Herradura Tequila - The Ultimate Guide
by Greg Rutkowski
The State of Jalisco in Mexico is known for the best agaves that end up gifting the world with best tequila.
In this article, we take a closer look at Herradura Tequila, one of the best tequilas you'll ever taste. If you've not made your tequila cocktail to sip as you read this article, then you're doing yourself a big injustice.
So let's dig right in!
Where it All Began
Herradura Tequila is a high-ranking spirit produced by Tequila Herradura, (officially Grupo Industrial Herradura) located in Amatitan Jalisco, at the last tequila producing Hacienda in Mexico. The distiller was formerly founded in 1870 by Felix Lopez, a family business that was controlled for slightly above two and a quarter centuries. Albeit it is made using the same facilities under the Mexican subsidiary, since 2007, the company has remained in the hands of a US beverage maker; Brown Forman, with presence in slightly over 130 countries.
Tequila merchandises include:
- Herradura Reposado (40% alcohol)
- Herradura Blanco (46% alcohol)
- Herradura Blanco Suave (40% alcohol)
- Herradura Antiguo (38% alcohol)
- Herradura Anejo (40% Alcohol)
- Seleccion Suprema (40%).
Let’s look at what is used to make this brand that embodies authenticity, innovation and quality.
Herradura Tequila is distilled from 100% succulent blue weber agave. Over 25 million agave plants (on 25, 000 acres) is kept in the field at several stages of maturity to keep a consistent and reliable source of agave for the distillery.
The company uses an assortment of agave from Nayarit, Amatitlan, and the Highlands (lost altos). They are generally harvested by Jimadors after 7 to 10 years, once the plants have attained a minimum of 34kg, with a cumulative sugar content of 20%.
The Production Process of Tequila Herradura
Coa, (a tool with an extremely sharp, round blade on a long handle) is used to hand-pick the agave plant when it is fully mature. Highly skilled Jimadors do this.
After harvesting, the pinas are transported from the field to the distillery on a cart and cut into halves. Each pina can weigh between 80 and 250 pounds.
The cut pinas are carefully stacked by hand and slowly steamed in a traditional mason oven for up to 26 hours at 2030F (950C). Each oven can accommodate up to 40 tons (36,287kg) of agave pinas.
After the steaming is complete, a deep orange-brown agave that resembles a soft-cooked sweet potato is obtained. Once cooked, the The agave is left in the oven for a further 9 hours to cool before milling.
Once the pinas are cooked, they are run through a mill twice. The agave is crushed, and the juice is separated from the plant fibers, (bagazo).
Steaming the pinas makes juice extraction from the core easy. This produces a sweet liquid; Agave Nectar (mosto). This sugary liquid is a vital ingredient in the fermentation process.
100% naturally occurring wild air-bound yeast is used for fermentation. The yeast is obtained from over 16 different species of fruit and citrus trees. They actually give the Herradura its unique flavor profile.
Fermentation lasts up to 96 hours. Again, this is done to allow the flavor to develop much deeply and fully to achieve a fermented agave juice at 5% ABV.
Herradura tequila is distilled to a lower proof to create a depth of multipart flavors. Once it is fermented, the juice is distilled twice in stainless pot stills (Alembic Stills) at low temperatures for up to 9 hours.
The first distillation births 25% ABV distillate which is about 92-110 proof, or 46-55% ABV. This occurs after the second distillation is complete. The heads and tails are then cut after each distillation cycle. This is done specially to preserve only the best of the alcohol.
Barreling And Bottling
Herradura Tequila is barrel-aged from 45 to 49 months in 55 gallons charred American White Oak barrels to create a robust flavor profile. Finally, the spirit is carefully hand-applied to each bottle and meticulously inspected before distribution.
Types Of Herradura Tequila
Tequila Herradura Anejo was introduced to the world in 1962. It matures in the barrel for 25 months, above the one-year age requirement. Arguably, this patience is rewarded with beautiful amber color and a complex, spicy taste.
It is rich in a deliberately smooth taste that melts across the tongue, with hints of sweet, dried citrus fruit and toasted oak. Since 2006, it has won 53 awards, including 18 golds.
In 1974, Herradura Reposado was introduced into the world, posing an entirely new category of liquor. It has won awards, 49 awards including 21 gold, since 2006.
Literally, Herradura Reposado means “rested”. This brand is aged for eleven months, nine months longer than the industry standard.
It has a deep copper color with a rounded taste and signature aroma of spices. Its smooth and sweet experience is a result of vanilla, butter, and agave taste.
Herradura Silver matures in American white oak barrels for 45 days. It manifests a light straw color and woody aroma, with vanilla and citrus characters complementing its sweet agave flavor.
Its clean, smooth profile has maintained its reputation as one of the finest tequilas in the world and a staple brand produced by the US-based distiller.
Herradura Seleccion Suprema
It was the very first Extra Anejo Expression in the world. It is produced from 100% agave following time-honoured techniques that elevate the craft of premium tequila. Time is a great factor in maturing the agave, especially in achieving the perfect balance of cooked agave, rich vanilla, oak, and dried citrus fruit.
The spirit matures in American white oak barrels for an industry-leading 49 months. It has won 41 awards, inclusive of 25 gold medals dating back to 2006.
A unique drink aged in new, heavily charred, and grooved American White Oak barrels. It is made from 100% agave, carefully and naturally fermented, distilled, and matured for 14 months. The result is a unique legend with an incredibly rich, deep color and a luxurious and velvety smooth taste.
Other tequila herradura bottles include:
- Herradura Directo De Alambique – made at 110 proof, foregoes the barrel aging process to preserve a fresh flavor directly from the still.
- Herradura Tequila Ultra Anejo – it undergoes a charcoal filtering process creating a superior finish and unparalleled smoothness.
- Herradura Ultra – has a perfect blend of premium Anejo and Extra Anejo barrels, offering a superior taste.
- Antiguo – a premium, 100% agave crafted by Casa Herradura
Why Choose Herradura Tequila?
- It presents a wide variety of bottles to choose from
- Made from naturally grown agave, slowly and naturally fermented, leading to the sweet, smooth taste
- The majority of the products are very affordable.
- It is widely marketed and distributed, thus accessible.
- You can mix tequila varieties to bring an even smoother taste.
- The brand’s aged tequilas are pretty impressive and have a reputation that elevates them to greater heights in the market.
- The brand’s maturation process exceeds all government regulations and industry standards, instilling confidence in its clients.
Brown Forman enjoys a solid positive reputation which attracts customers. With the quality of products by their products guaranteed, the company does well in the liquor industry. A good name, quality products, reasonably priced bring more sales to a firm, thus more profits, a key factor for sustainability.
If you love all things tequila, we recommend that you check out other brands we've featured like Don Julio tequila, Teremana tequila and Clase Azul tequila among others.
You can also buy other agave products like ayate washcloths to extend your love for tequila to the bathroom.
Better still, why not get yourself a glass for your next tequila shot? And if you are a mezcal fan, then click here for the best mugs in the industry. A creatively designed quality mug is all it takes to complete a perfect mezcal cocktail.