Jalisco is home to some of the best tequila distilleries around the world. There, agave is grown across the landscape and agaves of all types can be found there. Distilleries come to Jalisco for the excellent agave, and one of them is the highly respected Tequila Ocho.

The distillery’s approach to creating tequila is never to rush its production. Production methods of the past are honored by Tequila Ocho. The agave is slow cooked in order to bring out the agave’s greatest flavor. Taking inspiration from fine winemakers, Tequila Ocho brings the best to its tequila, and this is true in its marvelous 2016 Puerta del Aire.

Its farm to bottle approach has helped make this tequila plata a fine tequila to enjoy. The single-estate vintage tequila features agave that was seven years old. The tequila comes from 100 percent blue agave. Quality is obvious when enjoying Tequila Ocho’s plata, particularly when you think about the time they put into it.

The plata has a fairly straight forward nose, as aromas like menthol and banana come across most prominently. Other hints you’ll find are subtle notes of cinnamon and even asparagus. The aromas set up the palate quite nicely, though tastes when sampling vary from those found in the nose.

Some of the agave fields found in Jalisco (Courtesy of Tequila Ocho).

The palate of Tequila Ocho’s plata comes across in an exceptionally smooth fashion. The tequila possesses great balance and finishes extremely well. Tasting notes you’ll find are characters such as molasses and brown sugar. I detected those notes immediately when enjoying a neat pour of it. Secondary characters will be hints like coffee and even basil.

This is a perfect tequila for tequila lovers everywhere. For those who can appreciate a good plata, they need only look to Tequila Ocho for it. The plata has a high level of accessibility, no matter the sort of tequila drinker you are. This is a marvelous plata and is one I highly recommend.

Bats have become an endangered species in Mexico and companies are taking steps to help foster their growth and survival. Tequila Ocho’s plata is the first bat friendly vintage. Carols Camarena, who is the master distiller at Tequila Ocho, spoke about the work they’re doing to protect Mexico’s bats.

“We’re not just in the business of making tequila. We’ve been agave growers in Jalisco for five generations. Our aim is to make single estate tequilas that are as complex and unique as the fields they grow in, and that means sourcing from a diverse range of agave plants.

The project Tequila Ocho is participating in to help protect bats (Courtesy of Tequila Ocho).

“Healthy bats depend on allowing some of our plants to reach full maturity and not harvesting before flowering. We in turn benefit from biodiversity and more complex genetic material that will sustain our agave for generations to come,” Camarena said.

If you are looking for an original recipe to enjoy the plata with, Tequila Ocho has you covered. The cocktail we’ll discuss is the Petty Cash Margarita and it is a simple, yet unique margarita worth making. Creating one of these margaritas doesn’t involve a whole lot of time and is fairly straight forward.

In order to create a Petty Cash Margarita, you’ll need to have on hand Tequila Ocho 2016 Puerta del Aire Plata, fresh lime juice, lemon juice, citrus-spiked agave curaçao, a shaker, ice, salt and a lime wedge. First, fill your shaker halfway with ice and then add in the ingredients.

Add in one and a half ounces of Tequila Ocho 2016 Puerta del Aire Plata, one half ounce of fresh lime juice, one half ounce of fresh lime juice and one ounce of citrus-spiked agave curaçao. From there, cover and shake the ingredients until you are happy with the blend.

Another shot of the agave fields of Jalisco (Courtesy of Tequila Ocho).

Rim your margarita glass with salt and then add ice into it. Take your strainer and pour the blend into your margarita glass. Finally, garnish the drink with a lime wedge and you’re good to go! Obviously, salt on the rim and the lime wedge garnish are personal preferences.

The Petty Cash Margarita is a very refreshing way to enjoy Tequila Ocho 2016 Puerta del Aire Plata. Camarena went onto speak further about their efforts in protecting bats throughout Mexico.

“Bats are an un-loved animal but it is amazing how opinions change when we realize their natural connection to our most beloved export, tequila. We’re in a unique position as farmers and tequila-makers to monitor these ecofriendly practices first-hand,” Camarena said.

Tequila Ocho 2016 Puerta del Aire Plata is now available for $49.99. It is a tequila I recommend to any fan of the spirit, particularly those who appreciate craft and quality. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on the spirits industry.

About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that. Contact me at weplaythingssteve@gmail.com

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