Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tequila Highlight: The Don Julio Line up

Hi guys Eli here.  As promised, here begins the rollout of our new agave spirits collection here at Healthy Spirits and I’m going to start with a brand most of you have seen out there, Don Julio.

Don Julio Gonzalez founded his first distillery in La Primavera, Jalisco in 1942.  He believed high quality tequila came from high quality agaves and he was spot on.  Though no longer ‘just a family passion,’ Don Julio as a brand has maintained it’s rigid standards for agaves.  They have grown so much that they no longer grow solely on their own land but make contracts with agave farmers whose agaves meet the qualities of their own.   This is done because once agave is harvested, the Earth needs a rest (minimum two years) before agave can be re-introduced to the same lot.  So instead of sitting on empty land for two years they simply relinquish their hold on it and move on to the next one.  This helps them keep the quality up.

Don Julio is distributed by Diageo and over the years I have become great friends with people who actually go out there and put a face behind the brand and let me tell you, they are some of the most educated and passionate agave enthusiasts I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

Our line up at the shop includes the Blanco, Reposado, Añejo the 1942 and their 70th Anniversary clear añejo.  All are winners and are definitely worth looking into.  To be quite honest I prefer their Repo and Añejo to those I’ve come across at twice the cost and their Blanco is smooth with just the right amount of sweet. To commemorate their founder, the '1942' is made using a blend of añejos that had been aging in multiple used casks.  The reason they did this was to avoid any flavors that would come off overly oaky and it is indeed an elegant, rich and amazingly well rounded.  The aromas on all of these are like lady-finger tendrils, hypnotizing and seductive.  The 70th Anniversary spirit is a clear añejo and I have to give them a round of applause for the sheer novelty of this expression.  It is an 18 month añejo which has gone through a proprietary filtration process that removes the coloring and some aspects of the oak flavoring, leaving the viscosity and mouth feel of the añejo but with the 'brightness' of an unaged blanco.  It is very good and one I continue to re-visit.

I’m an agave geek and can find something I appreciate in almost all well made 100% agave tequilas but, I would not be lying when I say that I LOVE the entire Don Julio line-up.  It is my favorite ‘mainstream’ brand of tequilas and the best part is you can try it almost anywhere.  They all come in nice boxes so if you’re looking for a gift these are very well presented.

Joe Hargrave (owner of Tacolicious), Gina Castillo (North American Ambassador of Don Julio), Cristina Rodriguez (my sister and partner in crime), Arthur Eli Rodriguez (me).

Don Julio Blanco – $56.99
Don Julio Repo – $62.99
Don Julio Añejo- $68.99
Don Julio 70th – $72.99
Don Julio 1942 – $149.99

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