In 1967 Roberto Orendain founded a small distillery called La Tequileña near the town of Tequila. Bacardi Corporation purchased the operation in 1981, rebuilt the facility and expanded operations. Bacardi introduced the Xalixco brand in the domestic Mexican market, but by 1987 had lost interest in tequila and decided to focus their attention on rum. Vergel Brandy from Mexico bought the plant, but continued to lose market share. In 1990, Vergel sold the operation to its present owner, Enrique Fonseca. Fonseca, one of the largest agave farmers in the state of Jalisco, reinvigorated the Xalixco brand. He added a 100% blue agave tequila called Pura Sangre, and he produces a third brand, Lapiz, for export to the United States.
The company uses a continuous action copper still for the first distillation, and a traditional copper alambic still for the second distillation. It produces close to 500 thousand liters of tequila annually. With Fonsecas agave fields, there are no worries about agave supply in the near future.
The house style is different from most, featuring a high acetone and smoky creosote character, which may result from the continuous action still. Lots of complex smoke and oak aromas and flavors compete with the agave flavors.
Pura Sangre Blanco: Colorless with a strong, pungent attack. Agave intensity is moderate and suave. Earthy agave aromas entwine with plenty of citrus and pepper, ending with a bit of honeysuckle. Sweet and thin in the mouth. Slight agave flavor with bits of sweet caramel quickly yield to a lip numbing, slightly bitter finish.
Xalixco Reposado: Pale yellow color with a full pungent attack. Moderate, sencillo agave intensity. Modest agave with lots of smoke, pepper, and creosote in the nose. Slightly sweet, but thin in the mouth. Smoky, doughy, cardboard flavors overpower hints of caramel. A smoky, bitter finish lasts quite a while and borders on lip numbing.
Lapiz Añejo: Light and mellow on the attack, this golden tequila exhibits moderate, suave agave complexity. Earthy agave and caramel dominate the aromas, but acetone elements also compete with pepper smells. Low sweetness with medium mouth feel. Caramel, earthy agave, and overripe apple flavors. Hot smoky finish builds to lip numbing levels.