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luther.r
11-25-2011, 23:14
Howdy,

I've been a tequila snob for a long time, and I've gone to most of the distilleries in MX. I've always enjoyed bourbons, especially in the winter, and I recently made the pilgrimage to KY and toured some distilleries. Of course now I'm hooked. I've been reading the archives here ever since.

ETL was my standby bourbon for a long time, but thanks to suggestions on here I've been getting into the Wellers lately, as well as 4RSB. I just went on a little road trip for T-giving and scored some Van Winkles, which I'm pretty excited about. I've also been dusty hunting when I have a chance.

I'm in Chicago BTW. NW side.

DeanSheen
11-26-2011, 19:51
Well hiya.

I'm jealous. I used to want to go to Jalisco I think for the festival right around xmas?

How about some road trip stories to MX? I used to be very into tequila but the pricepoints cured me.

luther.r
11-27-2011, 00:25
Well hiya.
How about some road trip stories to MX? I used to be very into tequila but the pricepoints cured me.

Well I haven't driven to MX except from Tucson to Nogales, but I did get to do some exclusive distillery tours of places that aren't normally open to the public. The two definite highlights:

-Los Abuelos. In USA this tequila is called Fortaleza due to a trademark issue. When Sauza was sold in the 80s (and ultimately became part of Beam), the family retained only one small plantation on the outskirts of the town of Tequila. This included a small distillery, which Guillermo Sauza recently started to produce very small batches at. The product is incredible, and will likely never grow larger than a cottage industry.

-El Tesoro. This is a "highlands" tequila, being made near the town of Arandas. The distiller is Carlos Camarena, son of the orginal owner Don Filipe Camarena. Carlos knows more about tequila production than anybody I've met. He distills his product to exactly the desired proof; he won't add any water to the tequila after distillation. When we were visiting the distillery, he opened a barrel of 5-year French oak experimental juice that he and his father had made together before his father's death. It was very emotional for him, and we all got to try it at cask strength. Some of the best stuff I have ever tasted, period.

An interesting difference between tequila and bourbon production is that all the "craft" distilleries use alembic pot stills. Only the largest mass-producers use column stills. As far as I know, only Woodford is using alembic pots in bourbon production.

The thing I love about tequila is that it's the only distilled liquor that I think can taste great straight out of the still. White dog can taste so-so, but not "good" before aging. A well-made blanco tequila can be really amazing. Age it properly, and it just gets better.