Tequila’s Consistency Conundrum | TasteTequila

How the tequila business manages the unrealistic expectations placed on a pure product

Have you ever ever ordered your favourite tequila and thought, “this tastes somewhat totally different than the final time I attempted it”? In that case, that’s in all probability a superb factor. Tequila, like wine, is a pure product that can range from batch to batch relying on many elements, such because the agaves used, the time of 12 months it’s produced, totally different barrels used for ageing, and even slight adjustments in yeast or distillation cuts.

However – understandably – the individuals who promote tequilas, and plenty of customers who’re spending their hard-earned cash on them, need to know precisely what they’re getting.

“Prospects undoubtedly care about shade and taste remaining the identical for many manufacturers,” says Zack Romaya of Old Town Tequila in San Diego. “Complaints do occur when the shopper appears like the flavour is totally different,” he provides.

This has led to a little bit of a conundrum, as a result of whereas a naturally produced tequila might be roughly 95% just like earlier batches, to get to that 100% similarity components usually have for use.

So, as an illustration, in case your barrels are somewhat extra fatigued and don’t give a batch of tequila as a lot intense shade because the earlier one, you may add somewhat caramel coloring. Actually, that is in all probability why some tequila producers think about components (or “abocantes”) like caramel coloring, oak extract, glycerin, and sweetener as customary tequila-making instruments.

This factors again to our personal expectations as customers. Do we wish 100% consistency, or will we need to give producers somewhat leeway to provide pure tequilas that can differ over time?

“For us, consistency is within the high quality of the tequilas we produce, not that they’re precisely the identical every time,” says Tequila Ocho Grasp Distiller Carlos Camarena, noting that solely synthetic, man-made merchandise are precisely the identical.

“That is nature,” he provides. “We spotlight what we’re given.”

Some producers, like Camarena, have been capable of showcase manufacturing variations equivalent to utilizing totally different agaves, and producing at totally different occasions of 12 months, to set the expectation that there might be slight adjustments of their tequilas.

Camarena’s Tequila Ocho lists the ranch the place they harvested the agaves proper on the label, whereas Tequila Fortaleza provides handwritten lot numbers to the again of every bottle, giving the patron an concept of when that tequila was made.

“Every batch seems with a slight variation, which is pure,” says Billy Erickson, Advertising and marketing Supervisor at Tequila Fortaleza. “And these small adjustments result in superior discussions amongst our followers as to which tons they like, and why. Typically we even get suggestions on which of them to emulate, just like the now notorious añejo lot 42/43,” he provides.

Showcasing variances will be thrilling, nevertheless it’s not frequent. Most tequila producers attempt for consistency as a result of that’s what they consider customers count on.

“We all the time attempt to educate the shopper about tequila manufacturing and why variations ought to be anticipated,” says Romaya.

Provided that getting the phrase out to the mass market will take a while, some producers try to bridge the hole between having a pure product and assembly customers’ consistency expectations.

“Our Codigo 1530 Rosa is rested in wine barrels and has a lightweight pink shade that differs from batch to batch as a result of the barrels give us one thing totally different every time,” says Ricardo Lona Martínez, Director of Operations for Codigo 1530.

“Customers had questions on whether or not it was our Rosa or Reposado as a result of variation, so we put it in a bottle with a coloured backside to assist determine Rosa on a shelf. Rosa for us is a course of, not a shade,” he provides.

Hopefully, over time, extra tequila drinkers will recognize the distinction.

What do you suppose? Is consistency essential to you? Share your opinion, beneath.

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