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Tequila Tezon

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Sunset at Tezon Agave Field

Sunset in the blue agave fields of Olmeca Distillery in Arandas, Mexico. Home of Tequila Tezon

Photo Credit: © 2006 Colleen Graham licensed to About.com

Old-world techniques meet modern day standards inside each bottle of Tequila Tezón. Even with it's limited availability this super-premium 100% blue agave tequila hit the U.S. market in June 2006 and made a big splash. The range of tequilas produced by Tezón is distinctive as a whole and each are separately spectacular from the clear silkiness of the Blanco to the spicy vanilla of the Reposado and the creamy oak of the Añejo. All are handsomely mastered with passion and care that you can taste in each sip.

Behind the Tequila

The entire process of creating Tequila Tezón is an art form that is felt throughout the Olmeca Distillery that is it's home. Olmeca is found near the village of Arandas in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico on a plantation framed by blue agave fields. The modern-faced distillery has a style and mystique that is both inviting and intriguing and stands as testament for the product that is created within it's walls.

Tezón begins by harvesting select 8-12 year-old agave plants from the red dirt fields surrounding the distillery. After removing the cogollo, or bitter sprout, the clean agave piñas are loaded into brick ovens where they are baked for three days. The time taken to slowly roast the agave contributes to the notable organic flavor of the finished tequila and distinguishes it from many others.

The tahona wheel, made of a dark volcanic rock called tezontle, is the traditional method of crushing the baked agave in preparation for the fermentation process. The giant grinding wheel revolves inside a shallow pit, crushing the agave into thin fibers and extracting its juices. A man yielding a rake follows the wheel as it slowly circles; sifting the agave to ensure each fiber is crushed evenly. After two long hours of constant labor one ton of agave is ready for the next step. The difference between the production rate of the tahona method and the eight tons per hour produced by machines is a testament to craftsmanship and is the main reason Tezón is available only in limited quantities.

Final Inspection of Tequila Tezon

Each bottle of Tezon is inspected numerous times to ensure every one is perfect.

Photo Credit: © 2006 Colleen Graham licensed to About.com

The tahona wheel process employed at Tezón reabsorbs the juices into the fibers; the resulting mash, or mosto, is then placed into fermentation tanks where it stays for three days. The fermented liquid is then slowly transported to copper pot-stills through a maze of pipes to begin the first of two distillations. After each distillation the “heart,” or middle, of the distillate is chosen to continue on in the process as this ensures the purest and most consistent tequila.

Further quality standards and checks are in place in between distillation and bottling. The distillery’s quality control lab tests each batch of tequila both chemically and with the palates of two men who can sense the slightest inconsistency to ensure that it matches the standards Tezón has set. One of those men is Don Jesús Hernández, Tezón’s Master Distiller and the man who oversees the entire operation. Hernandez’s passion for and knowledge of tequila is unmistakable, as is his pride in the product he produces.

Before the tequila is barreled it is sent through a chilled filtration process. This last step ensures that, once bottled, the tequila will maintain its color and taste, which is an important consideration when shipping to the colder climates. At this point the three types of Tequila Tezón are distinguished. Blanco tequila is the only one that requires no aging and is bottled right away. The tequila intended for the Añejo and Reposado types are aged in a large building just across the courtyard in an uncontrolled environment that further lends to the natural flavor of the tequila. Reposado tequila at Tezón is aged for 8-10 months while the Añejo is aged for 18-20 months, both in used bourbon barrels.

Tezón’s bottle is captivating within itself. Two metal plates are adhered to the stout, rectangular-shaped bottle, each engraved with symbols signifying the important factors that influence Tequila Tezón: Agave, Fire, Tahona, and Spirit. Not to outdo itself in aesthetics, each bottle is cork is topped with a small volcanic rock, the same shape as the tahona wheel.

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Images from Tequila Tezon Distillery

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