Tequila Ocho (NOM 1474, Cia. Tequilera Los Alambiques, S.A. de C.V.) is a brand of tequila made by Felipe Camarena and Tomas Estes. Tequila Ocho takes a terroirist approach to the production of their spirit. All the agave used for production are grown in the red soil highlands around the town of Arandas, in the Jalisco state. Each bottle of Tequila Ocho is labeled with the year of distillation and the estate from which the piñas are taken.
It is probably easiest to think about their production method as being like that of a winemaker. The agave plants are not treated with chemical pesticides or fertilizers. They are left to grow for 8-10 years, and are harvested when they are mature.The piñas are cut in half, and cooked over low heat in a stone oven for 72 hours to fully caramelize the natural sugars. Juice from the first twelve hours (called bitter honey) is discarded.
After cooking, the piñas are milled and rinsed with water to extract the aguamiel (literally honey-water). This is then fermented in old, open top wooden vats with only native yeast. Once fermentation is complete, the first distillation takes place in a 3,500 liter stainless steel still, in which the heads and tails are discarded. The resulting liquid is called ordinario, and is distilled a second time in a 600 liter copper pot still. This distillate is cut with water to aging proof.
Tequila Ocho makes three expressions: Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo. All of their tequilas are aged in used American whiskey barrels for the legal minimum amount of time necessary (Eight weeks and eight days for Reposado, and one year for Añejo), in order to preserve agave flavors in the tequila.