This post is part 3 of 7 in the series Mexican Tequila

We just can’t seem to tear ourselves away from the town of Tequila, the Pueblo Magico that anchors the Ruta del Tequila in Mexico which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today: touring the Jose Cuervo tequila distillery.

The Jose Cuervo Crow. In case you hadn’t figured it out, cuervo means crow in Spanish.

The Jose Cuervo crow. In case you hadn’t figured it out, cuervo means crow in Spanish.

Touring the Jose Cuervo tequila distillery in Mexico

The Jose Cuervo distillery in the town of Tequila, Mexico is so big they simply refer to it as Mundo Cuervo (Cuervo World).

La Cava de la Reserva de la Familia holds the cream of the crop at Cuerco. This is where the Family de la Reserva lable is aged in oak barrels. Additionally, the Cava holds some REALLY old Tequila, part of the families private stash.

La Cava de la Reserva de la Familia.

A highlight of our guided tour of Mundo Cuervo was tasting a super-aged Jose Cuervo tequila called Reserva de la Familia in La Cava de la Reserva de la Familia. This is where the delicious Reserva de la Familia tequila is aged in oak barrels. This stuff tastes more like cognac than tequila (you even drink it out of snifters) and costs as much too. Delicious!

Our top tequila tip

We learned a lot of things during our guided tour of Mundo Cuervo. Most importantly, we learned to NEVER drink the Jose Cuervo yellow label tequila you may remember (unfondly) from college. That’s because it’s not 100% agave but contains a lot of sugar instead – that it’s the sugar that makes you hate yourself in the morning.

A Jimador makes the not so easy job od harvesting the agave look easy.

A jimador makes the not-so-easy job of harvesting the blue agave look easy.

From Jose Cuervo to local tequila artesans

After getting the grand tour of Mundo Cuervo our friend Mike took us to his favorite micro producer, tiny Columpio Distillery, for a look at the artesanal tequila making.

Fields of agave surround the town of Tequila.

Fields of blue agave surround the town of Tequila.

Things are done on a different scale at the family run Columpio Distillery where they cook their agave over a wood fire in the oven, shown below, as opposed to steaming it as the larger distilleries do. This gives Columpio tequila a distinctive smoky smell and flavor.

Things are on a different scale at the small, basic Columpio distillery. They even cook there agave with fire in the oven shown here, as opposed to steam at the larger distilleries. This leads to a completely different smell and flavor to the tequila.

Tiny Columpio Distillery outside the town of Tequila.

The stills at the Columpio distillery are just a tad more rustic than those at Herradura or Cuervo.

The stills at the Columpio Distillery are just a tad more rustic than those at Herradura or Jose Cuervo…

Our host in Tequila, Mike, sampling the goods at the Columpio distillery, straight out of the plastic 5 liter bottle. Hurts so good.

Mike, our host in Tequila, sampling the goods at the Columpio Distillery straight out of a five liter plastic bottle.

Here’s more about travel in Mexico


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