Derechito Tequila is a is relatively new (from 2018) and comes with super elegant packaging and graphic design suggesting a luxury product. “Derechito” means something like “neat” – as in drinking the tequila neat. Alberto Callejo Torre is the man behind the brand. He has a background in design and marketing and when he moved to Mexico from Madrid in 2015, he quickly took an interest in tequila. Getting to know the Leal family who runs Tequila Selecto de Amatitán made him interested in having his own brand, so in 2018 he created Tequila Derechito. Packaging and the sleek bottle design with nice typography looks good and communicates a brand which is not traditional tequila marketing.
Prior to doing a review of Tequila Derechito we made a supersmall interview with Alberto Callejo Torre.
Q: I read in the interview with you i vol. 7 of “Profiles in Agave Spirits” that your family had been working with wine prior to taking up tequila. Can you please elaborate on that?
A: Yes, indeed, my father´s branch of the family comes from Sotillo de la Ribera, a village in one of the most characteristic wine aereas in Spain, Ribera del Duero. Some of my relatives still work the wineyards nowadays. In my case, though, due to the fact that I am living in Mexico, I changed the grapevines for the agave plants. Different markets but same passion.
Q: Grapes are harvested yearly – agaves take quite some time to mature. This makes pricing, farming etc a bit of a hazard, but there’s an aspect to it which is rarely mentioned. When I watched the movie “Agave – Spirit of a Nation” I was struck by the mentality of being in the “business for the long run”. There’s a lot of love invested in the daily work, the land, plants and the processes which – at least to me – felt different from the more, quick moving world of for instance whisky an vodka production. Do you think the mentality regarding tequila production differs from that of wine production?
A: What I love about this, there is this connection among the Wine and tequila making, which consists on families working the land, generation after generation.
Obviously, wine production benefits from different terroirs and grapes planted all over the world and that provides an interesting variety and a constant and stable offer.
Tequila, though, is limited to a single type of agave produced only at five Mexican states. If demand keeps increasing during the next years, as it recently did, maybe it would be interesting to explore the idea of approving new states for harvesting blue agave with the same standards and quality that CRT has always required since it was created.
Mezcal, for example, is more extended in terms of land area and types of agave approved. Thus, they are better prepared for a quicker response for when demand peaks.
Q: You mention in the interview, (in Profiles in Agave Spirits) that there is a need for brand and marketing innovation in the tequila industry. It is impossible not to agree with this. There are different trends in the industry suggesting different directions for it to take. “Bats for Tequila”, TequilaMatchMakers additive certification, but also it seems quite a few distilleries are introducing diffusers. Can you please add a few notes as what you think of the future of the tequila industry?
A: In my opinion, this is a great moment for all Mexican spirits. With regards to the tequila industry, a change in content and container was a must, and producers are catching up with the challenge. The market is also better informed and skilled and, therefore, more exigent. New trends suggest the industry is seeking for new flavours and experiences, playing with the elaboration methods and breaking out the constrains of the classic definition of tequila.
I also think that small brands are bringing back the classic techniques to do Tequila, and the big players are also creating new products with these techniques in small batches.
It feels like a very exciting and promising time is coming for both manufacturers and users. For sure, time will tell which innovations are here to stay and which ones will fall apart: in our case, we choose not to use diffusors nor additives in our tequilas, but respect those practices allowed by the CRT (Tequila Regulatory Council).
Q: Derechito comes in very beautiful packaging. I have been wondering about the exact spanish to english translation of the name, “Derechito”…?
A: The name comes from the first time that I ordered a tequila in Guadalajara, and the waiter asked me if I wanted it with soda or “derecho” (straight). Derechito is only a diminutive that usually expresses tenderness and is frequently used on a daily basis in Jalisco.
Q: The logo – a cowboy, I think it is… Is there a story to that?
A: It is a cowboy, a “charro” as we call them here. It is a tribute to these people who have been taking care of the land since ancient times.
Q: Where does your agaves come from?
A: All our agaves come from the state of Jalisco, growing in the valley of Amatitan at 1320 meters over sea level, in a volcanic clay terroir, sunny along the year. The fact of having our own state grown agave in more that 3000 hectares, assure to have the same raw material and by consequence, offering the great tequila that always characterized the NOM 1459.
Tequila Derechito Review
So what is it like this London Spirits Awards Gold and Bronze Winner? The people at Derechito were so kind to send TequilaList a sample of each aging. Derechito comes from Amatitán, so the choice of NOM 1459 Tequila Selecto de Amatitan, S.A. de C.V. as destillery is a good one.
Derechito Tequila Blanco is soft and mellow on the palate. The nose isn’t overly rich but is still pleasant with a little fresh pepperminty aroma. The taste follows the mouth feel very well. It has sweetness, but not too much. Notes of Agave and flowers and a very nice aftertaste, makes for a good blanco to drink neat.
Derechito Tequila Reposado. This is the “golden one” – Derechito Tequila Reposado Gold Winner from the London Spirits Competition . We were expecting a lot from this very light reposado. It has a very light golden sheen to it. It opens with a slightly metallic note which soon transforms into sweeter and deeper notes of caramel, honey and a bit of grass. The mouth feel is good. Not too warm. The aroma is sweet with a little coconut and baked agave.
Derechito Tequila Anejo. It is difficult to make a good anejo and extra anejo tequila. When the blanco is poured into the barrel anything can happen and the aging process takes on a life of its own. What we often experience is the anejo and extra anejos to be too sweet and to have lost the fragile freshness of the blanco tequila. Derechitos anejo is fine with a golden hue and a very mellow and relaxed mouth feeling. The aroma is equally relaxed with notes of coconut, honey.
Derechito Tequila Extra Anejo. The extra anejo is probably what we would expect. It has full and rather sweet expression and a deep golden color. Honey, dried fruit, caramel and cinnamon. Cooked agave and toasted nuts in the flavor.
Derechito Tequilas Website can be found here: https://www.derechito.com.mx/home