Sipping off the Cuff | Hacienda Mercado Reposado

Mike and Alex taste and discuss Hacienda Mercado Reposado Tequila.

FTC Disclaimer: All samples are received free of charge but no payment is accepted by Tequila Aficionado or its agents for reviews. All reviews are the opinions of those participating in the tasting and positive reviews are never guaranteed.

From Hacienda Mercado 
Sipping off the Cuff | Hacienda Mercado Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4F3Our product preserves the history and tradition in its process of elaboration, in which a product of the best quality of exportation is obtained in a NATURAL way, without chemicals that accelerate the fermentation, to obtain products apocrifos that the people does not know even to distinguish, the costumers deserve respect and we deliver only quality, thanks to the technology and the utility of modern techniques, a product is obtained with high standards of quality, vouched for by the CRT (Consejo Regulador del Tequila) and the NOM (Norma Oficial Mexicana).
The plant is chosen with a delicate sense of responsibility, matured by time, at the ideal moment to be harvested (JIMADA). It is transported back to its manufactures where it is again selected before it is cooked.
The boiling carries out in autoclaves where it does not loose any of its properties since it totally conserves the juices which are the base for the quality. The extraction of the juices by mechanical methods and the utilization of pure spring water, which emanates from the mountain, they guarantee the following step.
The juice which ferments in a natural way, at its own pace, at its own moment, guarantees the excellent quality of our product, that’s our secret to achieve the exellence and finesse. The alembics take care of extracting the maximum benefit, obtaining a really clean product, clear, and crystal with the but the highest standards given by our tequila masters, with 3 generations of experience. The procurement of a product that emphasize the respect for their consumers cannot be left unrecognized and recommended broadly, above all by the large experts that in a special way they recommend TEQUILA HACIENDA MERCADO.
The base to obtain an AÑEJO & REPOSADO is without doubt an execellent BLANCO, Which is obtained of the casks of oak tree the fragrance and bouquet in a natural way through time.
We recommend extensively to taste it to the RIGHT, traditional way (straight) in its shot glass, and that with confidence you say: I INVITE YOU A Tequila, IN A TRULY, EXCLUSIVE HORSE HEAD SHOT GLASS OF OUR BRAND, FOR THE MOST FINEST LIKINGS AND DELIGHT, NOT ONLY TASTE WISE BUT ALSO ITS APPEARANCE IN OUR PRESENTATION.

SO IF YOU CAN’T REST YOUR HORSEHEAD SHOT GLASS IN THE BAR THAT MEANS YOU ARE NOT DRINKING IT.
SALUDD AND ENJOY RESPONSIBLY!!

Sipping off the Cuff | Hacienda Mercado Blanco

Mike and Alex taste and discuss Hacienda Mercado Blanco Tequila.

FTC Disclaimer: All samples are received free of charge but no payment is accepted by Tequila Aficionado or its agents for reviews. All reviews are the opinions of those participating in the tasting and positive reviews are never guaranteed.

From Hacienda Mercado 
Sipping off the Cuff | Hacienda Mercado Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4F3Our product preserves the history and tradition in its process of elaboration, in which a product of the best quality of exportation is obtained in a NATURAL way, without chemicals that accelerate the fermentation, to obtain products apocrifos that the people does not know even to distinguish, the costumers deserve respect and we deliver only quality, thanks to the technology and the utility of modern techniques, a product is obtained with high standards of quality, vouched for by the CRT (Consejo Regulador del Tequila) and the NOM (Norma Oficial Mexicana).
The plant is chosen with a delicate sense of responsibility, matured by time, at the ideal moment to be harvested (JIMADA). It is transported back to its manufactures where it is again selected before it is cooked.
The boiling carries out in autoclaves where it does not loose any of its properties since it totally conserves the juices which are the base for the quality. The extraction of the juices by mechanical methods and the utilization of pure spring water, which emanates from the mountain, they guarantee the following step.
The juice which ferments in a natural way, at its own pace, at its own moment, guarantees the excellent quality of our product, that’s our secret to achieve the exellence and finesse. The alembics take care of extracting the maximum benefit, obtaining a really clean product, clear, and crystal with the but the highest standards given by our tequila masters, with 3 generations of experience. The procurement of a product that emphasize the respect for their consumers cannot be left unrecognized and recommended broadly, above all by the large experts that in a special way they recommend TEQUILA HACIENDA MERCADO.
The base to obtain an AÑEJO & REPOSADO is without doubt an execellent BLANCO, Which is obtained of the casks of oak tree the fragrance and bouquet in a natural way through time.
We recommend extensively to taste it to the RIGHT, traditional way (straight) in its shot glass, and that with confidence you say: I INVITE YOU A Tequila, IN A TRULY, EXCLUSIVE HORSE HEAD SHOT GLASS OF OUR BRAND, FOR THE MOST FINEST LIKINGS AND DELIGHT, NOT ONLY TASTE WISE BUT ALSO ITS APPEARANCE IN OUR PRESENTATION.

SO IF YOU CAN’T REST YOUR HORSEHEAD SHOT GLASS IN THE BAR THAT MEANS YOU ARE NOT DRINKING IT.
SALUDD AND ENJOY RESPONSIBLY!!

The Agave Shortage of 2017 Is Worse Than We Thought

We tried to pretend it didn’t already exist.

Articles on an impending agave shortage had been showing up since late 2015, but we thought safety precautions were in place.  The Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT) had it all handled.

Then, this happened…

The Agave Shortage of 2017 Is Worse Than We Thoughthttp://wp.me/p3u1xi-4DZ

Snow In Arandas

On March 10, 2016, Arandas, Jalisco, Mexico, considered part of the all-important Agave Golden Triangle of Tequila (Atotonilco, Tepatitlán, Arandas and Jesús María), woke up to this–

The Agave Shortage of 2017 Is Worse Than We Thoughthttp://wp.me/p3u1xi-4DZ

An anomaly that has occurred only twice in 100 years.

Beautiful, yes.

We couldn’t look away.

Then, fear stuck.

Would this weather phenomenon increase the odds of a real agave shortage?

Initial reports like this one from revered agavero and tequilero, Felipe Camarena Curiel (Pasote, ArteNOM 1579) on his Facebook page, made us breathe a sigh of relief.

“The conditions of 1997, [the last major agave shortage that shook the Tequila Industry] and the most recent one, were very different.

“In 1997, the low temperatures affected the entire state of Jalisco, reaching -17 C (1.4 F) in Los Altos for a considerable amount of time, freezing the shallow roots of 1-to-3 year old agave and provoking the anticipated maturing [flowering] of the surviving agave.

“The current [snowfall] affected some municipalities in Los Altos de Jalisco, but not the entire state.  The temperatures were not so low and they rapidly returned to normal.

“Of course, in very concentrated areas, there will be total losses.

“We’ll know the magnitude of the damage in the next few days, but in my personal opinion, in the long run, it [the loss; damage] won’t be as grave as that of 1997.”

The Agave Shortage of 2017 Is Worse Than We Thoughthttp://wp.me/p3u1xi-4DZ

[“Las condiciones de 1997 y las recientes fueron muy diferentes.

“En 1997 la temperatura baja afectó a todo el Estado de Jalisco, llegando en los Altos a -17°C por un tiempo considerable, congelando las raices poco profundas de los agaves de 1 a 3 años y provocando madurez anticipada de agave que sobrevivió.

“La actual afectó a algunos municipios de los Altos de Jalisco, no a todo el Estado.  Las temperaturas no fueron tan bajas y se recuperaron rápidamente.

“Por supuesto en áreas muy focalizadas habrá pérdidas totales.

“La magnitud del daño lo sabremos en los próximos dias pero mi opinión personal es que el daño no será ni lejos tan grave como en 1997.”]

Not everyone in the Camarena family was so cautiously optimistic.

In this blog post from the UK, Carlos Camarena, Felipe’s brother and master distiller of Tapatío tequila, warned a roomful of British bartenders, “…buy up tequila now as in 3 to 5 years there will be a worldwide tequila shortage.”

Blame Global Warming

In a thought provoking post by Clayton Szczech via his website, he firmly attributes the weather aberration to global warming.The Agave Shortage of 2017 Is Worse Than We Thoughthttp://wp.me/p3u1xi-4DZ

With accelerated climate change comes the uncertainty of once predictable annual weather patterns reported Alquimia Tequila’s owner and organic agavero, Dr. Adolfo Murillo, via its Facebook page.

“…we have been talking about [global warming] for some time now.  This is man’s effect on our Mother Earth.  Will our agaves survive?”

That Didn’t Take Long

By April 2016, articles like the one referenced above were reissued to drive home the possibility of an agave shortage, whether real or rigged.

By late June to early July 2016, confirmed reports reached this office of transnational corporations locking in major contracts with medium sized maquiladoras (distilleries that produce tequila for various other brands) to provide them with enormous quantities of tequila to be bottled under their labels.

By mid-August, confirmed reports reached us verifying that other distilleries were already hiking their prices to their clients in anticipation of, or in answer to, an increase in agave prices.

By late October 2016, other well known brands were feeling the squeeze of a spike in agave prices.

What We Know

Reliable sources tell us that estimates of agave losses are ranging in the millions of plants.

The Agave Shortage of 2017 Is Worse Than We Thoughthttp://wp.me/p3u1xi-4DZWhile initial reports stated the snowfall reached only 1-3 centimeters [.093 to 1.96 inches], there are now unsubstantiated claims of up to 8 inches of snow had actually fallen in many areas of the Los Altos region.

Unsubstantiated reports reached this office in mid-July 2016 of small agave farmers selling off up to 2 year old agaves before they completely rotted in the fields.

There are also unconfirmed reports of agricultural engineers recommending a scorched earth solution to these small farmers.

Hectares of agave fields are to be plowed under and burned due the danger of crops being infected by the dreaded snout-nosed weevil that prefer to lay their eggs inside weakened plants.

These same small farmers are reluctant to take such a heavy financial hit and would rather sell off what they can rather than destroy their rapidly wilting crops.

Due to the agave glut 7-8 years ago, many other growers stopped planting agave.  Now, because of the unexpected freeze, brokers (coyotes) are scrambling to meet demand.

At this writing, master agave growers are said to be demanding $3.00 per pound for their piñas–and getting it!

Don’t Hate the Game–Hate the Player

Who will survive?

As per usual, any pedigreed distillery with their own agave estates will ensure The Agave Shortage of 2017 Is Worse Than We Thoughthttp://wp.me/p3u1xi-4DZthat their flagship brands have plenty of plants and juice on hand.

Those maquiladoras that grow agave should also be able to ride out the storm.

Of course, the Big Boys, those transnational corporations with deep pockets, will also pull through, and even thrive.  As we mentioned above, they’ve been busy securing long term contracts since late spring and early summer 2016.

Those brands that are considered handcrafted, small batch, and micro-distilled tequilas should also prevail since the vast majority only produce enough for their own labels.

Virtually any master agave grower who tended his fields properly will prosper The Agave Shortage of 2017 Is Worse Than We Thoughthttp://wp.me/p3u1xi-4DZduring this looming crisis.

Who won’t?

Those short-term players with little or no experience who were only in it to make a quick buck.

But, this is a good thing, according to Patrón tequila’s Chief Marketing Officer, Lee Applbaum in this article.

Basically, Applebaum asserts, the shakeout of short-term growers will ensure that the market maintains plenty of quality juice while preventing the dilution of the ultra-premium category that Patrón covets so deeply.

Ante Up

The Agave Shortage of 2017 Is Worse Than We Thoughthttp://wp.me/p3u1xi-4DZ

So, what will drive tequila prices up?

Freezing snow?

The weevil?

Amateur agave growers?

A blue agave shortage?

All of the above.  The simple economics of supply and demand.

But, there’s a new scourge in Tequila Town, and this one is set to be a real thorn in the sides of the Big Boys.

They’re called…

Los Mieleros

Sources report that representatives of large pharmaceutical companies have courted well-respected agaveros for their brix-rich piñas to be used for inulin production, a projected $2.4 billion industry by 2024.

The Agave Shortage of 2017 Is Worse Than We Thoughthttp://wp.me/p3u1xi-4DZ

These same sources confirm that Los Mieleros have consistently and extravagantly outbid tequileros for their agave in just the past few years.

The option for large tequila producers to raid Oaxacan mezcaleros for their espadin like they did back in the mid-1980s, and as Sarah Bowen documented on page 46 of her book, Divided Spirits:  Tequila, Mezcal and the Politics of Production, is gone.  The current burgeoning Mezcal Industry will see to that.

In the meantime, get ready to ante up.

The 2017 Agave Shortage is much worse than we thought.

Blanco Friday Holiday Tasting Challenge

Get into the Holiday Spirit and Join

The Blanco Friday Holiday Tasting Challenge

November 25-December 24, 2016

30 Spirits in 30 Days

wreath

 

Stop the Madness!

Fight the Black Friday and holiday madness by exercising your right to comfort and joy this holiday season with a great agave spirit every day!

Black Friday is Now Blanco Friday!

Start with a blanco, any brand, on Black Blanco Friday, November 25, 2016.  From there, it’s all up to you!  As long as you choose a tequila, mezcal, sotol or 100% agave spirit, feel free to get as festive as you like.  Drink blancos, reposados, anejos, extra anejos, cocktails, whatever you prefer.   Just make it a different one every day for 30 days (you may need to partner up with friends and share from your collections – but it’s the season for giving, right?)

It’s Insta-Easy

To enter, simply take a picture of your selected spirit, every day, and post it on Instagram with the tags @tequilaaficionado and #blancofriday.  (You can really get into the holiday spirit by tagging the brand and telling them why you chose them.)

There Will Be Prizes

All participating entries will go up on our Blanco Friday Wall of Fame and each entry, up to 30, will give you a shot at one of several packages of tequila swag (and bragging rights)!

 

Are you ready to get into the Holiday (Agave) Spirit?

 blanco-friday-challenge

Blanco Friday FAQs

Who can accept the challenge?

Anyone with an Instagram account that enjoys tequilas, mezcals, sotols, or agave spirits.

What is the challenge?

Try a new agave spirit/expression every day for 30 days beginning on Black Friday.

Where do I enter?

Post a picture of the spirit you’re tasting every day on Instagram.  Be sure to tag @tequilaaficionado and #blancofriday.

When is the challenge?

Start on Black Friday, November 25, and then continue to try a new brand or expression every day up to and including Christmas Eve for a total of 30 different tastings.

Why are you doing this?

We’re fighting the commercial madness of Black Friday and demanding comfort and joy this holiday season by kicking it all off on Blanco Friday!

What does it cost?

We won’t charge you a thing, but it is BYOB.  Get into the holiday spirit and share with your friends.  The holiday cheer is well worth it!

Can I get extra credit?

You should just for reading this far!  Yes, extra credit goes to anyone who shares a food pairing, cigar pairing, or recipe with agave spirits cooked in.

Can Brands Participate?

Of course!  Get the word out to your fans (feel free to share our posts, links and graphics) and have them enter and share their pictures of your spirit as their entries.  Every entry that tags us will be reposted on all of our social networks, reaching millions of tequila, mezcal, and agave spirit aficionados.

Share your holiday spirit – every day on Instagram!

Tag @tequilaaficionado and #blancofriday.

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Last Tequila Standing – A Groundbreaking Tequila Reality Show

 

A Tequila Reality Show?

last tequila standing, adan y eva, alderete, alma, alquimia, Azuñia, Casa ZG, Crótalo, cuestion, don pilar, ekeco, Mañana, nature's agave, Pavoneo, Quinta de Gomez, pavoneo, RiAzúl, Sal del Mar, senor rio, Silvercoin, tributo, Vida, casa zgIn 2011, a group of television professionals sought to create the first tequila reality show.  They called upon the industry expertise of then journalist and Editor at Tequila Aficionado, Mike Morales.  When production began, just under 20 tequila start ups vied to be crowned the Last Tequila Standing in the world’s first broadcast Tequila Reality Show.

What? No Tequila Shots?

The creators of Last Tequila Standing only filmed their pilot season back in 2011.  From there, in the old school way of doing things, they sought to sell the program to a television network.  But the Latino markets they were approaching had no love for a tequila show that didn’t include shots.  They felt the world, or at least their audiences, wasn’t ready for such a thing.

Tequila History Preserved

Here at Tequila Aficionado, we knew better.  After years of discussions, we were finally given access to most of the show’s recorded 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.
The litmus test for most tequila start-ups is five years.  If you can make it in this business for that long, you’re in it for the long haul.  We’re very happy to see that many of these then “start-ups” are alive and kicking down doors five years later in the industry today!

Watch the whole Last Tequila Standing series here:

Criteria for Participants

Adan y Eva Tequila
Alma Tequila
Alquimia Natural Margarita
Azunia Tequila
Crotalo Tequila
Cuestion Tequila
Don Pilar Tequila
Ekeco Tequila
Manana Tequila Perfect Margarita
Pavoneo Green & White
Quinta de Gomez Tequila
Riazul Tequila
Senor Rio Tequila
Silvercoin Tequila
Tequila Alderete
Tributo Tequila
Vida Tequila
 

Mixology Products:

 

Tequila Education:

 

Finale:

Learning From The Master – German Gonzalez

The tequila industry may not recognize their masters, but here at Tequila Aficionado, we know that we could never consider Germán Gonzalez, distiller of T1 Tequila and Tears of Llorona, any less than a Master at his art.

Learning From The Master - German Gonzalez http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4DC

Enjoy this intimate talk we had the pleasure of having with German Gonzalez when he took off his iconic hat and joined us at our table with his stellar selection of tequilas.

Visit T1 Tequila Uno Online

The story of T1 Tequila Uno begins where the history of tequila begins. For centuries generations of tequila masters have perfected the art of making this unique spirit. A creation of Master Distiller Germán González, our tequilas have an acquired pedigree only achievable through heritage and continuity with the past. Handcrafted using these ancestral and traditional methods and from mature 100% Agave Azul grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, emerges a masterpiece collection of T1 Tequila Uno’s of extraordinary and exquisite caliber.

Visit Tears of Llorona Online

Tears of Llorona is an extra extra añejo tequila. It begins as 100% blue agaves from high volcanic slopes in Jalisco, where growth is slow. Master Tequilero Germán Gonzalez hand selects the agaves and has them harvested late, increasing their starch and sugars. The piñas are roasted slowly in the traditional way. His yeast is proprietary and fermentation is slow. Distillation is by copper pot still and barreling is at very high specific gravity.

Tears is aged in three different barrels — oak that has previously held scotch, sherry, and brandy — and brought together in very small batches to create a complex fusion that is more like a cognac than a tequila. Germán then bottles at 43% specific gravity to balance the flavors. This results in a very high rate of osmotic loss – the “angel’s tears” that are one reason for the name, Tears of Llorona.

Learning From The Master - German Gonzalez http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4DCAbout German Gonzalez

Master Distiller Germán González, is the great grandson of General Manuel González, former President of México between 1880 – 1884. In the late 1970s Germán’s father, Guillermo Gonzalez Diaz Lombardo, founder of La Gonzaleña launched what would become the first ultra-premium tequila imported into the United States, Chinaco. Germán worked closely with his father and learned how to handcraft tequila using traditional techniques. After years serving as Chinaco’s master distiller, Germán left the company to launch his own brand, like his father before him.

From Babes to Boss Ladies: Women & Tequila

Tequila Aficionado Exclusive Series

babes-to-boss-ladiesWe’ve had a special place in our hearts for the unsung heroines and muses in tequila for a very long time.  After reading Ilana Edelstein’s The Patron Way, Mike & I felt it was time someone brought other women’s stories to light – and what better place to do that than at the leader in tequila information since 1999 – Tequila Aficionado.

It all began with Tequila Boss Ladies and grew from there.  This series has grown over the years to include sotol, mezcal and agave spirits so there is still more to come!  In the meantime, you can catch up on the entire series to date.

From Babes to Boss Ladies

The contributions of women who create some of the amazing spirits we enjoy, direct production and distillation, support educational efforts, own brands we love, and otherwise contribute to the tequila industry are often overlooked beyond the 80’s throwback bikini-babe marketing efforts of behind-the-times brands.  (Perhaps that’s a bit harsh, but when women make 80% of the buying decisions in America today, don’t you think brands would be better served by changing their marketing approach with the times?)

Catch Up With The Series

Click on the links below to visit our ongoing series and explore some of the amazing contributions made by women in today’s tequila industry:

The 2016 Heartland Tour in Pictures

Look for new pictures and videos being added daily!

Tequila Aficionado Media Marks Milestone!

Uncorks Tequila PR & Marketing Agency…

 For Immediate Release!

Tequila Aficionado Media Marks Milestone & Uncorks Tequila PR & Marketing Agency http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4CXOctober 27,2016, San Antonio, TX:  The people behind Tequila Aficionado Media have strategically aligned to unfurl the next phase in agave spirits publicity, branding, marketing and social media–Tequila PR & Marketing—delivering agency level services exclusively to the craft agave spirits segment.

“You can’t market spirits the same way you market peanut butter,” says Lisa Pietsch, co-founder of Tequila PR & Marketing and CMO of Tequila Aficionado Media.

“And you can’t market agave spirits the same way you market vodka, whisky, scotch or rum,” adds Mike Morales, co-founder of Tequila PR & Marketing and CEO of Tequila Aficionado Media.

“So why would you go to a marketing and PR agency that generalizes?” reasons Pietsch.

With over 40 years of traditional and digital marketing experience between them, the partner’s individual businesses and staffs have merged to deploy agency level services and customized programs for craft agave spirits brands with Tequila PR & Marketing.

Tequila Aficionado Media Marks Milestone & Uncorks Tequila PR & Marketing Agency http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4CXHolding a finger on the pulse beat of agave spirits for over 20 years, Mike Morales has provided consulting, branding, public relations, sales assistance and training to the burgeoning craft agave spirits sector.

Lisa Pietsch has furnished targeted marketing strategies and social media management services to a variety of individuals and businesses for over 15 years.  Since joining Tequila Aficionado Media, her expertise has expanded to include craft agave spirits.

The pros at Tequila PR & Marketing believe that small or large, your craft agave spirit brand deserves personal attention that’s in keeping with your image and pedigree.

“Is that expensive photographer your over-priced agency hired still taking photos of babes in bikinis holding red Solo cups?” asks Morales.  “Would you trust your brand’s story—your voice–to a company where the staff in charge is still shooting mixtos?”

“We know what every generation and demographic is looking for in an agave spirit, and how they want to be approached by your brand,” declares Pietsch.

 

“Moreover, we tirelessly keep up with all the changes in search engine and social media algorithms, implement the most effective new tools and networks to ensure that you get the most out of your marketing dollar.”

“At Tequila PR & Marketing, we specialize in just agave spirits,” pledges Morales.  “We know agave spirits inside and out, and we prove it on a daily basis.”

Tequila Aficionado Media Marks Milestone & Uncorks Tequila PR & Marketing Agency http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4CX“Nobody understands agave spirits consumers, the industry, and the laws that govern its marketing like we do,” explains Pietsch.

Adds Morales, “We understand what makes your customers reach for your bottle instead of theirs.”

“We also know this is a tough industry in which to stay competitive,” concludes Pietsch.  “So, when you partner with Tequila PR & Marketing, we become your edge.”

***

For YOUR edge, click here.  Tequila PR & Marketing offers individual and one-time services, as well as marketing management packages to fit every need for your agave spirit brand.

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