The Top Agave Spirits From December

These 10 tequilas and mezcals took home the highest scores from the Distiller Tasting Table in the month of December!
Dec 29, 2016
  • 10
    Tailwinds Rested Agave Spirit is produced in the USA and, therefore, cannot be called Tequila. Distilled from organically-grown Weber Blue Agave nectar sourced from the northern hills of Guadalajara, Mexico then shipped to the distillery in Plainfield, Illinois. After a slow fermentation of 12 days, it is distilled in small batches on a pot/column still. Tailwinds Rested is allowed to mature for a minimum of 14 months inside of American oak, former Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. Released and bottled one barrel at a time every 4 - 6 months.
  • 9
    Umami & Fruity
    Pierde Almas creates their Pechuga every November by taking their Espadín mezcal to the next level with a third distillation. The most notable step is hanging a turkey breast in the still, a variation on the traditional chicken breast. Before the third distillation, the mezcal is infused with a variety of wild fruits, herbs and nuts, such as apples, pineapples, almonds, pecans, citrus blossoms and anise.
  • 8
    El Decreto ("the decree" in Spanish) is made from 7 - 12 year old agave grown in the Jalisco highlands. The cooked agave goes through a 5 - 7 day fermentation process before double-distillation. The blanco is rested in American oak for 15 days, then filtered for clarity before bottled in handmade glass bottles.
  • 7
    Pierde Almas is a self-styled "hyper-gourmet" and artisan-made "mezcal de autor". It is made principally from Oaxacan wild agaves in single-varietal batches. Piñas are baked up to five days in clay ovens, natural fermentation takes place in wooden vats, and the mash is distilled in a copper "serpentine" still.
  • 6
    El Diamante is triple-distilled in small pot stills after steaming and fermentation. It is made from 100% agave and is aged up to four years in oak. The tall, slender bottle is distinguished by a decorative topaz background that amplifies the spirit's coppery color.
  • 5
    Rich & Sweet
    Santa Pedrera is produced at the Amatengo distillery with its cousins at Espíritu Lauro. It's made with 100% espadín agave, grown near the distillery and matured 6 - 7 years before harvest. The distillery uses very traditional processes and even lets its mash ferment without the use of added yeasts or sugars. This expression is released at a slightly higher proof for bolder flavor, given its nickname of "Sadness Breaker."
  • 4
    Sweet & Rich
    A category that has been growing in popularity over the last few years, Extra Añejo is the most heavily-matured style of tequila. Seeing at least 3 years in cask, most producers really seek to present their Extra Añejo offerings like a fine cognac both in terms of marketing and in many ways flavor profile. This product is aged for 3 years and 8 months. Limited production of 624 bottles, it should be noted that this comes in a handsome wooden box.
  • 3
    Fruity & Spicy
    Tequila Gran Dovejo is located in the Highlands of Jalisco and produces only single-estate tequilas. The agave plants are grown by a fifth-generation agave grower in Los Altos. The piñas, or hearts of agave are harvested by hand and then roasted in clay ovens for 36 hours. The piñas are then shredded, the juices extracted and fermented and then double-distilled in copper alembic stills before being aged between six and nine months in American oak barrels which are hand-selected by the Master Distiller to evaluate maturity.
  • 2
    The Camarena family of distillers has been producing tequila for 3 generations at La Alteña distillery in the hills of Jalisco. Tapatio is the joint project between Carlos Camarena and Marko Karakasevic of Charbay winery and distillery in Napa. It's made with 100% estate-grown blue agave and fermented with a yeast culture that dates back 75 years. It's aged 8 months in ex-bourbon barrels.
  • 1
    El Zarco is a brand known for its modern, handpainted bottle and affordable price. This tequila is made from "handpicked blue agave" and undergoes a double distillation. Its coloring source is likely not found in the natural world.