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Sunday, August 24, 2014


Here I am, continuing the top tequilas from Men's Journal (MJ)© and what their staff tasters had to say. If you are a foodie, it's good to be in the know of what is out there as far as products in food and drink. It makes you look good and not like some uninformed goof ball out on a date. And if you are clueless, just have confidence in your (I don't know) so you'll be more respected, just say, "Hey I'm not a tequila aficionado so I need some help here," it's better to be honest than to look stupid like, "duh…" Yeah right, your date will see that your lack of confidence is her waste of time.

So, carrying on…let's get into the tequila again, now for those of you who missed our last session, tequila is a fermented alcoholic drink made from the agave plant, to be more specific, the juice from the heart of the agave is extracted and fermented and distilled into a drink you would purchase. Oh by the way, it's the blue agave plant. Also you need to know this at the very least, is that there are three distinct categories of tequila.

1. Blanco- or silver that isn't aged much or at all.
2. Reposado-(sometimes called gold) is aged about 2 months up to a year.
3. Anejo-heavily aged for a minimum of 1 year but less than 3 years.

Tequila like most wines and liquor are aged in wooden barrels, and hence the flavor of the wood is what makes the flavor of the drink. The best tequilas are 100% blue agave without any flavors or other additives. Those tend to cost more, but it doesn't mean that it will taste great. The longer it is aged the mellower the taste in the mouth.

Courtesy of MJ Men's Journal © Rewritten to my style.
Now back to the top tequilas.

Herradura has been produced since 1870, and the roughly 25 million agaves it maintains are propagated from the original plants of that era. More than any other huge-scale producer, Herradura has found a way, though, to maintain quality while scaling up. (Way way up-its fermentation tanks hold more than a million gallons.) Rather than rely on commercial yeasts to hasten fermentation, the company uses only naturally occurring airborne yeasts and lets the juice ferment for up to a week. Herradura introduced the reposado category in 1974, and still is the best examples of the style, with classic vanilla and butterscotch elements that come from a long (for reposado) 11 months in American oak. Its blanco spends 45 days in oak, giving it a bit of color and smoothness, though without overpowering the base agave flavor.

Casa Dragones is headed by Bertha Gonzalez Nieves, she is the first woman afforded the Maestra Tequilera stutus by the Mexican government. According to the MJ article, Casa Dragones breaks with traditional distillation processes. They use what it called a multiple-distillation process to eliminate impurities and harsh flavors. Following this technique, a bit of anejo is added for complexity and put it in handblown bottles with hand-numbered, signed labels-all to reiterate that this tequila is meant to be the premium to end all premiums. A careful savor-at this price you'd better savory it-uncovers a stunning array of aromas and flavors and all the softness that Casa Dragones's process promise.

Astral is a creation from Master Sommelier Richard Betts. Astral roasts its sugar-rich agave hearts in traditional stone ovens and uses only wild yeasts, but two key differences in its production process stand out. First is that the agaves are grown on mountainous slopes to give them more character from having to work harder to grow. Secondly, after the roasted pinas are crushed, the juice is fermented with the bagazo (the residual pulp)-most producers ferment the juice only-which explains Astral's especially pungent aromas and flavors. Astral is distilled to 92 proof, which Betts calls "a more honest proof," and, for now, hasn't released any aged bottles.

So for now, just digest this a bit, and study these 3 brands of the blue agave plant called tequila. Here's a thought, if you got wine snobs for friends, become a tequila aficionado, and when you go out, show off your tequila chops! I am here to help you my brothers. Be suave, be handsome, be a man! Be a man of the world. Haha, okay man, you all have a good day. Remember, the ladies love a man of confidence.

© 2014