Vote for Your Favorite Craft Tequila Brand!

Vote Now!

Vote for Your Favorite Craft Tequila Brand! http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4r3In 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, 2016, at noon ET.

Read Mike’s article on choosing a list of craft tequilas to send to USA Today:

THE TOP 20 CRAFT TEQUILAS YOU’VE OVERLOOKED

Pepe Z: The Mad Man of Tequila

Pepe Z: The Mad Man of Tequila http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4pSI’ve finally gotten around to binge watching Mad Men on Netflix.

In case you haven’t joined the Streaming Generation, or lived without cable TV for awhile, Mad Men is a series set in the 1960’s about a fictional ad agency called Sterling Cooper based in New York City’s famed Madison Avenue.

[Editor’s note: I still can’t believe I was born during the Eisenhower administration!]

Tequila marketing being my thing, naturally, I’m drawn to the product placement of distilled spirits on the historically accurate show.

Along with adverts concocted by admen for cigarettes, bras, and washing

Pepe Z: The Mad Man of Tequila http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4pS

Vintage Cuervo ad

machine manufacturers, spirits companies like Seagram’s, Jack Daniels, and Jose Cuervo were also a part of the advertising renaissance, and not just on American soil.  These early Behemoths of Booze also took the fight offshore.

And nobody can tell you more about those challenges better than José Zevada.

The Mad Man of The Caribbean

Jose “Pepe” Zevada and the story of the Z Tequila Brand from Z Tequila on Vimeo.

Pepe Z: The Mad Man of Tequila http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4pS

Iron Cactus menu.

I finally met the charismatic Pepe Zevada, the maker of Pepe Z Tequila, accompanied by Glynn Bloomquist, (CEO and Chairman), and Guy England (South Texas Market Manager), of Empresario LLC, the first Texas company to create, brand, distill, import, and market spirits.

Pepe Z: The Mad Man of Tequila http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4pS

Fernando Lamas

With the elegance and charm suggestive of silver screen Latino Hollywood hunks like Ricardo Montalbán or Fernando Lamas, and peppered with jokes and anecdotes of the “glory days,” you get the sense that you’re reliving spirits industry history, Mad Men style.

Over a delicious lunch at the Iron Cactus Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar on San Antonio’s renowned Riverwalk, Pepe regaled us with episodes of his life as the vice president of Brown-Forman in Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean.  During that time, he traveled to 106 countries (Pepe speaks 5 or 6 languages fluently) introducing Jack Daniels to those parts of the world.

After 30 years with Brown-Forman, he went on to work as vice president for the classic spirits distiller Hiram Walker (Sauza, Kahlúa, Courvasier, Beefeater), until the merger of Allied Domecq.

To Make a Long Story Short

After persistent encouragement from friends in Mexico, Pepe Z Tequila was Pepe Z: The Mad Man of Tequila http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4pSborn shortly after José retired from 35 years in the liquor industry.

But, in the tradition of the three generations of Sauzas, Don Julio González, José Cuervo and Don Eduardo Orendáin, Pepe was determined to only put his name on a quality tequila.

To create a batch of Pepe Z takes over three weeks.  He calls the blanco tequila the “mother” of the line, and claims that the selected agave is the key to a sterling product.

Pepe Z Tequila uses only lightly toasted virgin American Oak barrels (not charred) for its reposado and añejo expressions, and it is one of the lowest in methanol after distillation.

Pepe Z: The Mad Man of Tequila http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4pS

Pepe, Guy and Glynn of Empresario.

These time tested techniques have not only achieved an authentic, “old world” flavor profile, but it has also garnered Pepe Z some serious hardware in the form of medals and awards.

 Flavor, Friendship and Family

Raised in Mexico of Spanish parents, José (Pepe is a common nickname for Josés) was brought up with strict moral values that have guided him throughout his life.

In his words, “I don’t do business without being friends, first.”  He asserts, “The liquor business is a people business, not a laptop business.”

In the era dominated by contracted brands with glamorous images and no backstory, Zevada prefers to take a page from those legendary patriarchs of tequila and make every effort to meet and greet each of his customers, personally.

Pepe Z: The Mad Man of Tequila http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4pS

Pepe Zevada and Mike Morales.

Part of the brand’s strategy is to nurture its relationship with its hometown of Austin, and then to solidify its embrace on the rest of Texas before conquering other states.  This tactic has worked wonders as evidenced by the glowing testimonials given by his customers.

While his clients enthusiastically preserve their friendship with Pepe, Zevada gratefully acknowledges that, “My customers are part of the Z family.”

And, in a time where spirits are judged on perceived value, Pepe demands that his tequilas remain affordable, believing that luxury shouldn’t be so hard to come by.

Distinguished flavor, devoted friendship and defined family values is the method to Pepe Zevada’s effective–and infectious–“madness.”

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

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

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

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