We highly recommend booking this especially if you are interested in spirits. The value for what you receive and the overall experience makes the “Agave Experience” a must do while at Walt Disney World. You can book the experience at firstname.lastname@example.org. They were quick to respond and coordinate a date and time. They rotate their tequila ambassadors so every visit is sure to be unique. If you have participated in this experience, please leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.
Matices Hotel de Barricas
This hotel had popped up on our social media timeline forever. I think we might search for tequila a little too much. Many comments indicated that this was a bucket list place to stay so we decided to book a few nights and take the trip to Jalisco, Mexico. At Matices Hotel de Barricas, they have barrels you can crash in after a day full of tequila drinking. There are about 30 barrels situated on the property that you can book. These single room barrels are complete with a bed, bathroom, everything you would have in a regular hotel, including a free shot of tequila in your room.
The hotel is situated right in the middle of an agave field and has a distillery on property (La Cofradia) which adds to the ambiance. They offer tours of the distillery, horseback rides through the agave fields and harvesting agave like a jimador. There are two restaurants onsite which offer buffet breakfasts and an underground location that has delicious dining at night. If you want to take a trip to downtown Tequila, it’s a short ride where you can visit other distilleries, eat and shop.
There is an onsite shop with a wide variety of tequila if you want to pick up some bottles to take home. It’s situated right next to a barrel room where you can smell the tequila aging. They even let you try samples before you make a purchase. We took home three bottles for only $45.
Herradura Tequila Train
Want to drink tequila all day and do it in style? We took a ride on the Herradura tequila train and had a wild time. We booked the experience a month in advance. It was 2,500 pesos per person for the club car, which is about $120 dollars each. They also offered less expensive options with a VIP car and general seating. They also had first class seats and then a general admission ticket. The club car looked more like a lounge – there was a bar and it was adults only, so it was more of a festive atmosphere. Included is a train ride to and from the Guadalajara train station, plus unlimited drinks and tequila while you’re on the train, each way. Once there, lunch is included, all the tequila you can drink during lunch, plus cocktails, a mariachi and dancing show and a tour of the distillery.
Then, once you got to Herradura, you get VIP seats to the mariachi show. I would recommend that if you’re going to go on this train ride, that you go ahead and get the upgrade. This is a full day experience. We arrived around 9am, checked in at 10, and the train left at 11. The train returns to Guadalajara around 7:30pm, so you really do get a lot of value for what you pay.
When you arrive for the distillery tour, you get to see the entire process of how it goes from the plant to the bottle. You see the workers throwing agave into brick ovens, crushing the agave and juicing them using roller mills. You tour past the fermentation tanks and get an up close look at the stills. We also got to see how the jimadors cut the agave.
Old Herradura Distillery
They don’t allow picture taking, but the highlight of the Herradura tour was their old distillery, which was built in the 1600’s. The old distillery isn’t used anymore other than for tours, but you can go inside and check it out. In 1870, they started making tequila; it’s actually one of the original places that made tequila.
You walk into this place and it’s basically a museum and really incredible. It was extremly dark They had underground fermentation tanks. They had the copper stills there. The whole place is stone; the ceiling is brick. It really gives you a look at that era of history.
It was definitely the highlight of the tour. As I mentioned, they don’t allow flash photography so it doesn’t ruin the experience for others, but it’s something you’d just have to see for yourself. It gave us goosebumps to be able to see this old distillery, so I’d really recommend the tour if you’re a tequila enthusiast.
Then at the end, they walk you to the back of it and you’re still in the same facility, and it’s time to try a bunch of different varieties of Herradura. It was great because we also got to try some of the non standard ones that you don’t see very often, if ever, in the U.S.
On a side note, if you have around $10,000 to $12,000 laying around you can purchase a barrel at Herradura. You do a tasting to pick the barrel you like best after sampling a handful of them. You sign your name on your chosen barrel, and then whenever it’s ready, they will give you 240 bottles of your tequila. Your friends will love you!