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Berkeley's Tres Agaves Tequila Designed to Be Margarita Friendly

Oh, how the Bay Area loves its tequila. 2010-06-28 « back

Oh, how the Bay Area loves its tequila. Even those of us who cut our teeth on cheap "gold" rotgut have learned to appreciate the complexity and character of 100 percent blue agave.

Since the margarita is the destiny of most tequilas, a local trio created a line specifically designed for that quintessential Mexican cocktail. Tres Agaves tequila has a flavor profile that is mellow, a little vegetal, and with light sweet agave/caramel traces. The Berkeley-based company was formed by three guys who know their way around the highlands and lowlands of Mexico: Barry Angus (formerly of Cabo Wabo), Chris Alvarez (formerly of Tequila Ocho), and Eric Rubin (formerly of Tres Agaves restaurant).

By the way, the name refers to the three varieties of tequila: blanco, reposado, and añejo. Just for clarification, there's no relation between Tres Agaves tequila and the Tres Agaves restaurant chain. "They are now entirely separate companies, and the Tres Agaves restaurants will soon be changing their name," explained Rubin.

The tequila is from agave estate-grown in the lowlands of Jalisco in the Valley of Tequila and made by one of the few remaining family distilleries, El Llano (NOM 1109). The distillery is run by fifth-generation distiller Eduardo Orendain, and ferments the agave sugars using a specially developed yeast strain. The fermented agave is pot distilled twice, in the traditional manner, and aged on site.

"The blanco is unaged, reposado is six-nine months in used Heaven Hill, Jack Daniels, and Woodford Reserve barrels," Rubin said. "For our añejo, currently the highest-rated tequila in the world, we age for 18 months exclusively in the Woodford Reserve barrels."

Tres Agaves is available here in town at BevMo, Cask, the Jug Shop, K&L, the Wine Center, but also in cocktails at Nopalito, Rickhouse, Spoonbar, Cantina, R Bar, Gitane, Tony's Pizza, and the Tres Agaves restaurant.

Approximate price per bottle:
• Tres Agaves Blanco, $24.99-$29.99
• Tres Agaves Reposado, $32.99-$35.99
• Tres Agaves Añejo, $39.99-$41.99

SF Weekly