Tequila Ocho was created from a partnership between Maestro Tequilero Carlos Camarena and the official tequila ambassador of Europe, the late Tomas Estes. Tomas was extremely well-respected in not only the agave world but in the spirits world in general. Even today, you’ll hear and see the ramifications of how loved he was in this industry.
But first, I want to tell you how he got his start in the tequila industry.
Tomas Estes is originally from Los Angeles, but he is more known for his time in Amsterdam, which he first traveled to at a young age. To make a long story short, he fell in love with the city and opened a legendary restaurant, Cafe Pacifico, in Amsterdam in 1976. The restaurant was a true hit and became known all over Europe (like, seriously known—even bands like the Rolling Stones had parties at Cafe Pacifico). He then opened other Cafe Pacificos all over Europe.
Tomas was also a fan of traditional tequila and purchased so much of it that he caught the attention of the Mexican Government. Tomas eventually became the official tequila ambassador by the Tequila chamber of the Mexican Government, all because they wondered who was buying so much tequila in Europe.
Over the years, Tomas also developed friendships with others in the tequila industry, one of the most prominent being with Carlos Camarena, who is the mastermind behind brands like El Tesoro de Don Felipe, Tapatio and Villa Lobos. The friendship led to the idea of creating a brand of tequila that would focus on the concept of terroir in agave, or where the agave grows, how it grows, and even what grows around it. As you can guess, these factors all play a huge part in the final tequila product.
During the development of their tequila brand, one thing kept coming back to Tomas and Carlos: the number eight.
- It was the 8th sample recipe that both Carlos and Tomas picked
- The brand was founded in 2008
- From cooking to distilling, it takes 8 days
- 8 kilos of agave makes 1 liter of Ocho
- Their reposado is aged for 8 weeks and 8 days
The two decided to incorporate this lucky number into their brand’s name, ultimately naming it Ocho. Today, Tomas Estes’ legacy lives on with Ocho and through his son Jesse Estes, the global ambassador for the brand.
Last year, it was announced that Ocho was acquired by Haven Hill, along with brands such as Widow Jane Bourbon, Mezcal Vago, and Few Whisky, amongst others. The team behind Ocho is still the same wonderful team, but now we also get to see these brands collaborate together. This is where the Ocho Widow Jane comes in.
In every bottle of tequila, you’ll see the year it was harvested and the ranch where the agaves come from. The process is always the same… cooked in brick ovens, crushed with a roller mill, and distilled in copper. The only difference is where the agave comes from.
For Ocho Widow Jane, the agaves all came from the El Nacimiento ranch and the barrels were from the 10-year-old Widow Jane. As I stated before, the tequila was only aged in those barrels for 8 weeks and 8 months.
Now let’s get to the review!
Tequila Ocho – Widow Jane
MSRP: $60 to $80
Barrel Type/Source: 10-year-old barrels used by Widow Jane.
Aroma: I LOVE it when you open the bottle and you can get a whiff of the deliciousness before the product even hits your tongue. This expression smells warm and cozy, almost like a blend of fruit, cinnamon and baking spices. It is rounded out with a minty lemongrass smell. Overall, it is a very inviting nose.
Flavor: The nose was delicious, but the palate is where this tequila really shines. By now, you probably know that I love a buttery mouthfeel when it comes to agave. This Ocho definitely has that. Cinnamon, caramel, baking spices, and again, the lemongrass/minty/fruity finish, which the agave marries all together. What I find most incredible, though, is how much the wood plays a part here when it is only aged for 8 weeks and 8 days.
Lucas’s Rating out of 100: 92-93. Easily one of the best reposados I have tried
@thelucasassis_ Let's finally talk about the Tequila Ocho Reposado in Widow Jane Barrels. This might be one of the best repos yet. Just wow. #tequilaocho #thelucasassis #agave #mexico ♬ original sound – Lucas Assis
A second batch of the Ocho Widow Jane has started to hit the market recently, too. One can only hope there will be an Añejo version coming next year as well. Salucita!