David Suro's Siembra Azul, is made at NOM 1414 in the high plateau of Los Altos (highlands), at the Feliciano Vivanco distillery, but his Siembra Valles is made at NOM 1123, in the Arenal region, in El Valle (lowlands). All of David Suro's products are made under the name 'Siembra Spirits'. His tequila has always been a favorite of mine. Suro has recently partnered with the Rosales family of Distileria Cascahuin, NOM 1123 to produce this Amazing Valles product. Master Distiller Salvador Rosales Torres' tradition of distilling goes back to 1904. As the saying goes...."Compliments to the Chef " ... WOW !!
I just special ordered a bottle of his Valles Blanco and did a blind taste comparison with his original blanco. Having no idea which I was sipping, I noticed a very big difference in aroma and taste. I always liked the original, and I had fun trying to figure out which was which. One was much more peppery and spicy on aroma and taste, a little hotter, more fruity, a touch of mint, more floral, and more like a typically well made highland blanco. The other was sweet and silky, much smoother, buttery, with a licorice (anise) taste, and with some light smoke and vanilla aromas. It had a more subdued spice/peppery nose and mouth feel, hardly any heat, earthy, some fruit, and a bit herbal, while being soft and creamy. It was full of sweet agave notes and the anise taste was delightful, almost an anisette taste. This tequila was absolutely delicious to sip. I remember thinking, my goodness, THIS is really good. That turned out to be the Valles. What a treat. I think I have found one of my newest favorite blancos, and trust me, I have tried and rated over 100 blanco's in the last few years. MAGNIFICENT!!!
PRODUCTION- Siembra Valles uses 80% of the agaves from right there at Cascahuin. Siembra Valles is brick oven cooked, slow roasted for up to 72 hours (for more flavor), then shredded four times to get all the possible sugars. Cascahuin combines two methods in the fermentation stage. As the website reports, the first 30.68% of the total extract, and the bagasse, is fermented in a Mamposteria, which is a traditional stone structure enclosed by fiberglass. The remaining 69.32% is fermented in stainless steel tanks with bagasse. This is done to achieve an ideal sugar content (Brix Degrees). The yeast used, is mixed with a small amount of agave juices obtained during milling and is left to amalgamate for 24 hours. This mixture is then added to the fermentation tanks and ferments for 56 hours.
Unlike many tequila brands today, they use the bagasse in the fermentation process. This ensures as many of the complex agave flavors as possible. Trust me, however they're doing it....IT WORKS. The first distillation, is in a stainless steel still with a copper serpentine. For the second stage, smaller copper stills are used and the distillation is slowed down.This is another one of the unique things that Siembra Valles does. Slowing down the distillation and carefully separating part of the heads and tails from the Corazon, brings out more aromas, better taste profiles and especially more of the agave flavors, captured during fermentation. The use of bagasse REALLY gives you the agave sweetness.
I have loved David's products for a long time, as they are very well made (all the info is right there on the label of every bottle). Suro hides NOTHING. I LOVE to know how my tequila is made. I have always been like that, contacting brands, reading and researching, asking experts, and keeping notes, but for ALL Siembra Azul, and Siembra Spirits products, there is no need. David Suro does it for you. There is also a 92 proof Valles blanco available. Although they are both excellent Blanco's, I definitely prefer this Valles product. For about 40. dollars a bottle, Valles gets a Big 'BUY RATING' from me. This is TOP NOTCH BLANCO!!
Suro helps support local Mexican-Americans, through his Siembra Azul Nonprofit Foundation, with money for local health education, ESL for kids of immigrants, and also for academic research. This is in addition to other foundations he supports, mostly locally in Philadelphia. He travels throughout the U.S. and Europe conducting seminars on the history, traditions, terroir distinctions, and varying flavor profiles of tequila. He also started TIP (Tequila Interchange Project), which is a group of dedicated, concerned, agave enthusiasts and conservationists to help develop strategies for sustainable growth of the industry and preservation of the spirit and plant, that we all love.
David gives his time to the art of making mezcal and tequila, and educating people. He says "we’ve been able to kill evil legislation, and the group has become very vocal in Mexico". Mexico needs that, especially at this time. I hope he's proud of his work, I know I am. In addition to all this, David Suro owns a world class Mexican restaurant "Tequilas" in Philadelphia. He has owned it for 29 years. David is in Perth, Australia right now with 'The Agave Love' event, meeting with some of the world's best agave experts, dedicated to the promotion, education, protection and recognition of the Agave Spirits of Mexico.
David Suro is doing great things with tequila, in its transparency, education, showing us his different varieties and terrains, and in his Mezcal production. Watch for other future interesting projects. Siembra Spirits is very worthy of your attention. Great Tequilas!!
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