Premium tequila Olmeca Altos adds añejo to its range

Olmeca Altos Anejo

Pernod Ricard has added to the line-up of expressions from premium tequila Olmeca Altos with the UK release of its first añejo.

Master distiller Jesús Hernández has created the new 100% agave tequila by ageing the spirit in oak barrels for 18 months – six months longer than required to be an añejo.

The result is a complex tequila that shares the smoothness, balance and sweet cooked agave taste of the blanco and reposado in the range but with notes of dark chocolate and cinnamon along with vanilla and light woodiness.

Olmeca Altos was launched with a white Plata and a reposado in 2009 by Jesús working with bartenders Dré Masso and the late Henry Besant. For this new expression, Jesús worked with UK brand ambassador Matthias Lataille and leading US bartender Charles Joly.

Adam Boita, head of marketing at Pernod Ricard UK, said: “Tequila continues to grow steadily in the UK with Olmeca Tequila’s volume increasing to 21%, outpacing category growth by 8% year on year.

“Additionally, Olmeca overtook Sauza to become the second largest tequila brand by volume and value in the on-trade. This shows the clear demand and interest from the UK market for great-tasting, affordable and high-quality tequila.

“Building on the huge success of Altos Plata and Resposado, Añejo will provide an even greater presence for the brand, just in time for the prime spring and summertime months.”

The Añejo will be recommended for sale in retail at 32.50 (excluding VAT). For the first two months, it will have limited availability with only 1,200 bottles for the UK market.

Adam added: “We are so excited to be able to grow the Altos ‘family’ further with this latest expression and are really pleased that we are bringing this to the market, as many of our customers have expressed their interest for an Añejo Tequila.

“It is crafted with the same traditional techniques that bartenders respect as well as continuing to encompass the mixable 100% blue agave tequila that the public love.

“Setting new standards within the tequila category, Altos Añejo offers a superior-quality product which enhances the Altos flavour range by bringing an original and complex expression.”

Olmeca Altos tequilas are created using an artisanal production process at Pernod Ricard’s Distilleria Colonial De Jalisco in Los Altos – the highlands of Jalisco.

Positioned 2,100 metres above sea level in the volcanic red earth, the region provides a perfect growing conditions with mineral-rich soil and an ideal climate to ensure high-quality blue agave.

Once handpicked and cooked at a low temperature, the agave is crushed using the traditional 500-year-old tahona method involving a volcanic millstone. This exposes the juice and fibre of the plant which is added to the fermentation and distillation process to release the fresh citrus aromas as well as sweet and fruity flavours.

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