The day you became a Tequila expert
What is the difference between a Tequila and a Super Premium Tequila? How come that the aroma and flavor of one and the same spirit can vary so widely? And how is Tequila actually made?
If you have followed our workshop series with star bartender David Rios, answering those questions won’t be a big deal for you, as you now truly know what it takes to craft outstanding quality tequila. Let’s test your knowledge and prove that you are worthy of calling yourself a true tequila expert.
Did you miss parts of the tequila workshop? Don’t worry, here you’ll find the most important information condensed.
Tequila and Mezcal: cut from the same cloth
Tequila and mezcal are made from one and the same plant: the Agave. In fact, every tequila is also a mezcal. But while tequila can only be made from one of the more than 200 species of agave, there are many different types of mezcal which can be made from several different agaves. Tequila and mezcal are basically quite similar; however, there are some important differences between the two that a tequila expert should be aware of. Therefore, we prepared a bonus track for you! In this video, star bartender David Rios explains the characteristics of Xiaman Mezcal – enjoy!
Here are the other videos:
Part 1: Tequila & Mezcal Tasting: the essence of Padre Azul Blanco, Reposado and Añejo, and of Xiaman Mezcal
Part 2: The making of terroir and raw material
Part 3: More about cooking, fermentation and celebrating life and friendship
Part 4: The distillation, the art of aging and the Padre Azul bottle
What matters most
If you have seen at least parts of our workshop, you may have noticed that all in all, the unique character of Padre Azul is shaped by two essential factors. First, there is dedication. Our tequila wouldn’t be the same without all the skilled individuals behind it, who are very dedicated and passionate about their respective fields. The other factor that must not be underestimated is time: time to grow, time to develop, time to rest. Therefore, something you should never forget when it comes to tequila (and life in general) is to take your time to enjoy!
But of course there is still a bit more to it. In fact, David Rios identified 7 particularities that make our Padre Tequila what it is.
The making of Padre Tequila: 7 things that make the difference:
1. The origin
Tequila is a protected designation of origin product and must be manufactured within five specific regions in Mexico. The most important region is Jalisco – that’s where our Padre Azul comes from.
2. The Terroir
Our agaves grow in the valleys of Amatitán, close to the town Tequila. There they enjoy particularly high temperatures and a volcanic, porous soil that retains humidity – an extremely favourable habitat for the agave.
3. The raw material
Out of the more than 200 species of agave, just one can be used for tequila: the Blue Agave or Agave tequilana. After growing between 8 and 10 years, we select only the best agaves and exclusively their hearts, the so-called piñas, will be processed and turned into our Premium Tequila.
4. The cooking
The cooking is done in “mamposterías”, traditional Mexican ovens made of masonry. First, the piña is cooked by steaming at a relatively low temperature for 24 hours, then we make use of the residual heat to add 24 hours more. That means 48 hours of cooking in total. Time is the secret, my friend!
5. The fermentation
For the fermentation, we exclusively use natural yeast – there is no place for artificial additives in our Padre Tequila! The natural fermentation can take between 72 and 96 hours, as it depends on the climatic conditions during the fermentation.
6. The distillation
Tequila has to pass through two distillations. For the second round, we remove the heads and tails – the first and the last part of the distillation. Only the best portion of tequila, the heart, is used for the final product. After the distillation, we have a high-proof tequila with about 55 % alcohol, which we dilute with water in order to reach the desired 38 or 40 %.
7. The maturing
Our tequila matures in hand-selected, medium-toasted oak bourbon barrels. To be classified as a “Reposado”, a tequila has to mature for at least 2 months; to be classified as “Añejo”, it must be no less than 12 months. We give it a little more: our Padre Azul Reposado ages for 8 months, and our Añejo matures for full 18 months!
Our Padre Tequila stands out – not only with its remarkable taste, but also with its unusual bottle. Why does it look the way it does, though?
The skull cap: The 270-gram solid metal skull cap represents the Day of the Dead – a colorful celebration of eternal friendship and probably the most important day of the year for the Mexican people.
The leather jacket: It is a tribute to the wrestling masks of the Lucha Libre, the Mexican wrestling, which is an important part of Mexican culture.
The bottleneck label: 100 % Agave – that means there are no other sugars added. Only Blue Agave, and nothing else.
Behind every bottle of Padre Azul, there are about 100 people – every single detail is handcrafted in Mexico!
The Taste: what World’s best bartender 2013 David Rios thinks about Padre Tequila
The scent: the same basic flavour notes that come with the previous tequila, but with wood tones, vanilla notes, like candies; very delicate
The taste: tasty, fresh and delicate
Best served: at 18 °C.