Agave spirits come almost exclusively from...
Mexico - most important are Tequila and Mezcal
What are the carbohydrates used to produce alcohol that are stored in the heart of the Agave plant?
When is the harvest time for Agave?
Agave are harvested at peak maturity, just before they are ready to flower, and when they have the most inulin.
What are the common flavors of Agave?
Pepper, vegetable and bell pepper
What is the pina?
The central core of the Agave plant, and the part that is harvested for making distillate.
What are the two methods of cooking agave?
In Tequila, the pina are slowly steamed in brick ovens, while in Mezcal the pina are often roasted in stone lined pits.
Why is the pina crushed after cooking?
The pina are crushed to release their juices, and to leave behind the fibrous material of the pina.
What type of milling machine is currently used in Tequila?
Traditionally, a large stone wheel was used to crush the pina.
Why is Agave heated?
Agave is heated to convert the inulin into sugar.
What plant is used for all tequila production?
Why would fibers from the Pina be added during fermentation?
Fibers can be added to enhance agave flavors.
What type of still is used for top-quality Tequila or Mezcal?
Top quality tequila or mezcal is double distilled in pot stills in order to maximize agave flavors.
Why are some agave spirits collected at low strengths?
This is done in order to capture as much flavor as possible - can be 60% or lower.
What will be characteristics of agave matured for a short period of time in oak?
It will display greater smoothness and flavor complexity.
How does oak affect Agave flavors?
Oak can overwhelm them if left too long.
Where does gold tequila get its color?
All of its color comes from caramel coloring.
What is the addiditive added to gold tequila that gives it its color and other characteristics that mimic the effects of maturation?
What is Mezcal?
The umbrella name for all Agave-based spirits in Mexico, as well as one of the geographical indications for Agave spirit.
What is Tequila?
Also a geographical indicator for Agave spirit, and a region dominated by a lot of larger brands.
What is the significance of having "Mezcal" on the label?
It can only refer to the geographical indication, not the spirit.
What is Agave tequilana Weber var. azul?
Commonly known as Blue Agave, it is the only variety of agave that can be used for Tequila.
What is the most important state for growing Tequila Agave?
This is where the blue agave originated.
How long does it take for a blue agave plant to mature?
Typically between 7-10 years
What are the flavors associated with Blue Agave grown at altitude?
What are some of the ways the better Tequilas are produced?
- Using Agave cooked slowly in brick ovens
- Fermented with agave fibers
- Double distilled in pot stills
- Collected a particularly low strengths
What is the most important state for Mezcal production?
What is Espadin?
Espadin is a variety of Agave most commonly used in Mezcal production in Oaxaca.
Roasting pinas adds...
A smoky flavor
What are three factors for the best Mezcal?
- The roasting process
- Using fibers in the ferment
- Distillation in simple pot stills to low strength
What is required for Artisinal Mezcal?