Don’t go a-hunting for Olmeca Altos tomorrow. Until now this tequila has only been available outside of the U.S. — and in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, it’s a pretty popular brand. Try hard and you’ll be able to find it stateside — and cheap, too — but the search just might undo you.
A 100% agave tequila from Los Altos in the Jalisco highlands, Olmeca Altos uses a bit of an odd production process. I’ll let the company explain:
Olmeca Altos’ unrivalled brand uniqueness is further represented by its Tahona production process. Tahona, a 500-year-old process exclusive to the Olmeca brand, uses a giant volcanic millstone to crush the cooked Agave pinas and expose the juice and fibre from the plant. A part of the Tahona Liquid produced during this process is then added to Olmeca Altos’ fermentation and distillation process to enhance the sweet, citric taste and aroma.
So there you go.
You do indeed get that strong citrus taste — here more grapefruit than orange or lemon — and agave takes a bit of a back seat. The body is moderate. The finish has a fair amount of bite to it. It’s a bit of a departure from a standard blanco — almost a margarita in a bottle, it’s so fruity — but that makes Olmeca Altos perfectly suited as a mixer in any number of cocktails. I’m less enamored with it on its own, but for a mere $20 a bottle, my complaints are muted to be sure.