El Tequileño, one of the world’s most sought after tequila brands, is now available to retailers and the hospitality sector thanks to a market-first partnership with Salford-based Ten Locks.
Two expressions – Blanco and Reposado – will be available to retailers and the on-trade in early 2021 and will be a welcome addition to the spirits aisle. The remaining SKUs in the range, Platinum, Reposado Gran Reserva, Añejo Gran Reserva and the world’s first and only Reposado Rare, are expected to land later in the year.
Founded in 1959 by tequila pioneer Don Jorge Salles Cuervo, El Tequileño was named to honour the people of the town of Tequila, Mexico. El Tequileño has since gained a reputation for creating exquisite tequilas through its dedication to craft and quality while using sustainable practices. This includes harvesting only the finest blue agave from the premium growing region-Los Altos de Jalisco, locally sourcing the mineral-rich volcanic spring water from El Volcan de Tequila and distilling in copper pot stills. Combined, these create El Tequileño’s unique character and distinctive taste.
Third generation master distiller, Antonio Salles, still employs the same processes devised by his grandfather to produce these exceptional, authentic tequilas. The range is certified additive-free, and all six expressions are made using sustainable production techniques that will keep the 60-year old distillery active for generations to come; 98 per cent of the residuals from the production process are recycled and turned into natural fertiliser for new agave plants.
El Tequileño is known globally as the tequila of choice at the famous La Capilla Cantina in Tequila. Founded by the late Don Javier Delgado Corona, La Capilla has been listed in the world’s top 50 bars four years in a row. Don Javier chose El Tequileño Blanco as the original tequila in his signature Batanga cocktail and now British cocktail fans will be able to make the original Batanga, and a host of other tequila-based cocktails, with the six expressions of El Tequileño.
Becky Davies, head of commercial at Ten Locks, says: “The arrival of El Tequileño is much-anticipated within the drinks trade; our talks reveal this to be one of the spirit brands really that’s in demand – especially the Reposado Rare. We’re proud to be the first to bring it to the UK and see real promise for the brand as the trade is able to tap into increasing consumer appetite for tequila and unlock the potential of a sector that’s really showing momentum.
“We promised to back brands that present innovation in the drinks industry while striving for positive change. In El Tequileño we have the perfect partner; it has its own 60-year old distillery, employs traditional, sustainable production techniques, and offers a fantastic spectrum of flavours to really showcase how good tequila can be. Sadly, Don Javier, creator of the Batanga cocktail, passed this year at the age of 96, but his legacy of the popular combination of lime juice, salt, El Tequileño Blanco tequila, cola and ice, lives on and can now be recreated in homes and bars across the UK.”
Steffin Oghene, Vice President of Business Development at El Tequileño, says: “Our goal was to find a UK partner who shared our vision and ethics, while understanding the truly special proposition of El Tequileño.In Ten Locks, we have the perfect partner; the team is curating an exceptional portfolio of premium spirits and we’re excited to be among the foremost listings. This is one of our first export projects, and we look forward to being welcomed by the UK drinks sector.”
The El Tequileño range features:
Blanco – a blend of 71 per cent agave and 29 per cent piloncillo, a high-quality unrefined bi product of sugar cane. The tequila is then rested for 14 days in large American oak pipon. The result is a well-rounded spirit that brings out the richness of the agave along with hints of butterscotch, anise and peppercorn.
Reposado – this expression is made with 100 per cent blue agave and rested for three months in large American Oak pipon. It will add lots of agave and hints of oak to classic cocktails like the margarita or paloma.
Platinum – this 100 per cent blue agave tequila is rested for 14 days in large American oak pipon to create an elegant tequila with layers of flavour. Hints of black pepper on the nose bring a savoury spiciness and a delicate finish.
Reposado Gran Reserva – rested for a minimum of eight months in an American Oak pipon, the liquid is blended with a small amount of Reserve Añejo aged in 200L American Oak barrels. Notes of toffee, macadamia nuts and vanilla – perfect as a sipping tequila, on the rocks or in a Mexican old fashioned.
AñejoGran Reserva – a unique collaboration between the Salles Family and Randy Ullom, master winemaker. This tequila is aged for two years in American and French oak barrels, the liquid is blended with six year old Reserve Extra Añejos aged in American oak barrels. An exceptional blend showing rich cooked agave, oak, sweet spices, orange and dried fruit. Best enjoyed neat.
Reposado Rare – the most unique expression and the world’s first and only Reposado Rare. Antonio Salles says: “My father wanted to try something new and see what happened. He decided to age the spirit in a huge American oak barrel known as a pipon. The barrels hold up to 23,000 litres of the tequila, where it is aged for six years. This gives it the depth of an Extra Anejo, but since Mexican law states that those can only be aged in barrels of 600 litres or less (for a minimum of three years), Salles dubbed his premium creation ‘Reposado Rare’. Sip this one neat – and look for notes of honey and vanilla on the nose with hints of marzipan, sweet agave and oak on the palate.
El Tequileño Blanco and Reposado tequilas will be available in early 2021 to the retail and hospitality sectors exclusively via Ten Locks. Platinum, Reposado Gran Reserva, Añejo Gran Reserva and Reposado Rare are set to arrive in the UK later in the year.