Ocho tequila is the result of a partnership between two modern legends of the tequila world: Tomas Estes, the CRT's official Tequila Ambassador to Europe and founder of the Cafe Pacifico / La Perla chain of bars and restaurants; and the Camarena family, producers of two of the world's best tequila brands, El Tesoro and Tapatio.
Ocho is an estate-grown, 100% Blue Agave Tequila range produced as a collaboration between by Tequila aficionado Tomas Estes and renowned distillers, the Camarena family - and the first brand ever to bear a ‘Tequila vintage’.
As interest in the category continues to gather pace, Ocho is set to be one of the most exciting Tequila releases to date – not least for the association with Estes, official Tequila Ambassador to the European Union and founder of the Café Pacifico group of bar-restaurants.
Not unlike the labelling of fine wines, Ocho’s ‘Tequila vintage’ signifies the exact year or harvest and location of the Agave plants that the spirit was derived from, underlining the finely balanced relationship between the terroir and quality of raw materials.
Ocho Blanco can be traced back to Rancho La Rivera, where the soil is similar to that of the Tequila valley, while for the Reposado, the agave has been harvested from the typically rich brown soil of the Los Altos region of Jalisco -from Rancho El Vergel.
The idea of a ‘Tequila vintage’ may be new and unique to the category, but the small- batch production methods are age old and artisanal. Ocho Tequila is 100% natural, crafted slowly and with care.
This is a Tequila range that has a unique story to tell. Not only does the brand name represent the 8th, and final, attempt at the ultimate recipe, the producers themselves are in their 8th decade of Tequila production and 8 years is the average age at which Ocho’s Agave is harvested.
While the Blanco is un-aged, giving a ripe and citrusy flavour, Ocho’s Reposado has been rested for precisely 8 weeks and 8 days for the unparalleled smoothness and complexity which mark a truly great sipping Tequila.
In a further similarity to fine wine, Ocho Tequila has been found to develop in the glass; releasing subtle nuances of nose and flavour that entice the drinker to keep coming back to experience more and more with every sip.
Tomas Estes comments: “I have been serving Tequila and Tequila drinks since 1976 in 5 European countries and Australia. Tequila Muestro Numero Ocho [recipe number eight] is both rewarding and satisfying when sipped and savoured straight as well as in a mixed drink or cocktail such as a Margarita.’
Tomas Estes has a love of Mexico and its culture, especially Agave spirits. When Carlos Camarena asked him to make tequila together there was only one answer: affirmative.
Tequila Ocho is a joint partnership between the Camarenas and Tomas Estes. Estes has been selling and promoting tequila in his Mexican bars and restaurants since 1976 and has gained recognition and respect throughout the worldwide bar and spirits community for his work promoting tequila, agave spirits and Mexican culture in Europe. He can often be found as a guest speaker, talking about the taste profiles and production processes of hand-crafted tequilas to educational groups and connoisseurs. Ocho is a meeting of the passion, experience, and knowledge between Estes and the Camarena family, resulting in the finest tequila possible.
Carlos Camarena a third generation tequilero is The Master Distiller of Tequila Ocho made at La Alteña distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. He is among the most respected tequila producers because of the fine products that he makes. He has been recognized with numerous awards such as:
– A medal for his contribution in the Tequila Industry from the President of Mexico. (2010)
– The Distiller of the Year’ award from ‘San Francisco World Spirits Competition’ (2005)
– A Gold Star from the World Marketing Organization (2009)
In collaboration with Tomas Estes, he created Ocho and his distillery also makes Tapatio and El Tesoro tequilas.
The Tequila Ocho story begins with the Camarena family, who started making tequila in 1937 and are now in their third generation as tequila producers. This family is 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% agave tequila.
This tequila is made from the eighth sample created by the Camarenas for Tomas Estes.
- It takes an average of eight years for the agaves to ripen before being harvested.
- It takes about eight kilograms of agave to make one litre of Ocho tequila – very high versus industry average.
- It takes eight days from when the agaves reach the patio at the distillery until it becomes blanco (unaged) tequila.
- Carlos Camarena has eight brothers and sisters.
- The Camarenas are in their eighth decade of producing tequila.
- Ocho Reposado is aged for 8 weeks and 8 days.
RANCHOS & TERROIRS
‘Terroir’ is the French term used to describe the natural elements (influences) that have an effect on agriculture, notably grapes grown for wine use. These elements include soil composition, altitude, temperatures day and night throughout the year, rain fall, humidity and exposition to the sun and winds.
It is becoming increasingly understood and agreed upon that the concept of ‘terroir’ also exists within the growing of agave and the resulting tequila made from it. In Jalisco, the largest tequila producing state of Mexico there are two main regions for agave growing and tequila production – ‘Tequila Valley’ and ‘Los Altos’. It is said that the tequilas made in Tequila Valley are masculine, forward in flavour, with an earthy, peppery and herbal taste profile. In comparison, tequilas made from agaves grown in Los Altos are feminine, softer, rounder, more fruity and floral.
Tequila Ocho takes the exploration of terroir in tequila a giant step forward by producing batches of tequila from single fields (ranchos), much the way fine Burgundy wine is produced. For example, in the village of Vosne Romanee in Burgundy, wine is produced with the following appelations: Les Beaux Monts, La Montagne and Aux Brulees to name a few. Tequila Ocho has done the same thing by producing in Arandas the following names: El Carrizal, Las Pomez and Los Corrales.