On a question of consistency: Tequila
Tequila is a natural product, sourced straight from the gorgeous blue bulbs of the agave plant. So, if you have ever tasted your favourite label and thought, ‘this is considerably different from the last time I tried it’ then there is nothing to be alarmed about - it has just varied in relation to the last batch you tried.
There are many factors that contribute to the spirit’s varying flavour, including the time of the year it’s produced, the varying ageing barrels, the agaves harvested and even the slight changes in distillation cuts or yeast.
But this doesn’t change our desire to know exactly how our beverage is made, regardless of whether it is a classic Mexican variety or a fine Australian made Tequila.
So, let’s take a further look at how the industry manages the expectations of confused consumers who are baffled by the variation in taste of this beloved spirit:
A natural drop will always vary
It’s only understandable that a punter might be confused by the difference in taste between their most recent drops, but to reach the exact same consistency with every batch a producer has to use additives, thus degrading the label’s standard and claim to authentic naturality.
For example, a company might add a little caramel colouring to give a new batch that rich, warm and highly inviting colour. In fact, producers may use a variety of additives, including glycerin, sweetener and oak extract to reach desired consistencies in colour, flavour and texture.
This, of course, is the cause of a row between the tequila-drinking population. Whilst your purists would love nothing more than to see slight changes in taste, colour and even smoothness, those who just want a consistently-delicious blend (and you can’t blame them for that either!) will say that this is simply bad for business.
Producers who stick to the natural route have taken to showcasing the slight differences in batches with each natural bottle. They may hand write the date of production on the back label or inform the consumer of what agaves were used, just so that they don’t let the drinker down with any idea of a perfectly consistent product.
For purists, this inconsistency can actually lead to a lot of fun, especially when it comes to debating with other connoisseurs which agave or production time they preferred. In this sense, having that certain inconsistency works as its own form of marketing, especially when you have fans getting excited about a company trying to emulate one of their last batches.
However, and perhaps sadly, this inconsistent enjoyment is a rarity amongst producers, as standard practice is to make a drop that customers will continue to know, love and drink. You won’t see too many of the world’s major market producers informing their customers of a slight quirk in their last batch - that’s because they strive for consistency.
But what do you think? Are you an Australian made Tequila aficionado? Who wants nothing more than their drink to carry the quirks of a beautifully natural, delightfully authentic spirit? Or are you someone who loved a particular label so much the first time you tried it that you couldn’t bear the thought of even the slightest deviation from its original flavour?
The Tequila world is constantly evolving, becoming more adaptable to the needs of consumers both pure and flexible, and this is what makes it such a favourite for connoisseurs the world over.