Tequila Ocho and Tequila Curado’s new distillery, Los Alambiques, is officially open to the public for tours! Located about 129 km from Guadalajara’s city center, the distillery is nestled in the heart of the highlands in the town of Arandas, Jalisco, MX.
Though many tequila adventurers make their way to the town of Tequila and the valley area, they are missing one of the largest tequila production areas that is less touristy. For reference, the valley and the highlands are 192 KM, roughly 80 miles apart (plus if you know anything about Guadalajara traffic, you know that might take several hours! I wouldn’t recommend doing both in one day).
The distillery is on a hill which gives guests the most beautiful view of downtown Arandas, the Church, and agave fields. This project started 4 years ago but supply shortages and a surge in demand for tequila delayed the opening longer than originally expected. Due to the increase in tequila demand, they have been producing tequila out of the distillery for about 2 years.
However, the experiential parts for guests such as the underground barrel aging and tasting room, the Don Tomas Estes Cantina Bar, and restaurant that wraps for a full view of the countryside and town of Arandas were the last to be completed. The restaurant, Ocho Agaves, is completed, but will not be open for service until later this spring/early summer 2023.
This large distillery has a loading area for agaves to be delivered straight from the fields, multiple brick ovens, a roller mill and a unique tahona for crushing, wood fermentation vats, stainless steel stills for distilling, and an aging/barrel room. There is also a full-scale bottling facility onsite.
Why do we love Tequila Ocho and Curado?
Ocho is an incredible expression of the blue agave and how terroir or where the agave is grown can impact a final tequila. The late Tomas Estes and Carlos Camarena co-founded Tequila Ocho. Carlos’ passion for the agave and agriculture along with Tomas’ knowledge of the tequila industry as the official Tequila Ambassador to Europe and a restaurant/bar owner in Amsterdam led the pair to create Tequila Ocho. Each bottle of Ocho has a label with the year when the agaves were harvested and the specific field in the highlands. The agaves are single estate meaning all the agaves in that bottle come from one field allowing the consumer to detect the nuances that terroir imparts on the tequila between multiple bottles of Ocho.
Curado brings a surprising but simple twist on tequila by blending the flavor profile of mezcal and tequila into one. Curado has three different tequila varieties on the market: blue agave, cupreata, and espadin. The distillers steep the different cooked agaves for 5 days in cotton bags infusing the tequila with the smoky earthen pit cooked agaves. The yellow color of the tequila comes from this infusion. Each of the expressions give slightly different notes, but it is the perfect crossover for tequila lovers moving into mezcal or vice versa.
Los Alambiques has already reached maximum potential while demand for the spirit continues to surge and exceed their output. The family is already building an identical second distillery right next to the first one. The identical second distillery will share all the experiential amenities for guests and tours.
Previously, Tequila Ocho and Curado were made at La Alteña distillery along with El Tesoro and Tapatio. Though tequila is now being produced at multiple distilleries, Carlos Camarena will continue to be the master distiller and brain behind all these brands. These two distilleries are about a 15-minute drive (11 KM) from each other making it a perfect way to visit two distilleries in one day.
Tours can be made on the Tequila Ocho Mexico website under experiences by sending them an email or DM-ing Tequila Ocho Mexico on Instagram. Keep in mind there are several tequila Ocho accounts! Tequila Ocho Mexico is the one that can help coordinate tours.