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El Tequileño Tequila

Tequila brand El Tequileño was established in 1959 by Don Jorge Salles, who named it to honour the birthplace of the spirit. Just two years later La Capilla chose the Blanco as its preferred Tequila in Batanga cocktails, and by 1970 Salles’ son Juan Antonio joined the family business. Sadly, Don Salles passed in 2000, but the third generation also followed in his footsteps as Jorge Antonion ‘Tony’ Salles joined the company in 2005, becoming master distiller in 2008.

In 2017, Paradis Spirits bought El Tequileño and oversaw a huge expansion the following year, which also included the commission of Casa Salles Boutique Hotel, a location on the distillery site dedicated to celebrating Tequila and the family’s history. Which is a considerable one, as you can see. In fact, in 2019 Juan Antonio became only the fourth person to be awarded the designation of Gran Tequilero by the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry, in recognition of his lifetime achievement.

The brand only uses Blue Weber agave from the Jalisco highlands, which takes four hours by truck to arrive at the distillery, with extra attention taken to remove the bitter part (the cogollo) before cooking in steam pressure autoclaves, pioneered by Salles. Pure volcanic spring water from the extinct Volcan de Tequila (it’s one of only four that has access to this resource) is used in milling to extract sugar, while 150-year-old mango trees just steps away from the open fermentation tanks have a profound influence.

The Tequila is distilled exclusively in copper pot stills, while sustainability is a big focus. Currently, 98% of production residuals are converted into organic compost used to fertilise its agave, while the brand also takes steps to preserve local water sources with Tony Salles actually being the president of the local water board.

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