A lot of people is talking about tequila these days, but, how many of them really know about the subject and how many of them are just oportunistic guys? so the real question is: how to identify them?
Experience is very important… but on what?, I would say it is fair to divide their expertise on subjects:
Tasting, I would say there is a huge majority that auto name themselves “Maestros tequileros” just because they are good or even experts on spirits tasting. However tasting is just the final part of what a Tequila Expert should know. For this guys I would suggest to call themselves very different that “Maestros”.
History, Bla, bla, bla, everybody can read a book find a web page and as some brands, invent a new one, but if you really look for it, you will find that the history is confused and everyone with some possibility wants no say they are the oldest, the first, etc… so never adopt from anybody the history they present to you as real, a good connoisseur shall transmit that the history of Tequila is not a documented one and that has fallen sometimes into a marketing strategy. So creating a new story and making it look as real I would say it has to deduct points instead of adding. Presenting the options of the most possible scenarios of the history is a must than a real expert should know.
Production, I´m sure here is the real difference, have you produce?, Are you a producer? or do you perfectly know the process? Is it fair to discard all those experts (some of them building facilities for others!!) that does not have experience on producing? ABSOLUTALY my friends, A distillery is just a huge kitchen, would a Chef call themselves chefs without cooking? So, knowing the recipe makes you an expert on it? I guess putting more questions was a good way to explain my point of view.
Good Taste, Yeah!! I know a lot of producers that make such a horrible tequila, and affirm it is a good one… It can´t be good… at least their not good at producing and of course not in tasting also.
Love for Tequila, If you are one if this producers that make bad tequila and sell it as a good one, you have no love or respect for this beverage, if you are trying to make a reputation for you, fooling people from abroad Mexico stating for example that you are a “Tequila Master” when you are not, etc. Let´s enrich the industry by stating only the true and only what we really know.
Raw materials, having good bases is essential for a good beverage, things like corks or caps, bottles, barrels (new, used, american oak, wine barrels, whiskey barrels, etc), all of these can really afect your final product even it can ruin a good spirit because of the contact with a bad (not necessarily cheap) raw material. Of course also the Agave is the main raw material and it is not just about years (3 to 8), regions (Altos and Valle) and sugar content, it is also about execution at the moment of been cultivated (jima), the time it passes at the exterior before it is cooked, the way is treated trough the cooking, knowing about pesticides and plagues that affect this plant, what about the season and the time of the day that is cutted? (interesting right?) or the agave crises and shortages and why they happen. How are the farmers in Mexico being benefited from the industry or more important why they not…
NOM, If you believe the CRT is the one that regulates the industry, well, you are just 50% right , the NOM is the one that really rules the industry. Also the NOM on every distillery is important and an expert should know why.
So if you want to call yourself a “Maestro Tequilero” or “Tequila Master” go through this checklist and make a selfevaluation or evaluate that person stating he is one.