Heartland Tour Map & Itinerary

It’s Official – We Have a Rockin’ Itinerary!!

Here’s the map – it is a public map on Google so feel free to zoom in and really dig into it.  We’ve got some great stops and events planned that are going to make for epic content for our sponsors.

Check the itinerary below the map for a few details of our tour of some of the best of America’s Heartland.

We’ll kick it all off by spending a night at Bracken Cave, the world’s largest bat colony, and just happens to be made up of Mexican Free-Tailed Bats, the very bats responsible for the tequila we love.

Then we’ll drive north to Lake Texoma for some gorgeous photos ops with our sponsor brands.

Next, we’ll be spending some time with the Lujano Family, the owners of Felipe’s Restaurants in Wichita, Kansas.  We have an amazing private tasting of our sponsor brands planned with the Lujano’s and the folks of Standard Beverage.

After a quick stop in Iowa to refuel and exercise off all of the great food we’ll eat at Felipe’s, we’ll make our way up to Minnesota’s Twin Cities.  We’ll meet with and interview the folks from Los Osuna at Barrio on our first day there and attend an event of epic proportions hosted by Revel Spirits at 6Smith in Wayzata.

Heartland Tour Map & Itinerary http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4q8

From Minnesota, we’ll roll into Wisconsin where we will stop in the quaint community of Stoughton that can trace it’s history to Norway.  There, we’ll spend some time with the proprietress of Cheeser’s to learn all about some of America’s finest craft cheeses (and a few imports).  While we’re there, we hope to find the perfect pairing for each of our sponsors.

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it! 

From Wisconsin, we’ll loop around Lake Michigan to visit some of Michigan’s finest u-pick farms and farmer’s markets for great local foods to pair with our sponsor brands.

Next we’ll drive to Kentucky for batty and Jurassic adventures at Mammoth Cave National Park, the world’s largest cave system, and Dinosaur World.  Weather providing, we should be able to take some great photos of the attractions and the brands coming with us.

Making our way south, we’ll do some glamping by The Big Muddy and maybe hop a riverboat in Memphis.

Catfish and barbeque can pair nicely with tequilas and mezcals!

After that, we’re headed to Crater of Diamond’s State Park in Arkansas to get our rock hound on!  When you find a diamond there, you get to name it, so we’re hoping we’ll find enough to name one after each of our sponsors.

Can you say the Siempre Diamond?

After our big diamond strike, we’ll make our way back to Texas to explore the American space program at NASA in Houston.

With three weeks on the road, we’re going to see some of the Heartland’s finest sights and enjoy the local flavors and we’re looking forward to doing that with all of our sponsors:

Route 66 Tequila, Diva Tequila, 888 Tres Ochos Tequila, Soltado Tequila, Santo Diablo Mezcal, ArteNOM 1579, Don Amado Mezcal, Desmadre Tequila, Papa Bueno Tequila, One With Life Tequila, 21 Tequila, JLP Margaritas, Revel Spirits, Los Osuna, Embajador Tequila, Z Tequila, Siempre Tequila, Malinalli Tequila, Senda Real Tequila, Don Fermin Tequila, Tequila Mandala, Mezcal Legendario Domingo, and Nocaut Tequila.

We don’t leave until September 10th so if you’d like to get on board as a sponsor, there’s still time to do so!  Simply fill out the form below and we’ll make sure you get on the tour!

FTC Disclaimer

Brands participating in Tequila Aficionado Tours are selected to participate based upon our interest in working with and promoting them.  We never endorse a brand we would not recommend to our mothers.  All participants in these tours pay a one-time sponsor fee to participate in exchange for receiving custom social media content creation. #sponsored

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand

“This is your tequila bucket list.”  

~ Rick Levy of Tequila Aficionado

If you’ve seen Mike Morales’ article on the Top 20 Craft Tequilas you’ve overlooked then you’ll understand that picking one (or even 10) from this list is like picking your favorite child.  It’s too difficult to do, so your best bet is to vote twice a day for your favorites and spend the rest of your time sipping all of them.

Congratulations to all the nominees.  If Mike could pick a top 50 list, it still wouldn’t be enough.  Thank you to all the wonderful brands out there who are constantly striving to produce the finest tequilas they can.  We love you all!

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qmIn order to be called tequila, this spirit distilled from the juices blue agave must be made in specific regions of Mexico, most prominently Jalisco and the town of tequila. While no tequilas are produced in the United States, we want to find the best craft tequila brands available in the country, and to do so, we asked a pair of tequila experts to nominate their favorites. Unlike other spirits, tequila brands often share distilleries – there are about 70 of them producing more than 500 brands – so it’s often the brand rather than the distillery that indicates quality. Many of these 20 nominees for best craft tequila brand use traditional methods. Many of the brand owners grow their own agave and personally oversee the entire tequila-making process. All produce high-quality, distinctive tequilas available in the U.S. market. Vote for your favorite once per day until voting ends on Monday, September 12 at noon ET. Read the official Readers’ Choice rules here.

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

1. Embajador Tequila

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

2. Suerte Tequila

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

3. DesMaDre Tequila

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

4. Tequila Gran Dovejo

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

5. Siete Leguas

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

6. T1 Tequila Uno

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

7. Tequila Tapatío

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

8. Tequila G4

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

9. Tequila Don Modesto

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

10. Tequila Alquimia

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

11. Dulce Vida Tequila

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

12. Pasote Tequila

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

13. Tequila Fortaleza

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

14. Casa Noble Tequila

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

15. Siembra Spirits

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

16. Tears of Llorona

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

17. Tequila Ocho

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

18. Tequila ArteNOM

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

19. Don Fulano

 

USA Today 10 Best Current Leaderboard for Best Craft Tequila Brand http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4qm

20. IXÁ Organic Tequila

Sipping Off The Cuff | 888 Tres Ochos Tequila Anejo

Mike & Rick of Tequila Aficionado taste and discuss Tres Ochos tequila anejo.

From the Tres Ochos Website:

888 Tres Ochos Tequila was created with a commitment to the denomination of origin and the worldwide recognition of Mexico’s tequila heritage.

Originating in the fertile volcanic soil of the lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico, made from 100% tequilana azul weber agave, with a taste and quality reminiscent of tequilas historically crushed by tahona roca,888 Tres Ochos Tequila is distilled and bottled in Mexico for the aficionado with a discriminating palate and those who appreciate the finer pleasures in life.

888 Tres Ochos Tequila was founded in an era that ushered in high quality premium brands of 100% blue weber agave tequilas. The transition from party shots to elegant sipping tequilas started with “Tequilas Finos” being savored neat in a snifter, chilled or on the rocks.

Handcrafted,  888 Tres Ochos Tequila captures the heart of Mexico, the pure spirit of 100% agave, celebrates the history of tequila and the philosophy of Asian beliefs.

Health, Luck and Prosperity, symbolize both the importance and intrinsic value of the numbers “888” in Asian society, creating a cross-cultural alliance with unparalleled brand recognition with 888 Tres Ochos Tequila.

A global tequila with artistic inspiration from Europe, logistics from Singapore  combined with the production of exceptional “fine tequilas”  from Fabrica de Tequilas Finos in Tequila, Mexico, harmoniously create 888 Tres Ochos Tequila.

888 Tres Ochos Tequila 100% blue agave Silver, Reposado and Añejo are hand crafted by master distiller Señor Arturo Fuentes and Fabrica de Tequilas Finos to deliver an extremely smooth award-winning  tequila of reverential sophistication.

888 Tres Ochos Tequila is premium tequila at it’s best, bottling the exotic allure of past, present and future.

Sipping Off The Cuff | 888 Tres Ochos Tequila Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4m5

888 TRES OCHOS TEQUILA was founded in an era that ushered in high quality premium brands of 100% Agave Tequilas. The tradition from party shots to elegant sipping Tequilas began with “Tequilas Finos” being savored neat in a snifter, chilled or on the rocks. 888 TRES OCHOS TEQUILA is distilled and bottled by Fabrica de Tequilas Finos in Jalisco, Tequila, Mexico as an ultra-premium Tequila and proudly continues the sipping tradition of premium Tequilas.

Originating in the fertile volcanic soil of the lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico, 888 Tres Ochos Tequila is distilled from hand selected 100% Blue Weber Agave and crafted with the taste and quality reminiscent of ultra premium tequilas historically crushed by tahona roca. 888 Tres Ochos Silver, Reposado and Anejo Tequilas are individually created by master distiller Senor Arturo Fuentes for the “aficionado” with a discriminating palate.  All classes are 40% ABV / 80 proof, cumulating with both Reposado and Anejo being extra aged to produce an extremely fine premium Tequila.

The concept and branding of 888 Tres Ochos is the by-product of years of traveling in Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia as pilots. The Aztec and Mayan history of Tres Ochos is undocumented, however the intrinsic value of 888 (numerically read in every language) as the symbolic meaning of luck, health and prosperity in Asian society is extremely important to a cross-cultural global alliance. An easily recognized and highly respected branding in the Chinese culture, 888 TRES OCHOS (ba ba ba) is poised to become the most significant 100% Agave premium Tequila exported directly from Mexico. The unique label, embossed cork stopper, subtle bottle design, and stylish tubular packaging enhance the exceptional marketability of the brand.

With secured capacity, a meticulously maintained solar powered distillery (the first environmentally conscious solar distillery in Mexico) with strict production and delivery standard demanded by Costco, 888 Spirits Company secures the same dedication to quality and timely delivery for 888 Tres Ochos premium Tequilas.

Award winning quality, unique graphics, coveted branding and aggressive pricing for premium Tequilas has given a growing sales force a decided advantage in opening new markets and territories around the world.

Enjoy responsibly, share with friends and family and spread the word. The spirits of 888 Tres Ochos Tequila is now available to everyone…… SALUD!!

 

Sipping Off The Cuff | 888 Tres Ochos Tequila Reposado

Mike & Rick of Tequila Aficionado taste and discuss Tres Ochos tequila repsado.

From the Tres Ochos Website:

888 Tres Ochos Tequila was created with a commitment to the denomination of origin and the worldwide recognition of Mexico’s tequila heritage.

Originating in the fertile volcanic soil of the lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico, made from 100% tequilana azul weber agave, with a taste and quality reminiscent of tequilas historically crushed by tahona roca,888 Tres Ochos Tequila is distilled and bottled in Mexico for the aficionado with a discriminating palate and those who appreciate the finer pleasures in life.

888 Tres Ochos Tequila was founded in an era that ushered in high quality premium brands of 100% blue weber agave tequilas. The transition from party shots to elegant sipping tequilas started with “Tequilas Finos” being savored neat in a snifter, chilled or on the rocks.

Handcrafted,  888 Tres Ochos Tequila captures the heart of Mexico, the pure spirit of 100% agave, celebrates the history of tequila and the philosophy of Asian beliefs.

Health, Luck and Prosperity, symbolize both the importance and intrinsic value of the numbers “888” in Asian society, creating a cross-cultural alliance with unparalleled brand recognition with 888 Tres Ochos Tequila.

A global tequila with artistic inspiration from Europe, logistics from Singapore  combined with the production of exceptional “fine tequilas”  from Fabrica de Tequilas Finos in Tequila, Mexico, harmoniously create 888 Tres Ochos Tequila.

888 Tres Ochos Tequila 100% blue agave Silver, Reposado and Añejo are hand crafted by master distiller Señor Arturo Fuentes and Fabrica de Tequilas Finos to deliver an extremely smooth award-winning  tequila of reverential sophistication.

888 Tres Ochos Tequila is premium tequila at it’s best, bottling the exotic allure of past, present and future.

Sipping Off The Cuff | 888 Tres Ochos Tequila Reposado http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4m4

 

888 TRES OCHOS TEQUILA was founded in an era that ushered in high quality premium brands of 100% Agave Tequilas. The tradition from party shots to elegant sipping Tequilas began with “Tequilas Finos” being savored neat in a snifter, chilled or on the rocks. 888 TRES OCHOS TEQUILA is distilled and bottled by Fabrica de Tequilas Finos in Jalisco, Tequila, Mexico as an ultra-premium Tequila and proudly continues the sipping tradition of premium Tequilas.

Originating in the fertile volcanic soil of the lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico, 888 Tres Ochos Tequila is distilled from hand selected 100% Blue Weber Agave and crafted with the taste and quality reminiscent of ultra premium tequilas historically crushed by tahona roca. 888 Tres Ochos Silver, Reposado and Anejo Tequilas are individually created by master distiller Senor Arturo Fuentes for the “aficionado” with a discriminating palate.  All classes are 40% ABV / 80 proof, cumulating with both Reposado and Anejo being extra aged to produce an extremely fine premium Tequila.

The concept and branding of 888 Tres Ochos is the by-product of years of traveling in Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia as pilots. The Aztec and Mayan history of Tres Ochos is undocumented, however the intrinsic value of 888 (numerically read in every language) as the symbolic meaning of luck, health and prosperity in Asian society is extremely important to a cross-cultural global alliance. An easily recognized and highly respected branding in the Chinese culture, 888 TRES OCHOS (ba ba ba) is poised to become the most significant 100% Agave premium Tequila exported directly from Mexico. The unique label, embossed cork stopper, subtle bottle design, and stylish tubular packaging enhance the exceptional marketability of the brand.

With secured capacity, a meticulously maintained solar powered distillery (the first environmentally conscious solar distillery in Mexico) with strict production and delivery standard demanded by Costco, 888 Spirits Company secures the same dedication to quality and timely delivery for 888 Tres Ochos premium Tequilas.

Award winning quality, unique graphics, coveted branding and aggressive pricing for premium Tequilas has given a growing sales force a decided advantage in opening new markets and territories around the world.

Enjoy responsibly, share with friends and family and spread the word. The spirits of 888 Tres Ochos Tequila is now available to everyone…… SALUD!!

ico) with strict production and delivery standard demanded by Costco, 888 Spirits Company secures the same dedication to quality and timely delivery for 888 Tres Ochos premium Tequilas.
Award winning quality, unique graphics, coveted branding and aggressive pricing for premium Tequilas has given a growing sales force a decided advantage in opening new markets and territories around the world.
Enjoy responsibly, share with friends and family and spread the word. The spirits of 888 Tres Ochos Tequila is now available to everyone…… SALUD!!

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Sipping Off The Cuff | 888 Tres Ochos Tequila Blanco

Mike & Rick of Tequila Aficionado taste and discuss Tres Ochos tequila blanco.

From the Tres Ochos Website:

888 Tres Ochos Tequila was created with a commitment to the denomination of origin and the worldwide recognition of Mexico’s tequila heritage.

Originating in the fertile volcanic soil of the lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico, made from 100% tequilana azul weber agave, with a taste and quality reminiscent of tequilas historically crushed by tahona roca,888 Tres Ochos Tequila is distilled and bottled in Mexico for the aficionado with a discriminating palate and those who appreciate the finer pleasures in life.

888 Tres Ochos Tequila was founded in an era that ushered in high quality premium brands of 100% blue weber agave tequilas. The transition from party shots to elegant sipping tequilas started with “Tequilas Finos” being savored neat in a snifter, chilled or on the rocks.

Handcrafted,  888 Tres Ochos Tequila captures the heart of Mexico, the pure spirit of 100% agave, celebrates the history of tequila and the philosophy of Asian beliefs.

Health, Luck and Prosperity, symbolize both the importance and intrinsic value of the numbers “888” in Asian society, creating a cross-cultural alliance with unparalleled brand recognition with 888 Tres Ochos Tequila.

A global tequila with artistic inspiration from Europe, logistics from Singapore  combined with the production of exceptional “fine tequilas”  from Fabrica de Tequilas Finos in Tequila, Mexico, harmoniously create 888 Tres Ochos Tequila.

888 Tres Ochos Tequila 100% blue agave Silver, Reposado and Añejo are hand crafted by master distiller Señor Arturo Fuentes and Fabrica de Tequilas Finos to deliver an extremely smooth award-winning  tequila of reverential sophistication.

888 Tres Ochos Tequila is premium tequila at it’s best, bottling the exotic allure of past, present and future.

Sipping Off The Cuff | 888 Tres Ochos Tequila Blanco http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4m3

 

TRES OCHOS TEQUILA was founded in an era that ushered in high quality premium brands of 100% Agave Tequilas. The tradition from party shots to elegant sipping Tequilas began with “Tequilas Finos” being savored neat in a snifter, chilled or on the rocks. 888 TRES OCHOS TEQUILA is distilled and bottled by Fabrica de Tequilas Finos in Jalisco, Tequila, Mexico as an ultra-premium Tequila and proudly continues the sipping tradition of premium Tequilas.

Originating in the fertile volcanic soil of the lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico, 888 Tres Ochos Tequila is distilled from hand selected 100% Blue Weber Agave and crafted with the taste and quality reminiscent of ultra premium tequilas historically crushed by tahona roca. 888 Tres Ochos Silver, Reposado and Anejo Tequilas are individually created by master distiller Senor Arturo Fuentes for the “aficionado” with a discriminating palate.  All classes are 40% ABV / 80 proof, cumulating with both Reposado and Anejo being extra aged to produce an extremely fine premium Tequila.

The concept and branding of 888 Tres Ochos is the by-product of years of traveling in Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia as pilots. The Aztec and Mayan history of Tres Ochos is undocumented, however the intrinsic value of 888 (numerically read in every language) as the symbolic meaning of luck, health and prosperity in Asian society is extremely important to a cross-cultural global alliance. An easily recognized and highly respected branding in the Chinese culture, 888 TRES OCHOS (ba ba ba) is poised to become the most significant 100% Agave premium Tequila exported directly from Mexico. The unique label, embossed cork stopper, subtle bottle design, and stylish tubular packaging enhance the exceptional marketability of the brand.

With secured capacity, a meticulously maintained solar powered distillery (the first environmentally conscious solar distillery in Mexico) with strict production and delivery standard demanded by Costco, 888 Spirits Company secures the same dedication to quality and timely delivery for 888 Tres Ochos premium Tequilas.

Award winning quality, unique graphics, coveted branding and aggressive pricing for premium Tequilas has given a growing sales force a decided advantage in opening new markets and territories around the world.

Enjoy responsibly, share with friends and family and spread the word. The spirits of 888 Tres Ochos Tequila is now available to everyone…… SALUD!!

Embajador Tequila: Framework for The Future

[Transportation, room and board were provided to M.A. “Mike” Morales by Embajador Tequila in order to research this article.  No monetary compensation was received and no guarantee of a favorable article was given by M.A. ‘Mike” Morales or Tequila Aficionado Media.  This article was written by, and is the opinion of, M.A. “Mike” Morales.]

Open Doors

Embajador Tequila: Framework for The Future http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4mC

Everyone in Atotonilco had heard of the Fabrica Santa Rosa’s suspension due to COFEPRIS’ (Comisión Federál para la Protección contra Reisgos Sanitarios) and SAT’s (Servicio de Admistración Tributaria) prolonged “Juntos Contra la Ilegalidad” (“Together Against Illegality”) crusade  to reduce illegally produced alcoholic beverages on the Mexican market.

Many were shocked since Embajador’s outstanding reputation for producing top notch tequilas had been stalwartly guarded–and envied–for years.

20160719_165039Collectively, the crew at Fabrica Santa Rosa was still reeling from the aftereffects of the shutdown.  A few described these agencies’ G-Men as acting arrogantly and condescendingly.

Certainly, this was no way to treat a group of professionals who had many years of extensive experience in distilling frontline tequilas to the strict adherence of the normas.

Individually, each recounted how he or she felt ambushed by the government officials and bum-rushed by the deliberate escalation of what were considered by many high ranking officials in the industry as minor—even laughable– infractions.

Despite that, neighboring tequila distilleries were shaking in their boots wondering if their stored tequila would be targeted by those government agencies’ assault that existed only to add more liters of seized juice to their latest numbers.

In fact, the concerned brand owner’s tequila who inspired my Bullying In Tequila editorial during the early stages of Embajador’s closure, is distilled just up the road from Fabrica Santa Rosa.

In this clip, we entered through the iron gates of the perimeter of Tequila Embajador.  The rows of estate grown agave and the rich, red soil of Atotonilco el Alto took center stage.

(Taken from inside our SUV, it may be too fast to watch continuously, and the sound is a bit muffled by the wind as we drove onto the grounds.)

20160719_124459

Once we parked on the property, the charm of the Fabrica Santa Rosa took over.

How the Magic Happens

Here’s where it all starts:  three autoclaves, from 40,000 KGS to 25,000 KGS in capacity, plus 2 ovens of mamposteria (brick/stone masonry).  The cook time in autoclaves is approx 10 hours; in ovens it’s 24 hours.  Embajador is a combination of both of these methods.

Behind the Iron Door

Opening the iron door of one of the masonry ovens and taking a peek inside.  As you can tell, it’s quite a chore.

Adjusting to Variables

Our tour guide, Francisco Segura Garcia, the company’s accountant and bookkeeper who, since the age of 16 has worked in the tequila industry in some form, explains–

A tahona for the boutique distillery.

A tahona for the boutique distillery.

What influences the flavor profile of a tequila?  A common question, he admits, that has a simple answer, yet, complex at the same time.  For instance…

Older agave vs. younger agave; and healthy agave vs. diseased agave.  If you put either of these through the same process, you won’t get the same results.

20160719_144545 (2)Cooking time varies with the time of year, as well.  That’s why there are master distillers with years of experience in the variations that can affect the final outcome.  Also, the seasons of the year makes a difference (summer vs. winter).

The agave is an extraordinary organism, continues Francisco.  One of the most adaptable plants ever created.  It can exist in the desert or near the coast.  Wherever water is abundant, or in extremely arid climates.

Francisco outlines that when they harvest during the colder months, the agave defends itself with a special coating that they must adjust for.

Variables like pressure, cook time, water temperatures at shredding, and above all, fermentation and distillation.  Otherwise, the tequila produced appears cloudy and bitter even though you’ve followed the same recipe as before.

Two Important Elements

Francisco discusses the importance of fermentation and distillation, and how they are equally influential elements within the tequila making process.

The type of yeast used during fermentation is also important since some can produce more higher alcohols than others, which is in violation of the normas.

Framework surrounding a new shredder.

Framework surrounding a new shredder.

Embajador uses proprietary yeast made from their own estate grown agave.

Fermentation time also varies depending upon the time of year (warm vs. cold weather).

The Vision

We witnessed the ongoing construction on the grounds leading to its phased in expansion that would eventually include a boutique distillery within the larger Embajador distillery.  It will include a tahona, barrel room, gift shop, and an historically accurate re-creation of a vintage working tequila taberna, among other things.

The mini distillery is estimated to be completed by the end of 2016, with the remaining improvements to be finished within a year.

Eco-Friendly

Aiming to cut down on the distillery’s carbon footprint, the eco-conscious family recently modernized the fabrica by installing a boiler to heat water used in the plant.  It runs on a combination of leftover bagasse (bagazo) from shredding the agave and wood chips.

The Future Framework

The framework of Embajador’s future.  More of the buildings and what they will house on the grounds.  (Hint:  Even the bricks of the vintage distillery are made by hand.)

Positioned For Success

Licenciado Cristobal Morales Hernández, legal representative for Tequila Embajador and the Fabrica Santa Rosa, describes what he sees for the immediate future of Embajador in two to three years, including the improvements and growth projected for the distillery.

He also takes into consideration the ramping up of the volume of the plant’s production without suffering a dip in quality of its consistently exceptional juice that they have proudly maintained for 12 years.

He concludes that the buying public should continue to expect the same lofty standards of prizewinning tequila and he acknowledges that the situation concerning the mandated stoppage in production was simply a lesson learned.

See And Taste For Yourself

Lic. Morales relays what he wants consumers to know about Embajador.

He graciously extends a heartfelt invitation to the public to see their more than adequate facilities for themselves.

Shhh...Embajador is resting.

Shhh…Embajador is resting.

He ensures that Embajador is strictly adhering to Mexican and global regulations, and that when the public samples any of the tequilas produced at the fabrica that they can be assured of its propensity for high standards of excellence.

Sipping Off The Cuff | Cosa Salvaje Tequila Blanco

Mike and Rick taste and discuss Cosa Salvaje Tequila Plata.

From the Cosa Salvaje Website:

Cosa Salvaje Plata Tequila is bottled fresh from the still. It is an enticing treat with a light to medium-weight body and a spicy, floral set of aromatics. The moment it enters your mouth you will experience a warm wave of spicy, peppery and herbaceous flavors. Cosa Salvaje is a enticing Ultra smooth treat. We are changing the face of the Tequila drinking experience.

cosa

Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual

[Transportation, room and board were provided to M.A. “Mike” Morales by Embajador Tequila in order to research this article.  No monetary compensation was received and no guarantee of a favorable article was given by M.A. ‘Mike” Morales or Tequila Aficionado Media.  This article was written by, and is the opinion of, M.A. “Mike” Morales.]

Let’s Review…

Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4lfIn Part 1, Embajador Tequila:  Rectifying The Situation, we listed all the minor infractions that the distillery, Fabrica Santa Rosa, was charged with by COFEPRIS (Comisión Federál para la Protección contra Reisgos Sanitarios) and SAT (Servicio de Admistración Tributaria).

We also brought to light the fact that every breach was addressed within hours, and that the real delay of lifting the ban on the Embajador distillery’s operations was the bureaucratic read tape surrounding the method of documenting and tracking of raw materials and supplies.

Before we tackle this topic, however, a word about the yellow journalism popular with Mexican news agencies.

Scraping A Dead Horse

The phrase “beating a dead horse” is often used when the same story is repeated over and over again, until the subject matter becomes tiresome.

Scraping is a term used by copywriters when expounding on a press release Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4lfthat is distributed to several news agencies at once.  It’s extracting pertinent information from the news release or website, sometimes copied word-for-word, without proper credit given to the original source material.

In essence, it’s stealing (plagiarism), but, it helps to keep the topic fresh and different from the rest of the reports seen on other news channels.

Making matters worse, name any reputable producer allegedly busted during COFEPRIS’ and SAT’s “Juntos Contra la Ilegalidad” (“Together Against Illegality”) blitzkrieg, and they are instantly guilty by association.

While there are many honorable news writers in Mexico (many having lost their lives, especially those reporting on narco trafficking activities), most Mexican newspapers are tabloids using this archaic, unethical and unprofessional style of reporting.

The more controversial the titles and the more alarming the descriptions, the more the reader feels like an actual eyewitness to the alleged crime, and, the more newspapers are sold.

It resulted in sensational headlines for the copywriters who, chances are, had never even set foot onto a tequila distillery, and high fives all around for COFEPRIS and SAT.

Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4lf

No one at the Fabrica Santa Rosa denies that they were guilty of the minor infractions they had been charged with, but, in reviewing the aforementioned articles in Part 1, you’d think the Untouchables had just captured Al Capone for tax evasion.

In true Elliot Ness fashion, there was a loophole.

But, it’s wasn’t what you thought.

The Loophole

Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4lf

Imagine driving across the state line and being immediately pulled over by a state trooper.  When he asks you for your home state’s current registration, the smokey takes one look at your paperwork and tells you that your registration is not legally recognized by his state’s laws.  He then impounds your car until you can prove that your registration is legal.

That’s exactly what happened to Tequila Embajador.

Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4lf

After a mound of paperwork providing and proving their procedural accurateness, converting to the more approved methods of record keeping–ninety days later–the ban on Fabrica Santa Rosa was lifted and it’s back to business as usual.

Embajador Tequila Goes On The Record

In this snippet, Licenciado Cristobal Morales Hernández introduces himself as the legal representative for Tequila Embajador and the Fabrica Santa Rosa.

Lic. Morales explains that while Embajador has never suffered infractions due to the wholesomeness and quality of their tequila (in other words, it has never produced illegal tequila), the main problem was in providing proper documentation as per the normas.

Morales goes on to describe that what the authorities actually did was to seal the distillery and the remaining tanks and barrels of tequila, but the product was never destroyed as is customary for the aforementioned government agencies to do during their “Juntos Contra la Ilegalidad” offensive.

The distillery was allowed to finish elaborating the tequila in all its various stages of production until the matter of the paperwork documentation was in compliance with the normas.

Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4lf

Lic. Cristobal Morales with flagship tequilas, El General, Embajador and Jalisciense.

They were not allowed to truck out finished product, however, or to receive more harvested agave until that matter was resolved.  These same conditions were enforced on all of their contracted brands, as well.

In fact, even though the method of paperwork was not in keeping with the two agencies’ guidelines, paperwork DID exist making every step of Embajador’s tequila making process traceable to the very last agave plant and liter of tequila.

Lesson Learned

Cristobal asserts that in the 90 days of the plant’s closure, the company not only met the requirements of the agencies, but exceeded their expectations throughout the distillery, particularly concentrating in the fermentation, distillation and warehouse sections of the fabrica.

Lic. Morales admits that while the agencies’ reaction to the minor infractions were considered harsh, the situation served as a wake up call to step up their game on all levels of each department to stay on par with their indisputable high quality.

***

In the next segment, Embajador Tequila showcases its Framework for The Future.

Last Tequila Standing | Found on the Cutting Room Floor

Found on the Cutting Room Floor at Last Tequila Standing

Look what we found on the cutting room floor at Last Tequila Standing!  Four more videos – outtakes from backstage!

Last Tequila Standing | Found on the Cutting Room Floor http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4n4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Last Tequila Standing

The creators of Last Tequila Standing only filmed one season back in 2011 and we were very limited in our access to the show’s materials. As this was not a Tequila Aficionado Media Production, we don’t expect to see another season but we’re thrilled that we were able to preserve these tequilas’ stories, personalities, and cocktails for posterity here at Tequila Aficionado Media.

Watch the whole Last Tequila Standing series here:

Or watch them in order, as they appeared initially on Tequila Aficionado:

July

August

September

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