Spirit Of The Week: El Tesoro Extra Añejo Tequila

Celebrate National Tequila Day this weekend with El Tesoro’s exceptional new bottle.

(El Tesoro)

In celebration of National Tequila Day this Sunday, July 24, we shine a light on one of our favorite labels: El Tesoro de Don Felipe.

The premier label from La Alteña distillery, El Tesoro has been crafting among the best, no-corners-cut tequila since 1937—thanks largely to generational heritage handed down to Master Distiller Carlos Camarena, founder Don Felipe’s grandson. Carlos’ father, Don Felipe’s son, even unknowingly created the Extra Añejo category way back in 1994 with El Tesoro Paradiso, before there was even a proper designation of origin by the CRT (Mexico’s tequila regulatory body). 

“Some families pass along heirlooms, but my family passes on a passion for making exceptional tequila,” third-generation Master Distiller Carlos explains.

(El Tesoro)

“I always say that we have two faces at El Tesoro—one that looks to the past and respects the tequila-making traditions of my family, and one that looks toward tomorrow for ways to push the category forward. While most extra añejos are aged for three years, my father understood that we could create an exceptional Extra Añejo by resting it for more than four. Tasting this tequila today, I agree we made the right decision!”

We’ve walked the rich clay fields of La Alteña with Carlos, and can attest firsthand to the man’s dedication to crafting superb tequila: only estate-grown blue agave cared for and grown in-house in the highlands of Jalisco; keeping trees in the field for shade (for grateful agaves and jimadores); allowing a percentage of their agaves to reach maturity to increase genetic variability/immunity; protecting the endangered bats that pollinate agaves; cooking in old fashioned clay hornos for three days; crushing the agave exclusively via two-ton volcanic tahona stone; never allowing a diffuser in sight; etc. All clear signs of a man who cares more about the final product than the bottom line.

For the Extra Añejo Camarena double-distills the juice to proof, then rests it in American oak ex-bourbon barrels for at least four to five years—considerably longer than most extra añejo tequilas who can stop at three. The process instills the superb tequila with notes of coffee, dry fig and roasted almonds, with of course a little oak.   

This heavy investment in a slow, patient process pays off as El Tesoro Extra Añejo notched the Chairman’s Trophy and 98 points/Extraordinary at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, plus a Trophy and Double Gold Medal at the International Spirits Challenge.

In celebration of El Tesoro elevating Extra Añejo into their permanent portfolio, the brand commissioned celebrated milliner Gladys Tamez to fashion limited edition headwear. Gladys—who designed Lady Gaga’s pink fedora on her Joanne cover, Lil Nas X’s iconic “Old Town Road” red cowboy hat, and bespoke pieces for LeBron James, among others—imagined a feathered creation that nods to the woven straw sunhats the El Tesoro jimadores wear in the sunny fields all day. You can pick that up for $120

Celebrate National Tequila Day or any fine day with El Tesoro Extra Añejo for $110.

Follow our Contributing Spirits Editor on Instagram at @nickstecher and @boozeoftheday.

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