‘el Jimador was created in 1994 to pay tribute to Casa Herradura’s expert ‘Jimadors’, the harvesters of the agave plant, whose job requires the great skill of identifying when the agave is ready.’
What better reason to create a tequila! * Casa Herradura was created in 1870 and is the original distillery where el Jimador is produced in Amatitán, Jalisco, México. The name Herradura came from Aurelio Lopez Rosales, a young man who grew up working at Hacienda San Jose del Refugio (which would later become Casa Herradura) where the tequila made there helped provide for the people. According to locals, one day Aurelio was out inspecting the agave fields when he saw the glint of gold on the dusty ground in the distance. When he picked up the gleaming object, he found that it was simply a horseshoe that had caught the sunlight at the perfect angle. It may not have been gold, but the horseshoe is a symbol of luck. And Spanish for “horseshoe” is Herradura. So, as the story goes, the distillery was named Casa Herradura.
In 1994, Casa Herradura created a tequila inspired by the people who live and work at the hacienda and named it el Jimador. Its wide appeal made it the number one selling tequila in México just five years after the first bottle was produced.
So how is el Jimador created?
Production of all el Jimador tequilas begins in the agave fields where the blue Weber agave plant grows. When the agave has matured enough to be harvested, a process that usually takes approximately 10 years, the workers known as Jimadors slice off the leaves to get to the piñas. The Jimadors bring the piñas in from the fields, chop them up one-by-one and strategically stack the pieces inside traditional ovens made of brick and stone, each holding 45 tons of agave. The piñas are steamed for 24 hours, then cooled before being crushed in huge mills to extract the juices.
The juice, known as ‘mosto’, is transferred to open-air tanks where natural, air-borne yeasts from agave plants and citrus trees located on the hacienda, spark the fermentation process. After fermentation, the juice is distilled two separate times and rested in white oak barrels. Mexican government standards define Blanco as being aged no more than 2 months; Reposado as being aged a minimum of 2 months in oak barrels; and Añejo aged a minimum of 12 months.
So how does the nod to one of the most important part of the tequila process fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
el Jimador Blanco – 38%
Toasted agave notes on the nose with a smooth, roasted flavour on the palate. Slightly dry but clean with hints of fresh citrus. Short.
el Jimador Reposado – 38%
Fresh cooked agave on the nose with soft hints of vanilla following. Very smooth on the palate with a hint of dry spice immediate. The spice develops into a dry finish, with hints of wood and malt coming through.
el Jimador Añejo – 38%
Aged for a year in toasted white oak barrels. Subtle oak notes with vanilla slowly making an appearance on the nose. Smooth on the palate with the wood flavours more dominant. Mouth-watering, yet dry on the lingering finish.
A great set enjoyed neat or over ice. The Blanco also goes well with one of these –
el Jimador Elderflower Paloma
35 ml el Jimador Blanco
15ml Elderflower cordial
Add the el Jimador and elderflower cordial to a hi-ball glass, top up with lemonade and a squeeze of lime. Stir. Add a couple of lime wedges as a garnish.
The el Jimador can be found in most bars in the UK, and is a perfect addition to many a cocktail, as well as being enjoyed neat or over ice. Also one to have in your drinks cabinet for a no-nonsense tequila. Hats off.
* History taken from the el Jimador website. Subtle changes have been made for narrative purposes only.
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