With Espolòn tequila, it's all about culture and national pride.
History of Espolòn Tequila
Cirilo Oropeza, the master distiller of Espolon tequila, spent years studying the art and science of distillation and tequila making. His passion for tequila making and his attention to detail allowed him to commit himself to achieving the dream of coming up with a high-quality tequila that everyone would enjoy.
In 1995, Cirilo met an entrepreneur, and their partnering enabled him to create a home (Destiladora Casa San Nicolas) for the tequila of his dreams. When naming the tequila, Cirilo went for inspiration from the Mexican culture, and he thought of the rooster spur, which is a symbol of Mexico's national pride.
Like the tequila, the artwork borrows some past aspects that combine with the tequila's modernity to bring about a twist. Every tequila label has a story about the rich history of Mexico, each capturing different moments but paying tribute to José Guadalupe Posada, who was a true hero.
When you plan your vacation, ensure you make a trip to Casa San Nicolas distillery and Tequila Jalisco, Mexico.
Production Process of Espolòn Tequila
Cirilo was looking to come up with a smooth and delicate taste profile with sweet notes. However, using brick ovens or diffusers was not going to deliver the sweet notes, which is why they did not use them in the production process. The brick ovens were smoky, and the diffusers wouldn't be able to caramelize the agave to their content.
Cirilo uses custom-designed steel autoclaves to cook the weber agave with consistent steam pressure and temperature, resulting in even caramelization. While cooking, the pinas soften as the sugars seep out of the hearts of the agave. After that, the sugars move down to the pipes underneath the autoclaves. These pipes separate the bitter honey and sweet honey, and the sweet honey is responsible for the signature flavor of Espolon.
After cooking, the pinas pass through the roller mills that ground them up and extract sugar from the bagasse. For consistency, the sugar content or the Brix is measured by hand. Leftover bagasse then turns to fertilizer after extraction of the sugars, and the local farmers take some of the bagasse for their future crops. For espolon, the pinas only go through the milling system once, after which the jugo (sugary juice) proceeds for fermentation.
The jugo undergoes fermentation with yeast in the steel tanks, which takes around 3 to 4 days. Combining yeast fermentation with natural microflora fermentation is the reason behind the unique process of producing espolon. Cirilo's fermentation process also played a vital role in giving the tequila an award-winning flavor, and he is trying to give his tequila the highest quality.
Distillation of espolon tequila involves the combination of column still and pot distillation, and both the column and pot distillates undergo distillation twice. The pot stills produce earthy tasting profiles and become more traditional, while the column still brings about a light, fruity and clean distillate. During distillation in the pot sills, the blue weber agave juice or mosto undergoes double distillation in the stainless-steel stills in the presence of copper reactors.
Through his experience, Cirilo splits the tails and heads uniquely and only extracts the needed alcohol. He then adjusts the temperature, reflux, pressure, and flow in the column stills to attain the right flavors. His dedication and passion in this process creates a unique tequila in the name of espolon and gives a unique drinking experience.
Cirilo blends the best cuts from the two distillations to create a bold and balanced Blanco tequila, and each of the two distillations gives the flavors unique notes. The distillate from the pot brings mineral, vegetal, spicy, herbaceous, and earthy flavors, while that from the column still brings creamy, fresh agave, caramelized, sweet, and fruity flavors.
For the case of Blanco, the final liquid undergoes dilution, which sets the alcohol strength, after which it proceeds for bottling.
This process involves using two American oak barrels for rich, well-rounded, unique, and complex Espolon flavors. The tequila moves into the American oak barrels at an ABV of 42%, and the addition of less water in this stage ensures that the tequila flavor shows up well.
Reposado tequila spends not less than two months inside the barrels, while the añejo spends not less than a year, after which it takes another two months in a Bourbon barrel to finish. Añejo X takes not less than six years in the barrels to achieve the complexity and depth of the Espolon; a limited-edition tequila hose character is unknown.
The final stage before bottling the tequila is testing. Cirilo handpicked a team and trained them for testing before the approval and labeling of every batch of tequila.
Types of Espolon Tequila
Tequila Blanco is Espolon's purest expression created in Los Altos in the famed hills. Blanco undergoes double distillation in the pot and column stills to attain a balanced and perfectly smooth taste profile.
Color: Clear with a cast of platinum.
Nose: sweet agave, delicate; tropical fruit, lemon zest, and floral aromas; pepper hint.
Taste: Soft mouthfeel, light- to medium-bodied palate with bright agave flavor; pepper notes, vanilla bean, spice, and grilled pineapple. The elegant and clean finish ends with a spice hint.
Tequila Reposado aged in American oak barrels that are lightly charred creates a well-rounded and complex and character.
Color: Golden, rich hue.
Nose: Spicy with caramel fudge hint.
Taste: Bold and round palate, medium to full-bodied with sweet tropical fruit, a rich roasted agave, brown spices, and vanilla. Spicy finish.
Tequila Añejo's finish is unique. It begins in American oak barrels for about ten months, after which it proceeds to bourbon whiskey barrels which are deeply charred. The aging in these barrels takes around two months to give this tequila a taste of its own.
Color: Reddish-gold hue and beautifully bright.
Nose: Complex balance of wood and roasted agave with butterscotch and dried fruits hints.
Taste: Medium-full bodied, velvety mouthfeel with subtle vanilla, caramel, chocolate, and dried fruit notes aimed at discerning palates.
Tequila Añejo X
Añejo X secretly ages six years, and the extra aging gives the tequila a rich and complex flavor with a distinctive character. There exists only a single Añejo X, and each of the black bottles is crafts from Mexico.
Color: Deep golden hue and beautifully rich.
Nose: Slightly floral with smoky subtle and its prominent nose of roasted agave marries with toasted almond hints and baking spices, vanilla, oak, maple, and ripened pineapple.
Taste: Prominent vanilla with white peppercorn and nutmeg notes joined after that by cocoa nibs, rich roasted fruits, agave, and bitter chocolate hints; Rich mouthfeel with lingering dark chocolate, honey, tobacco, and cherry traces.
Why Choose Espolon Tequila
This vibrant and intense tequila is perfect neat or in tequila cocktails, and it utilizes traditional and experimental concoctions to come out as the best. Tequila blanco,reposado, anejo and anejo X are very enticing for the tequila lovers.
If that doesn't sound like fun to you, or if you just want a spirit other than Espolòn, then check out the other brand profiles on our blog like Don Julio and Casamigos. We have something for everyone, even those who prefer to embrace tequila's cousin, mezcal.