Taste: No Limes, No Salt

Savor this tequila. It took 18 years to make

Inside an airy, modern distillery in Arandas, Mexico — a dusty town in the heart of tequila country — ovens are baking, juicers are juicing, enormous fermentation vats are bubbling, Vivaldi is playing, and distillers are steaming blue agave hearts, the treasured raw material of tequila. David Suro has waited 18 years to smell the sweet, pumpkin-scented juices as they are wrung from the heavy agave husks, and the warm chocolate and vanilla aromas of the finished product, the first batch of Siembra Azul tequila.

“There are two roads you can go down when it comes to tequila: price and quality,” says Suro, owner of Philadelphia’s upscale Mexican restaurant Los Catrines and Tequila’s Bar, which stocks more than 75 types of tequila. “We went for quality.”

Artisanal Siembra Azul — the unaged Blanco; golden Reposado, aged three months; and darker Anejo, aged 18 months—is produced by the Vivanco family of Arandas, Mexico. Each member, from the 82-year-old grandfather to his 16-year-old grandson, is in charge of a different stage of the time-­consuming process, which includes cultivating agave plants for 12 years.

But Siembra Azul’s secret ingredient isn’t the carefully selected agave. It’s the classical music. “The frequencies of this music have a relaxing and harmonic effect, producing better results in flavor,” Suro says.  

Siembra Azul will be available at Pennsylvania state stores next month, prices starting in the low $30s.