Friday, February 12, 2021

How Its Made: the El Mayor Blanco Tequila

I generally prefer Reposado or Anejo tequila because the American oak imparts various flavors and nuances into the spirit. However, a Blanco tequila better expresses the actual growing conditions and distillation process for that brand, and for this reason, I recently purchased the El Mayor Blanco Tequila ($27).  This family-owned distillery is now in its 4th generation of distillers and is located in Tequila's heart: Jalisco.  Specifically, they cultivate the Weber Blue Agave plants at about 7,500 feet above sea level in Jalisco's rocky lowlands. 

The distillery also follows traditional methods for producing its tequila augmented by specific procedures acquired over years of experience. At least seven years after the agave plants were planted, the jimador individually selects each plant for harvest, prunes to the heart, and leaves the scraps as compost. These hearts are then slow-cooked for 24 hours in stainless steel ovens with the cooked agave gently pressed afterward. This agave juice is then fermented using a family-owned yeast strain which is then double distilled in copper-lined pots.  The distillery uses a combination of heat and pressure that they assert "extracts the richest part of the spirit". This is the El Mayor Blanco Tequila.

The spirit is very smooth, with some smoke on the nose, and the expected agave flavors speckled with black pepper and white pine. A very satisfying tequila that I would hate to waste mixing into a marguerita but their Antigua cocktail recipe retains the base tequila profile and balances with bitters.  

  • 2 oz. El Mayor® Añejo Tequila
  • 3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Demerara Sugar Cube
  •  Orange Peel and Cherry, for Garnish

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