Final 12 months was a busy time within the tequila world, and we count on the frenzy to maintain rolling into 2020 and past. However earlier than we get too far forward of ourselves with some predictions for the 12 months forward, let’s have a look again on the developments we noticed over the past 12 months.

1) Agave Costs Break Data

After hitting $30 pesos/kilo on the finish of 2019, agave costs have lastly began to come back down. Primarily based on our survey of agave patrons and sellers, we present that the typical market value of agave is now $27 pesos/kilo and must be beneath $24 pesos/kilo by this time subsequent 12 months.

The previous a number of years have been a tough journey for a lot of manufacturers, with some even stopping manufacturing till costs return to regular; Others resorted to purchasing cheaper diffuser-made juice from different distilleries.

The disaster has been unhealthy for the trade for extra than simply the underside line. The general high quality of tequila being produced took successful as a result of many producers needed to depend on underaged agave.

Assuming we don’t have a devastatingly chilly winter, the downward pricing pattern ought to proceed, and life within the tequila trade may return to regular inside a couple of years.

Pricing Trends for Weber Blue Agave

2) The Clooney Impact – New Gamers Rush In

Regardless of the record-breaking value for agave, new manufacturers hold dashing into the market. We added 181 new manufacturers to our database in 2019, and we all know of fairly a couple of which can be slated to launch in 2020. We’re unsure precisely why that is–-perhaps these new gamers are excessive on the likelihood that they too will promote their model for practically $1 billion, identical to George Clooney’s Casamigos. After all, Clooney is an enormous title with massive attain, so these new manufacturers are going through a a lot increased barrier to entry.

One new model that’s getting lots of consideration is “Teremana” (NOM 1613), one more superstar model as Duane “The Rock” Johnson throws his title into the ring. His tequila is scheduled for a public launch in March, and it’s being made at Productos Finos de Agave (NOM 1416) in Jesus Maria, Jalisco.

Basketball legend Michael Jordan additionally caught air in 2019 with the discharge of his personal model, “Cincoro,” which is being made at Destiladora del Valle de Tequila (NOM 1438).

New Tequila Brands added annually

3) Effectivity Deficiency

Whereas excessive agave costs led some producers to put in tremendous environment friendly diffusers to chop prices and pace up manufacturing, our blind tastings of those merchandise over the past 12 months have made tasters’ opinions clear – merchandise that use diffusers to separate the fibers from uncooked agave simply don’t make the lower. (The diffuser as a software isn’t in itself unhealthy–-like something, it depends upon how you employ it.) However when a diffuser is used on this method, the tequilas they produced scored the bottom on common in 21 blind tastings by 410 bartenders and aficionados in comparison with traditionally-made merchandise.

Click on to enlarge these charts, which present the typical scores primarily based on manufacturing sort from all of our blind tasting occasions in 2019:

4) Artisanal Amp Up

The truth that diffuser merchandise don’t price as excessive might be an enormous a part of the explanation that some choose manufacturers have determined to return to old-school strategies, reminiscent of utilizing a tahona (a big stone wheel) to crush agaves, and a brick oven to prepare dinner them, somewhat than an autoclave.

That is the case at Cascahuín (NOM 1123), which put in a tahona in late 2018, to complement its curler mill manufacturing.

“Our philosophy is to indicate customers that tequila modifications batch by batch for the reason that uncooked materials (agave) modifications,” says Salvador Rosales Trejo, a third era tequilero, who runs Tequila Cascahuín, alongside together with his father Salvador Rosales, Sr. “So, the best way to reveal it in a less complicated or clearer method is by making modifications within the manufacturing processes.”

As for the truth that utilizing a tahona is much less environment friendly, and thus extra expensive than extra fashionable strategies, Cascahuín thinks it’s value it.

“We imagine that there are totally different markets and due to this fact there are customers who’re in search of, and eager to strive, the extra intense and sophisticated flavors that the blue agave brings (when utilizing a tahona).”

Cascahuín now showcases its tahona juice within the highly-rated Cascahuín Tahona Blanco product, which is 100% stone crushed. Rosales believes the tahona course of offers it extra intense agave flavors and aromas, in addition to mineral and brine.

The newly installed tahona at the Cascahuín distillery.

The newly put in tahona on the Cascahuín distillery.

And over at Arette, one among their autoclaves was eliminated in order that they may set up a brick oven. The oven was accomplished, and it was used to prepare dinner their first batch of agave, in June 2019.

“We needed to see how massive of a distinction a brick oven would have in comparison with an autoclave,” mentioned Eduardo Orendain, whose household owns Arette Tequila. “We discovered some massive variations.”

“We seen extra floral, creamy, and mineral notes with a softer profile within the brick oven batches, whereas the autoclave has extra peppery, inexperienced, and natural notes,” he mentioned.

Tres Agaves, a tequila model that has been out there for a decade, is within the technique of constructing their very own distillery, which additionally has a tahona put in.

We’ve acquired reviews that distilleries Tres Mujeres (NOM 1466); Cava de Oro (NOM 1477), and Don Valente (NOM 1450) have both put in, or are within the course of of putting in, tahonas.

We’ve even heard that the well-known diffuser distillery, Leyros (NOM 1489) (maker of Casa Dragones, amid others), has plans to put in a tahona subsequent 12 months, though representatives didn’t return our queries on the topic.

The newly installed brick oven at the Arette distillery.

The newly put in brick oven on the Arette distillery.


Agave Costs Keep Excessive

Though agave costs are coming down from their peak of about 30 pesos a kilo within the second half of 2019, they are going to get nowhere close to the single-digit costs we’ve seen in earlier years. Costs are at present at round 27 pesos/kilo and we count on them to fall to about 24 pesos/kilo by the top of the 12 months.

Different Agaves Used to Make “Agave Spirits”

As the worth of blue agave has mounted, some tequila manufacturers have began taking part in with various kinds of agave. We predict that this pattern will proceed, as producers search for alternate options in uncooked supplies, and customers search for new taste profiles.

In 2017, Calle 23 launched its “Criollo” – a increased proof tequila utilizing a extra squat (with a better sugar content material) variant of blue agave, referred to as “criollo” by locals. That is nonetheless technically a blue agave, however renders extra intense floral, earthy, and minty aromas and flavors.

In the meantime, El Caballito Cerrero, at all times a insurgent model, determined to provide a tequila utilizing an agave that falls exterior of the strict guidelines calling for blue weber vegetation solely within the manufacturing of tequila. In 2018, Caballito Cerrero launched an Angustifolia “Chato” agave spirit, to a lot reward by tequila aficionados.

Some imagine that this profitable transfer will open the door to extra agave distillates going ahead.

Extra Distilleries

Excessive agave costs are having one other attention-grabbing consequence — some agaveros, who’re loaded with revenue proper now, are deciding to speculate it right into a distillery of their very own. Partly as a result of it is a method for them to generate a lot wanted tax deductions, and partly as a result of they know what’s just a few years away: tremendous low agave costs.

Their logic: When agave costs drop, they’ll be capable to change gears and canopy bills by making tequila with their very own agave as an alternative of promoting it at a loss.

We’ve got heard of a number of new distilleries in varied levels of building, together with the agave-growing companions of the Tequila Las Americas distillery (NOM 1480), who’re set to open their second distillery.

Agave grower and revered grasp distiller Enrique Fonseca, the proprietor of the La Tequileña distillery (NOM 1146) in Tequila, is nearing completion of a second distillery positioned in Atotonilco El Alto.

And Carlos Camarena, grasp distiller of El Tesoro de Don Felipe and Tequila Ocho, is constructing his personal distillery in Arandas. Underneath the present plan, upon completion Tequila Ocho will probably be produced at this new distillery.

A number of tequila manufacturers are additionally within the technique of constructing their very own distilleries, together with Tres Agaves; Clase Azul; Tequila Tromba; and Loco.

Diageo, the brand new homeowners of Casamigos, constructed an enormous distillery straight (NOM 1609) throughout the road from Patrón in Atotonilco el Alto. In the meantime, Patrón is within the technique of constructing one other distillery simply behind their present facility.

Extra Manufacturers

As if there weren’t sufficient already, extra are coming. Heaps extra. The excessive value of agave has not slowed the speed of recent manufacturers getting into the market, and that can proceed for years into the longer term. We added a mean of 15 new tequila manufacturers to our database every month in 2019.

It’s not only for celebrities, both. We’re contacted a number of occasions every week by folks within the technique of beginning a brand new model, and we totally count on this to stay unchanged.

(Our recommendation to all of them? Don’t do it!)

Demand for Extra Transparency

“Additive-free” tequilas and “non-diffuser” manufacturers? Prepare, as a result of we’re already seeing customers’ demand for extra transparency within the tequila world resulting in some manufacturers together with manufacturing particulars on their labels. That is coming from the model advertising and marketing aspect, in fact, and never the CRT (Tequila Regulatory Council).

Nonetheless, as customers change into extra savvy about how and the place their favourite tequilas are made, the necessity to tackle questions on components, manufacturing processes, and high quality relative to cost, will change into extra pressing.

The Nice Divide

Increasingly folks exterior of the hardcore aficionado group will begin to see the tequila trade in two distinct teams: Costlier, traditionally-produced, small-batch merchandise; and mass-produced, massive scale, cheaper tequilas.

There’s loads of room for each of those segments to develop within the years to come back.

As extra craft manufacturers characteristic manufacturing particulars on their labels, and take a extra clear and accountable strategy to their advertising and marketing, the typical client will start to take discover.

We all know this as a result of our checklist of verified additive-free tequilas, and our story about components in tequila collectively generated extra web page views, search outcomes, and follow-up emails in 2019 than some other piece of content material on our websites.

So, that’s what we see on the forefront of tequila – what are your ideas? Salud, and completely satisfied new 12 months!

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