L A G R I T O N A
La Gritona Reposado is a subtle and distinctive 100% blue agave tequila distilled by Melly Cárdenas at her small distillery (NOM 1533) in Valle de Guadalupe in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. LG begins with 9-10 year old mature agave grown in the iron-rich red soil of the Jalisco highlands that has been cultivated at the height of it’s sugar production and is put into ovens within 24 hours of being cut. Our agave is steam cooked in one thick-walled earthen oven for 24 hours and then allowed to rest for another 24 hours before crushing. The collected liquid is naturally fermented in open steel vats at a rate that is dictated by the local air temperature. Once it starts to swim, we distill our nascent silver twice. We rest the distilled silver in reused American whiskey barrels for 8 months before filtering and bottling. We char our barrels very lightly and we allow the barrels to be used for other rested tequilas prior to our resting period so that the residual oak, the residual whiskey, and the leached color from both can be as stunted as possible while our reposado ages. We do not use copper stills or a tahona, and we do not diffuse or use an autoclave. Our agave is crushed with steel shredders after cooking and we distill our liquid in steel stills. Every step of production takes place under one roof and our facility is overseen by a small staff of local women that work each process from start to finish. We currently bottle an average of 12,500 liters per batch. All of the agave remnants that are left over after production are given to local farmers to use as cattle feed. Our bottles are hand blown with recycled Mexican glass in the Guadalajara municipality of Tonolá, an hour away from the distillery.
When people ask us to describe La Gritona, we find that it is difficult to categorize and to compare to other reposados. It is light on the sweetness, and it doesn’t have the notes that characterize many highland reposados out there…. no vanilla, no chocolate, no pepper, no dulce de leche… just agave. The finish is extremely round with no burn. Our friend Dmitri at the Starlite in San Diego calls it “the session tequila.” People also call it “refreshing” and “vegetal”, unusual adjectives to describe spirits, but we think they are appropriate. We recommend it straight with no ice, lime, salt, or mixer. It’s best when paired it with a nice cold Mexican lager or pilsner.