Kelly's 2012 Mexico Tequila Tour

March 06 - Siete Leguas distillery

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Morning came early- 4:00. Not because of the reason from yesterday, but just because. Maybe it was the high temperature in the room, maybe it was the noise of the bells in the town square, maybe it was the hardness of the bed (which, incidentally, rivaled that of a diamond). Maybe it was the horrible bad dreams I was having. After about an hour, I was able to return to sleep, and just re-awoke a few minutes prior to my phone's alarm sounding.

Realizing the network was JUST good enough to stream my morning NPR fix, I got ready for the day ahead. Meeting Kevin and Eddie downstairs, we wandered the town center to get cash for Eddie and breakfast for all three of us. After some coffee for them, and a mocha for me, we found a little bakery and had something to munch.

After working our way back to the hotel, we gathered what we'd need for the day, and headed to the bus. Not after, however, I made my morning donation to Montezuma. Fortunately that'd be the only time of the day, though I did wonder a few times whether or not it would be.

We had a late-comer to our group. Khrys Maxwell, one who's well known in the tequila circles. He's got an impressive amount of knowledge, and is a fun guy it seems. While yesterday seemed quiet and calm in the bus, today was another matter. He broke out some special anniversary blanco and reposado, and made sure we all had some to jump-start our mornings. Uncharacteristically, I didn't make my usual notes as to my view of them, nor of their ranking in my ever-growing list of tequilas I've tried. But things seemed to be ramping up in terms of wildness.

We passed Arandas, and headed into Atotonilco, the home of the Siete Leguas distilleries. It was great seeing how they made Tequila the old-fashioned way, with stone ovens, and mule-drawn tahonas (big rolling mill stones) which crushed the roasted agave. They take care to make tequila the old way, which takes more effort, and also costs more to produce. But heritage and tradition is important, and it's good that at least one producer keeps the older ways from being replaced by technology. It's a shame I don't like their products better. I find they're way too sweet for my tastes.

But their main plant is beautiful, and I got many artistic shots of the building as well as of the tools they use to make their tequila.

Their hospitality was beyond compare- they gave us a spectacular tour, and a great tasting with their owner and master distiller (with Ray in our group translating for the benefit of we monolingual gringos), and then treated us to an amazing three course lunch, which was big enough to serve as both lunch and dinner. Truly spectacular hosts. At the end, they even gave us each a bottle of their blanco tequila, and the CEO was happy enough to sign the bottles for us.
Very nice!

On the way back, the reindeer games got wilder- Things like the "10-second pour" was required for at least the "newbies" of the group, myself included. I hadn't wanted to do that, as I wanted to really taste the two new tequilas and make my usual notes and rankings. But far be it from me to wimp out and eschew tradition of the group, so I too leaned my seat back, and let Rachel pour a reposado into my mouth for 10 whole seconds. I'm glad there was a restrictor in the bottle's neck- Without one, it might've been considered water-boarding.

But we all made it through it, and I'll look forward to sampling the other tequilas on the way to our next destination tomorrow. I'll keep it an early night, and be bright-eyed and hopefully bushy-tailed for tomorrow's relocaton from Tipatitlan to Tequila. We're done with the highland tequilas for this trip, now we're on to the lowlands.



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Approaching
the town
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Shoveling
shredded agave
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Team leaving
the bus
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Horse drawn
tahona stone
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Roasted agave
to be shredded
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Roasting agave
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After roasting
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Tasty agave
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Master distiller
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Photo op
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Roasted agave
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Decorative
brickwork
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Fermentation
tanks
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Copper distillation
tank
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Fermentation
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Distillation
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The old days
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Ferment with
the whole plant
not just juice
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Bubble bubble...
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Ready for
tasting
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Decorative
brickwork
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Beam ceiling
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Old still
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Two in the hand
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Ornamentation
everywhere
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Aging barrels
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Visitors'
signatures
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The lab
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Ready for
roasting
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Fermentation
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Covered tops
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Nice courtyard
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Cleaning shredder
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Comment
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Tasting
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Precious nectar
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Formal tasting
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Pretty ceiling
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My tasting
notes
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Discarding
heads & tails
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(It had little
taste)
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Historic stones
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Our marks
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Nice place
to relax
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Wonderful
hospitality
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Decorative
brickwork

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