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Tequila Shortage | A Cause To Sip Slowly

JImador Walking through Agave Field

Just when we thought 2020 couldn't get any worse we are hit with the news that there is an impending tequila shortage. Yes, you read that right; so savor your favorite tequilas slowly.

With the growing popularity of Tequila over the past couple of years the demand in the agave plant (tequila’s main ingredient) has reached new heights. So much so that the plant's price has gone up sixfold.

If you're a tequila drinker you know there are 5 basic classes of Tequila:

  • Blanco: clear in color, unaged and typically bottled directly after distilling
  • Joven: light gold in color, unaged and colored with caramel or syrup or it can be a blend of blanco and a variety of aged tequilas
  • Reposado: light brown in color, aged for a minimum of 2 months
  • Anejo: amber in color, aged for a minimum of 1 year but less than 3 years
  • Extra Anejo: dark amber in color, aged for more than 3 years

Jimador Harvesting an Agave PlantEach class requires a little more than 11 pounds of mature agave to make a single bottle. Mature plants take six or more years to culminate, but due to the shortage Tequila makers have had to resort to younger alternatives. This forces production to consume more of the already deficient plant. 

So how can tequila lover's cope? Well, Carlos Camarena, Master Distiller & Co-Founder of Tequila Ocho explains that the cycle of agave shortage and glut is nothing new and has been cyclical for more than a century. The root of the issue? He says it's largely due to the duration for agave to mature and the supply and demand for tequila.

Our suggestion? Stock up on what you can find and ration your bottles of Don Julio, Clase Azul and Casamigos as this shortage is not nearing a resolution any time soon. 

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