Today, Cutwater Spirits officially unveils the latest addition to its portfolio — the first of the distillery’s brand new lineup of premium tequilas — called Rayador Tequila Blanco. The project has been decade in the making for founder and master distiller Yuseff Cherney, who spent a bulk of the last two years traveling back and forth to Jalisco, the heart of tequila production in Mexico, for a hands-on immersion into the tequila-making process.
Cherney is the lead instructor of UC San Diego Extension’s Professional Certificate in Brewing, and one of his students happened to fortuitously be part of a family-owned distillery in the city of Tequila. He was able to partner with the 100-year-old Mexican distillery to craft the spirit using 100% estate-grown blue agave.
While many of today’s popular tequila brands are mass-produced in stainless steel, Cherney wanted Cutwater’s rendition to adhere to the spirit’s centuries-old traditional techniques; the agave for Rayador Tequila Blanco is slow-cooked in brick ovens and distilled in a custom-fabricated copper still. Cherney says that was aiming to translate the true flavor of agave into his sippable, 40% ABV, 80 proof tequila (The same Mexican distillery also makes a variation of the tequila for Cutwater’s industry-leading canned cocktails which include a Margarita and Paloma).
Rayador Tequila Blanco is on shelves now, and pouring at Cutwater Spirits’ cocktail bar at its facility in Miramar. 2019 will also see the release of a reposado tequila while an anejo is due by the end of next summer after aging in Cutwater whiskey barrels.