Tres Magueyes

Don Julio

(NOM 1118)

Tres Magueyes, located in the beautiful town of Atotonilco, produces fine Blanco and Reposado mixto tequilas that have long been respected in Mexico. The 100% blue agave brand, Don Julio, is a favorite, especially among North American tourists in Cancun. Scheduled for release in fall of 1997, Tres Magueyes will present Don Julio Real, which comes in a dramatic decanter bottle overlaid with a silver agave. The decanter sits in a polished steel replica of an alambic still and sells for 2,000 pesos, almost $270 US. A distribution deal with Rémy Martin is planned that should allow both labels to be distributed in the United States.

Marcos Cedano is the pleasant plant manager. He relies on Enrique Abarca to run the stills. Enrique has 35 years of experience at Tres Magueyes, and two of his brothers work at the plant with him. In fact, the nice thing about Tres Magueyes is that the whole place has a family feel about it. The plant operates at full capacity, but in such an organized and efficient manner that visitors have a sense of calm. The entire plant, while a long way from new, sparkles with cleanliness and neat organization.

The compact distillery is a mix of traditional and modern. Eight hornos cook agave for 36 hours. The piñas are milled, the juice is diluted, and fermentation finishes in 24 hours. For 100% blue agave tequila production, the first distillation takes approximately one hour, leaving the ordinario tequila at 26% alcohol. The second, three- hour distillation yields 60% alcohol. The mixto tequila begins with sweeter aguamiel, so the first distillation yields 35% alcohol. All distillations occur in stainless steel stills.

The Tres Magueyes style exhibits smooth, rich tequilas based on the undeniable agave aromas and flavors, interwoven with additional notes that add complexity. Well made, the tequilas are never aggressive.

Tasting Notes

Tres Magueyes Blanco: Strong and mellow on the attack, this colorless tequila has macho intensity and suave complexity. Lovely earthy, ginseng aromas with smoke and pepper. Little sweetness with medium body. Delicate flavors with hints of agave, earth, and smoke. The finish is hot, with long-lasting reminders of chamomile and earthy agave.

Tres Magueyes Reposado: Yellow with a full, mellow attack. Macho intensity and suave complexity. Cream soda aromas mix with earthy agave and overripe apple. Slightly sweet and full in the mouth. Vanilla, caramel, agave, and apple flavors. Tingly finish, with a hint of bitterness and a long duration of flavors.

Don Julio Reposado: Pale yellow in color with a strong, mellow attack. Macho and muy suave complexity. Delicate wet cement agave, caramel, and floral aromas, with hints of pepper and lemon. Low sweetness and medium body. Agave, apple, and caramel flavors, plus traces of pepper and dried flowers. The finish is hot and long-lasting. The aftertaste changes from a complex combination of agave, smoke, and caramel to almost pure cream soda.