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Grand Mayan Tequila

The 10-year journey of an ultra-aged tequila, from agave plant to hand-painted bottle

by Julie Wolfson in Food + Drink on 22 November 2011

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Far from the bars where rowdy patrons slam down shots of pale liquid with a lick of lime and sprinkle of salt lives ultra-aged tequila, meant to be savored like a glass of cognac. In the case of Grand Mayan Tequila the depth of the extra añejo dark amber spirit reveals notes of nuts and chocolate, and a smooth, lingering finish.

Grand Mayan begins its 10-year journey in the agave fields of Jalisco, Mexico, where the agave tequilana weber is grown for 5-7 years before being harvested. The hearts of the plant are then slow-cooked in stone ovens before they go through a slow natural fermentation process. Extra care is taken in the distillation and filtering process, which takes place at the famous La Cofradia distillery. The liquid ages in American oak casks for at least three years before being bottled in their signature ceramic bottle celebrating the history of Mexico.

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Created by artisans in Mexico City, the lovely, diminutive decanter is hand-painted with blue flowers and orange designs—an appropriately elaborate vessel for the precious liquid within. The company produces only 3,000 litres of the spirit per year, which has become highly coveted by tequila connoisseurs for its flavor, rarity and special presentation. We experienced the enthusiasm firsthand during a recent visit to K&L Wine Merchants, where mere mention of Grand Mayan received quick notes of approval from every staff member within earshot. Naturally, we felt compelled to pour ourselves a shot and were able to savor it slowly, no lime or salt necessary.

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