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Tequila town - what not to miss?


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We are going to go to Tequila for the first time.  Yep, 13 years here and never been there.  Not interested in the train excursion.  Is there a central point  you would suggest?  Is there a  particular manufactory tour to take?  A special place to eat or just imbibe a bit?  Thanks

 

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A whole minute has passed, and you have not yet had a response. It is not because of the short time involved, it is just that those who have visited Tequila cannot remember.

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I hate Tequila, the town, and did not find it at all welcoming as a free spirit traveler. I can see why they train people in, but not really all the way with the last leg on a bus.

I went to Amatitlan and took the Heradura tour. The only tequila production I saw was a bottler through a window. The rest of the tour was showing how it was made in the old area that does not produce. The best part was being given a piece of the cooked piña to suck out the juice. The tour was 350p each. We were given a tasting and shown the factory store.

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We did the Herradura Tequila tour, which is before you get to Tequila, after a number of people said it was the best.  We were not disappointed.  We did see both the modern and old parts and enjoyed both equally.

Once you get there and get parked as near to centro as possible, just walk around and you'll quickly figure out what to do and where to eat.

Of course Cuervo are the big dogs in town and you may want to have a drink there.

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I'd recommend touring the much smaller Casa Noble distillery if you can get in. Nothing wrong with Herradura and they're certainly by far the best of the big firms but CN is a lot more intimate and is right in town vs. Amatitán. 

The tour I'd really like to go on is the tiny artisanal producer Los Abuelos, but you need an "in" to get an appointment and I don't have it. There are plenty of good restaurants and the town itself is nice but do bear in mind that most of the top-rated Tequilas are produced in Los Altos and with a bit of planning you could surely get in at El Tesoro, Centinela or Siete Leguas. 

For what it's worth here's an updated version of the piece on Tequila I wrote a few years back. Won't help with the touring part, but could be helpful with the tasting. 

http://eatinglocalatlakeside.blogspot.mx/2012/06/tequila-beyond-frozen-margaritas-shots.html

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You'll enjoy Tequila more if you accept it for what it is, a real tourist town with all the trappings.  Fun to go to once, maybe twice.  If we have time we do take our visitors there and they all love it.

Once the rest of the new GDL bypass opens, it will be a piece of cake to go there.  Right now it is a bit of a slog.

Great post Kevin!  I'll try and remember that Casa Noble recommendation.

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4 minutes ago, tomgates said:

Be sure to visit the Fortaleza tequila store on the main plaza/square. Prob the best tequila in town. 

Probably the best Tequila - period - across the board (i.e. blanco, reposado and añejo). It's really the only premium-priced Tequila where you're paying for what's inside the bottle rather than gaudy packaging. Do compare it with Chamucos blanco though which is slightly less dear and fabulous.  

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We have taken many visitors to the Cuervo factory in Tequila. The have tours in English I think wvery 2 hours. Chosse the most expensive and you will have soecial tastings and a visit to the "cave" below and sample the Reserva de la Famila which is $800 or more a bottle. Twice we were the onlyones to the cave and what we consumed was equal to the ticket cost.  After they have an excellant restaurant right across the street. Enjoy an hour or so in the plaxa anh visit the 2 churches.

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There is no end to this topic concerning what the "BEST" Tequila is!! Some time taste Don Julio 70..Very Soothe..Filtered Anejo so it is clear..Not for mixing, d=great for sipping.

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19 minutes ago, Mostlylost said:

We have taken many visitors to the Cuervo factory in Tequila. The have tours in English I think wvery 2 hours. Chosse the most expensive and you will have soecial tastings and a visit to the "cave" below and sample the Reserva de la Famila which is $800 or more a bottle. Twice we were the onlyones to the cave and what we consumed was equal to the ticket cost.  After they have an excellant restaurant right across the street. Enjoy an hour or so in the plaxa anh visit the 2 churches.

And at that "excellent restaurant" across the street we have had a couple of pleasant lunches and one of the worst margaritas I've ever tasted.  They use that nasty tasting margarita mix rather than squeezing fresh limes.  I agree that Lo Cofradia/Casa Noble is a great tour and a good introduction to the whole process of making tequila.

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Kevin,

If you PM me or call me (333-499-6230) I will try to get hold of Memo Sauza to arrange a visit to the distillery.

Tom

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WEll we have decided to do the "commoner" tour at Cuervo because after all the 30 year olds we are taking just want to be able to say as bar chatter that while they were visiting family near Guadalajara they went to Tequila and took a tour.    AS one said, "It's just not cool if you have to explain in a nano-second that tequila is like craft beers and the one place you went is better than all the others."  The other said"  nobody at the neighborhood bar wants to talk about anything that cost $12 a shot."  So basic is what they get....I however am working on infusing tequila..latest is melon and jalapeno and it is nice straight but better with a splash of a light fruited penefiel soda - sweet, smooth and a bite good for hot days.

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Took the Charter Club tour a few years back. Got to hack our own roots in the field, do the tour, get a triple tasting, make some friends on the bus (definitely more friendly on the return leg), and stop at a great restaurant overlooking the Barranca de Oblatos. What a view. Certainly worth it for the ease.

(Just checking their website now, it looks like the prices per person have almost doubled to $1950p. Guess I won't be doing that again.)

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