Extraordinary act: Herradura balances tradition with innovation
As one of the world’s most historic Tequila producers with more than 150 years in the making, Herradura is known for its unique production process and innovative approach to creating extraordinarily high-quality liquid.
Founded in 1870, Casa Herradura is known for its innovative Tequila production with the distiller inventing the first reposado in 1974 and the extra añejo category.
The site, Casa Herradura in Amatitán, Jalisco (the birthplace of Tequila), is said to be one of the most ancient and historic Tequila distilleries in the world.
The brand’s core range includes the Plata, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo Tequilas.
Herradura Tequila is made in the traditional way, with 100% Blue Weber agave that has reached maturity.
What is special about this Tequila is that Herradura constantly exceed industry standards of ageing the spirit: Herradura Plata is rested for 45 days (unconventional for a blanco), Herradura Reposado is aged for 11 months, while Herradura Añejo is aged for 25 months.
Lastly, Herradura Extra Añejo, the brand’s crown jewel, is aged for a staggering 49 months.
The reason behind this unconventionally long maturation period is evident once you try it, according to Herradura’s UK brand ambassador, Daniele Umoette.
“From the Plata you get a robust flavour of cooked agave, with delicate vanilla notes,” Umoette said. “The Reposado brings in subtle oak influences and most notably sweet baking spices in the finish.
“The Añejo, marvellously balanced, still carries notes of cooked agave, toasted oak and dried fruit. Finally, the Extra Añejo concludes the brand portfolio with luxurious caramel, oak, spices, agave and a gentle warmth.”
Herradura is also the only major distillery that uses a 100% natural fermentation process in its production. More than 16 different species of fruit trees on the distillery grounds provide the different strains of yeast to make the brand’s unique flavour profiles.
According to Infiniti Research, the brand is also one of the world’s most Gold medal-awarded Tequilas.
In last month’s Tequila & Mezcal Masters competition, Herradura Plata, Añejo and Reposado walked away with Gold medals. Plata was praised by judges for its “deliciously earthy nose” and “sweet, rounded palate”, while Reposado was described as “oaky and rich”.
Casa Herradura claims to be one of only a few Tequila distilleries, if not the only one, that produces its own barrels. The distillery ages its liquid in 55-gallon charred American white oak barrels, with longer ageing periods beyond industry standards to ‘optimise flavour notes’.
Umoette said: “There are plenty of distilleries that produce several brands at the same time and many brands that don’t have a distillery.
“This makes it hard for many to fully control its quality. Tequila Herradura crafts and estate-bottle only their own Tequilas. This allows the brand to have more control over the quality of every aspect of its production, including raw materials like agave, water and even wood.”
The brand’s history is marked by “balancing a respect for traditional production processes with industry-leading innovation”, according to Umoette.
Herradura highlighted its brand identity as ‘colourful, vibrant and unlike any other Tequilas’ through its Extraordinary Awaits global campaign in 2021.
Sustainability is also a major focus for Herradura, which utilises eco-friendly practices across its production.
The Tequila brand has invested in a number of environmental projects, including a multi-million-dollar state-of-the-art water recycling plant, a composting plant, agave nurseries and greenhouses.
It was also the first distillery to have a water recycling plant that met quality standards in the industry. The brand follows strict treatment processes where all waste is reduced, reused or recycled.
In recent years, the distillery has received certifications and recognitions such as environmental commitment, green company, clean industry and environmental excellence, granted by the highest competent authorities in the field.
Herradura has unveiled innovative products in recent years. This includes Herradura Legend, an añejo released in the US, and aged for 12 months in a combination of seasoned, grooved and new American white oak barrels.
The brand champions innovation through revolutionary cocktail creations, such as its Watermelon Negroni.
Herradura seeks to create unexpected Tequila twists on classic serves, providing a different way of drinking Tequila.