Tequila is carefully regulated by the Mexican government. It must be distilled from the blue agave plant and no more than 10% of the tequila may be fillers.
Furthermore, tequila may only be produced in the Mexican state of Jalisco and in parts of the states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Blue agave spirits made in other areas or countries must not be called tequila.
Organic Blue Agave Farming
Republic Tequila is estate grown, meaning that they own all the plants that produce tequila. Many tequila makers purchase agave on the open market. This makes it difficult to control for quality during the growth phase. Because Republic Tequila grows all their own agave and use no fillers, they control the quality of the plants that goes into their tequila.
The agave farm is located in Jalisco on a former sugar plantation. In keeping with an organic certification, no pesticides or herbicides are ever applied. This is especially important with the agave plant, since the blue agave takes eight to twelve years to mature. Non-organically produced blue agave absorbs years of pesticide and herbicide applications.
The state of Jalisco has several different ecosystems and the location of Republic’s agave farm is in a well-watered part of Jalisco. No irrigation is needed; the plants are entirely rain-fed.
Production of Republic Tequila
Tequila is still produced the old-fashioned, labor-intensive way. Factory farming hasn’t reached this industry.
The hearts of the blue agave are harvested and steamed in large ovens for 24-36 hours to release the natural sugars of the agave. The agave is then milled to extract the sweet juices.
The juices are fermented for three to five days. Only wild yeast is used; no foreign yeasts or accelerants are used.
After fermentation comes distillation. Republic Tequila is only distilled twice because they feel that more than that simply removes the tequila flavor. The distillation process is gravity-fed.
The distilled liquid is then moved into open-air holding tanks and left for three to five days to smooth the edges of the tequila. The plata tequila is bottled after resting. The rest is put into Jack Daniels oak barrels and left for eight months for reposado tequila and twenty months for anejo.
How Does it Taste?
Organic and sustainable is all well and good, but how does it taste? Wonderful. It has an aroma of butterscotch and a sweet flavor on the tongue. It’s also smooth, with no bite. No matter what you learned on that spring break trip to Mexico, tequila is not Spanish for “sandpaper”. Reasonably priced tequilas can be found that leave you feeling good while you’re drinking it.
It is certified organic in both Mexico and the Unites States and is available in stores for $39; reposado for $44; anejo for $49.
Sip it straight, mix it in a margarita, or add it to some delicious foods. Republic Tequila is an excellent addition to a liquor cabinet with organic, sustainable spirits.