agave shoots and that early agave crop flourished. Iñaki worked day and night to plant more than 175,000 more shoots…”

“Here, the high elevation, cool climate, and red volcanic soils — or tierra roja — give rise to agave that matures for close to a decade before reaching harvesting quality. During that time, the agave soaks up unique aromas and flavors indigenous only to this region. Agaves harvested in the Jalisco highlands contain higher sugar content, resulting in more aromatic tequilas with sweeter tasting notes.” -The Distillery

The Tequila: “Aged for nine months in French and American oak barrels, the Riazul Reposado honors the refinement of a traditional Reposado, while delivering an independent streak in its subtle complexity. Opening with unique welcoming aromas, it is anchored by a slight oak base that blossoms to reveal hints of citrus fruit notes that linger on the palate.” -The Distillery

90 Points – Wine Enthusiast, May 2011
“This reposado is nearly transparent, with a yellowish tinge, and is lightly smoky and sweet on the nose and the tongue. The flavor is intriguing: light smokiness mixes with a hint of cocoa, then a honeyed, soft finish. Tall, colorful, striking bottle.” -Kara Newman

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Mora’s March Tequila of the Month Club: Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila

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Maestro Tequilero
Maestro Dobel Tequila
Jalisco, Mexico

 

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The Story: Maestro Tequilero is part of the Jose Cuervo family of brands. Cuervo is the oldest family-owed Tequila brand in the world. It began when Francisco de Cuervo y Valdés y Suárez came to “New Spain” in 1678. Through the centuries it continued to grown until the 1960s.

 

“After Guillermo y Gallardo ran the business, Guadalupe Gallardo’s nephew Juan Beckmann y Gallardo inherited it, who in turn, increased Tequila production and sales by popularising the famous Cuervo margarita in Hollywood movies during the 1960s. His son, Juan Beckmann Vidal, and his grandson, Juan Domingo Beckmann Legorreta, continue the family saga today at the forefront of Cuervo.” —The Distillery

 

The Tequila: “Named after its founder (Dobel is his abbreviated name – Juan Domingo Beckmann Legoretta) the tequila is sourced from single estates and is distilled from 100% blue agave and bottled in Jalisco, Mexico. Each bottle of Dobel™ Tequila is double-distilled, matured in Hungarian White Oak barrels, and filtered for exceptional smoothness and clarity. Dobel™ Tequila is recognized for its superior smoothness and iconic packaging which includes a stopper and a modern twist on a vintage apothecary-style bottle, a heavily embossed bottle whose design is inspired by the laboratory sample bottles used by the distillery’s Maestro Tequileros (Master Distillers).” –maestrodobel.com

 

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93 Points Wine Enthusiast Magazine May 2011
“This crystal-clear blend of reposado, añejo, and extra añejo Tequilas offers a luscious butterscotch flavor and a potent alcohol wallop. Pair with a caramel-rich dessert.”—Kara Newman

 

“Reserva del Maestro Dobel Diamond Reposado Tequila, a 100% Agave blend of Reposado, Anejo, and Extra Anejo Tequilas which have been gently filtered giving the Tequila an incredible Diamond Clarity and crispness… Juan Dobel, working with Maestros Marco Anguiano and Luis Yerenas, wanted to create his own brand and offer Tequila Aficionados something truly unique. Each Agave used is grown for 8 to 10 years, and hand selected at one of a small number of our family’s best quality producing ranches. This hand-crafted product is produced in small batches and aged in new oak casks from Southern Europe.” —Tequila.net