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GET TO KNOW TEQUILEROS: FELIPE AND CARLOS CAMARENA

GET TO KNOW TEQUILEROS: FELIPE AND CARLOS CAMARENA

The Camarena family, who started making tequila in 1937 and are now in their third generation as tequila producers are one of the few that still make tequila in the slow, artisanal way. With the Camarenas nothing is rushed or hurried during the whole process, from the growth of the agave to the final distillation.
All tequila made by the Camarena family is produced exclusively from agave from their own fields, a fact that few other producers can claim. Because the production is small-batch and carefully done, the heart and passion of the Camarenas’ Mexican soul is in each drop of their tequila. The family have only ever made 100% de agave tequila products!
Carlos Camarena, a third generation tequilero, is The Master Distiller of Tequila Ocho, and Tequila Tapatio made at La Alteña distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. He is among the most respected tequila producers because of the fine products that he makes and the care and attention paid not only to the processes involved in the distillery but also on the agricultural side.
Felipe Camarena has an undeniable passion for making great tequila. His family heritage combined with his engineering background has led to a distillery like none other at El Pandillo. Felipe is uncompromising in crafting pure luxury tequila by both honoring traditions like copper stills and stone ovens and using only their own mature agave plants, but also innovating by distilling with harvested rainwater, creating stone ovens that evenly cook the tequila, taking out the internal “male parts” of the agave to remove bitterness, recycling the cooked agave and turning it into fertilizer. 
“I’m not in the business of making fancy bottles. I’m in the business of making great tequila.” – Felipe Camarena
Tequila Ocho ‘El Pedregal’ Plata 750ml
Tequila Ocho ‘El Pedregal’ Plata 750ml $40.00
The first tequila ever to list the site and vintage from which the agaves were harvested.  Tequila Ocho carries over the concept of 'terroir' from the wine world; exemplified in a production process that is as traditional as possible while also maximizing expressiveness of the agave's natural character.
Aromas of pineapple, green banana, orange blossom, sea pool minerality, chamomile blossoms, marzipan, freshly cut grass, and river stone minerality. Flavors of sweet yellow fruit, spearmint, cut grass, earthy, chamomile, and flan caramel.
Tequila Ocho ‘El Tigre’ Reposado Tequila 750ml
Tequila Ocho ‘El Tigre’ Reposado Tequila 750ml $50.00
Straw color. Aromas of almond bark, steamed greens, melon vinaigrette, sweet green beans, and papaya yogurt with a crisp, dryish light body and a seamless, relaxed caramel creamer and honey butter finish. An elegant Reposado Tequila that will work well in citrusy cocktails.
Tequila Ocho ‘Cerro Grande’ Añejo Tequila 750ml
Tequila Ocho ‘Cerro Grande’ Añejo Tequila 750ml $68.00
Straw color. Aromas of sugar snap peas, roasted carrots, raisin bread, hay, and cured meat with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body. Tingling, medium-long candied ginger, celery, black tea, sweet pumpkin pie, and honey roasted pine nuts finish. An authentic, complex Añejo that lets the agave shine.
Destilería El Pandillo G4 Premium Tequila Blanco 750ml
Destilería El Pandillo G4 Premium Tequila Blanco 750ml $45.00
The agaves are cooked in one of two stone ovens on site for 22 hours and crushed in a handmade metal tahona nicknamed "Felipestein" (Frankestein). It is distilled in copper stills for both distillations.
The water used to create the tequila is a 50/50 mix of collected rainwater and spring water. 
There is nice minerality and forward aromas from rainwater distillation. The texture is silky with slight heat. The palate is spicy, peppery, smooth and delicious with nice buttery notes and smoky elements. G4 Blanco is complex; it's perfect for sipping or mixing in cocktails.
Destilería El Pandillo G4 Premium Tequila Reposado 750ml
Destilería El Pandillo G4 Premium Tequila Reposado 750ml $50.00
G4 Reposado builds on the character of the G4 Blanco but adds to the aroma hints of peach and licorice, with a small hint of grapefruit and pepper in the tasting.
Destilería El Pandillo G4 Premium Tequila Añejo 750ml
Destilería El Pandillo G4 Premium Tequila Añejo 750ml $80.00
Vanilla and agave notes are present in both the aroma and taste. It shows slight pepper, soft floral tones as well as smoky highlights.
Tapatio Tequila Blanco 80° 1L
Tapatio Tequila Blanco 80° 1L $46.00
This classic Blanco was produced from 100% blue agave from the highlands. Using tahona in the production process increases contact of fiber with the juice which gives the tequila a stronger agave character. After distillation, the spirit rests for a few weeks in steel tanks before bottling.
Tapatio Reposado 1L
Tapatio Reposado 1L $52.00
The spirit from La Altena is the only 100% blue agave tequila double distilled at 80 proof and bottled without any additional water. The juice and agave fibers are then mixed in a barrel by foot before fermentation and distillation.
Tapatio Blanco 110 Proof 1L
Tapatio Blanco 110 Proof 1L $68.00
The maximum alcohol content allowed by the standard for Tequila.  Despite its alcoholic content, its aromas are well defined: Raw Agave (herbaceous), white pepper, citrus and Mint.  Bright Crystal with intense silvery tones: the essential oil literally hangs from the glass.  Featuring intense notes of cooked Agave, slightly smoky, pepper, anise, cinnamon, apple and a very long and well accomplished finish.
This is a tequila specially designed to be used in cocktails, as its intense aromas and flavors remain instead of getting covered by the other ingredients. However, it is very gentle on the palate and can be sip and savored neat or on the rocks.
Tapatio Excelencia Gran Riserva Extra Añejo 750ml
Tapatio Excelencia Gran Riserva Extra Añejo 750ml $140.00
Our favorite tequila: existing in a class of its own. This is a tequila to taste neat, It would be unforgivable to mix on a cocktail and even dilute it with water or ice on the rocks.
4 years of aging in first use deep charred American white oak barrels give a mahogany color, dark amber with reddish tones. Great body and clear presence of essential oils, which hang from the glass. With a large concentration of vanilla, maple, caramel and apple aromas, which perfectly complement the notes of intense cooked agave, roasted peppers, cinnamon and spice. If allowed to breath, it releases aromas of baked bread, sweet pea and delicate floral notes.  
Excelencia offers a fabulous intensity of flavor with all the aromatic elements perfectly delineated: intense cooked Agave, cake, spices, brown sugar, chocolate, vanilla and caramel, nuts and light spices, all of which are assembled into a sumptuous whole, with the creamy taste of oak. A warm, rich, quite intricate and incredibly long finish. Wave after wave of flavors perfectly intermingled and quite complex.
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Alex Samson

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