Producing the world’s finest tequilas takes bottomless passion, a thirst for perfection, and spirited patience. Our Extra Añejo Tequila is certainly no exception. Aged to perfection for three years, this luxury tequila possesses the most uniquely rich agave aromas and a flavor profile of vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, honeycomb, and notes of leather. That’s right, leather.
It’s the Mexican cowboy sunset of your dreams in a bottle. It’s a south-of-the-border holiday without needing to pack. It’s sunbaked red rocks, neat. It’s el toque final this holiday season.
A Brief History of Agave Spirits
At Calirosa, we know we wouldn’t be who we are if it weren’t for history and tradition.
In 1974, Mexico claimed tequila as national intellectual property, and it maintains strict legal guidelines on its production. However, agave spirits predate 1974, going as far back as pre-Columbian Mexico. The Nahuatl people are responsible for creating tequila’s predecessor known as pulque, a milky drink made from fermented agave sap.
The modern style of tequila didn’t emerge until around the 16th century. Spanish conquistadors are credited with first distilling the agave plant. According to this article from Master Class, the first tequila distillery was started in the early 1600s by Don Pedro Sanchez de Tagle in current Tequila, Jalisco.
The first commercial license was granted by King Carlos IV of Spain, and so began the legacy. Today, Mexico and tequila are almost synonymous. Calirosa honors this identity while infusing a hint of modern California flair into each bottle.
What Is an Extra Añejo Tequila?
An Extra Añejo is a tequila that’s aged for three or more years. Ours is aged for precisely 36 months in premium California red wine barrels instead of the typical whisky oak barrels. This process is unique and is what gives our tequilas their elegant, reddish hue and luxurious profile.
What Does Extra Añejo Mean?
The term “extra añejo”, meaning “extra aged” or “extra old,” refers to the extended aging process for this type of tequila (three or more years).
Añejo vs. Extra Añejo
So, what’s the difference between añejo and extra añejo tequila? An Añejo is aged for a shorter period than a tequila Extra Añejo, between one and three years. Extra Añejo is aged for three or more years. Tequilas are generally classified by the length of their aging process.
You might have heard terms like silver, blanco, or reposado. Silver or blanco tequilas are barely aged or not aged at all, heading to bottling either immediately after distillation or after aging for just a few days or weeks.
Reposados (“rested”) have aged anywhere from a couple of months to one year. They are a little more complex than blancos and are often an entry point into the world of sipping tequilas.
What Makes a Premium Tequila?
All tequilas start with the blue agave plant, but you’ll find that lower-quality tequilas are often cut with additives and sweeteners. This lowers the agave content and delivers a sweeter, harsher flavor profile. Typically these tequilas are used for shots or mixed drinks.
Mexican law requires that tequilas contain at least 51% blue agave, but what makes up the other 49% is entirely up to the manufacturer. Premium tequilas are held to a higher standard and must contain 100% Blue Agave with nothing added other than water and yeast.
We are proud to say that all of our tequilas at Calirosa are Premium, made with 100% Blue Weber Agave, but we admittedly take our Premium standards to the next level.
Our Unique Processes
There’s a lot that goes into making the Calirosa trio. From the people we partner with to the water we use, intention and integrity hold the reins.
A Little Back Story on Calirosa
Meet our partners, the Real Family. The Reals are residents of Amatitan, Jalisco. Don Fernando Real and Don Roberto Real have been running their family distillery since 1942. Foregoing the traditional oak barrels, they were the first tequila makers to age their tequilas in red wine barrels.
Third-generation tequila master Luis Trejo Rodriguez took over as master-distiller 15 years ago and with his keen eye for detail and unwavering commitment, he ensures that Calirosa never falls short on quality or consistency. You could say tequila is in his blood. Luis was born in the town of Tequila, Jalisco, raised in the agave fields of his homestead. With the help of the Real Family master-distillers, Calirosa has made an inimitable entrance into the world of Premium Tequilas.
How It’s Done
From growing to bottling, every step of the process at Calirosa is done according to tradition.
Growing and Harvesting
We harvest only the best Blue Weber Agave at peak of maturation, grown in the foothills of the Tequila Volcano. This region provides rich, volcanic soil and a climate that blends the spirits of the Highlands and the Valley of Jalisco.
Age at Harvest
Our agaves are matured to 7–9 years, the age at which they contain the highest sugar content. We use only Blue Weber Agaves which contains 26% or higher sugar (compared to the industry standard of 22% to 24%). It takes patience and timing, but a higher sugar content means that our end-product is not harsh, possessing a smooth, subtle sweetness instead.
Cooking the Agaves
Calirosa tequilas are produced in small batches. Our distillers only promise a limited number of bottles per day. Small batch production is the only way to ensure that every bottle delivers on our promise of quality.
Unlike most of our competitors who use steel ovens or fast-paced steam distillation, we bake all of our agaves in old-fashioned brick ovens to extract the sugars. This process is time-consuming, taking 30-40 hours to bake and another 48 hours to rest (versus just seven total hours for our industrial competitors). It’s worth it, though, for that signature baked agave nose and those warm, complex tasting notes.
We mentioned earlier how Premium Tequilas contain nothing but Blue Weber Agave, water, and yeast. Many tequila producers import their yeast from a commercial producer. We choose to use our own specific yeast that’s found only on-site at our distillery. This ensures our tequila is 100% native and uncompromised.
As for the water, we source our water from the agave fields that surround our distillery. We draw the water directly from our own wells and then purify and distill it in-house to ensure quality and consistency from bottle to bottle.
After roasting, our agave cores are milled to perfection using traditional milling methods. After milling, they are fermented for 36-50 hours. This length of fermentation far exceeds industry standards, but this is where those rich flavors and aromas start to get real.
Our tequila is twice-distilled in traditional copper pots. In fact, the handcrafted stills we use today are the same stills the Real Family has been using for generations. In every sip, you can taste a century’s worth of tradition and love.
Our unwavering dedication to tradition means we use up to 9 kilograms of agave per liter. The industry standard is typically between 7–8 kilograms per liter. While this choice is costly for us, we believe you can’t put a price cap on quality.
California is known for producing some of the finest wines in the world. Calirosa’s distillers age their wines in California red wine barrels from these prestigious, wine-producing regions. This aging process imbues our tequilas with a unique flavor and a beautiful, reddish hue.
Our Rosa Blanco, the youngest and flirtiest of the lineup, is aged for 30 days. During this time it develops a delightful flavor with notes of honey, raspberry, and strawberry. This sexy pink number is basically your new Rosé All Day.
Next in line, our Añejo is aged 18 months to develop a deeper flavor profile. You’ll taste notes of butterscotch, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and nutmeg, rounded out with cinnamon and toffee. Check out this Forbes article to read about this award-winning Añejo.
And finally, our newest addition that we are so proud of, the Extra Añejo. Aged for an impressive 36 months, this is our richest, most complex tequila. It’s bold and elegant. With its smooth taste and dark amber color, it's best enjoyed neat (we’re looking at you, Cognac and bourbon lovers).
Tequila for the Holidays
Have a special kind of celebration this holiday with Calirosa’s Extra Añejo. Its Cognac-like elegance with a roasted agave nose and warm, lingering mouthfeel make it the perfect by-the-fire sipper.
And what kind of holiday party is complete without cocktails? Check these six wow-the-crowd tequila cocktails that we promise you’ll love.
Calirosa’s tequilas aren’t just for the holidays, either. Once the lights come down and the carols stop, we know you’ll love still having a bottle on hand. Try all three, get creative, and enjoy responsibly at any time of the year. Cheers to Mexico’s spirit, California’s style, and – above all – you!