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By Michael Hepworth

Rich Journey was live in Mexico last week to be one of the first people to taste the latest release from Tequila giant Herradura. The tasting of the Coleccion De La Casa with a Scotch Cask finish was held in the distilleries executive tasting room along with six other prominent spirits writers and the companies Master Distiller Teresa Lara and Master Taster Ruben Aceves who also serves as the distillery VIP tour guide.

This Reposado has undergone a double maturation process after resting in an American Oak cask and a single malt Scotch cask and it has a lovely taste and finish to it. Unfortunately, despite several polite requests the distiller would only reveal the general location of the two scotch distilleries but not their name. I do know that at least one of the distilleries is in the Highlands with the other somewhere in Islay. In fact one of the spirit writers in the small group was so curious that he was actually planning a trip to Scotland to try and track down the mystery locations.

Herradura has a massive distillery operation about 15 miles south of the town Tequila in Jalisco  where it employs 600 workers, and has always been an innovator, launching the first Reposado  in 1974, and extra anejo tequila in 1995. At a retail price in the USA of $89.99, the Casa Coleccion  latest version is likely to become a collector’s edition.  Three bottles should be purchased: one to drink, one as a holiday gift and the other to store away as it will appreciate in value.

On my trip to the distillery I got the chance to see the entire tequila production schedule from start to finish. The blue agave plants take seven years to mature, and although there is no law to prevent you from harvesting  earlier, the tequila will turn out bitter if distilled from plants with less than seven years of maturity.  The Jimadors who work in the fields are expected to harvest 120 plants in a 6 ½ work day, and taking into account the hard physical nature of the work, that is exceptional.

This particular tequila has a warm gold color and is a combination of toasted malt, cooked agave and smoky wood. When it comes to the taste the obvious first one is that of vanilla combined with butter, honey, caramel and soft spices. It has a long drawn out finish and ends up with a touch of sweetness on the palate.

For the entire range of Herradura products go to www.herradura.com



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