The first rule of tequila is only drink it if it's made from 100 percent blue agave. The truth is that the mixtos that utilize less than 100 percent blue agave usually cost less. But Familia Camarena has found a way to produce a tasty 100 percent blue agave Reposado Tequila and offer it for a very reasonable price.
It all begins with the plants, which are cultivated at the highest elevations of the Los Altos Highlands area of Jalisco. The Camarena family, which cofounded the Mexican town of Arandas, has been making tequila for six generations. The town houses the distillery, family-owned and operated since 1938, where two expressions of the product are made via volcanic oven slow-roasting of the agave, chemical-free milling, fermentation, and two rounds of small batch alembic pot-still distillation.
The Silver Tequila is not aged, but features a good mouthfeel, subtle agave flavors, and no alcoholic burn. The Reposado, aged for two months in new and used American oak barrels, is much more complex and satisfying, with a hint of citrus in the aftertaste. Surprisingly, both 80-proof expressions retail for the same price, which makes deciding between them that much easier.