2020 Tour Update

Agave Landscape

July 20, 2020

Dear friends of Experience Agave,

We are currently working with a public health consultant and our partner distilleries, hotels, and transportation providers to ensure that when our tours resume, Experience Agave will have effective safety protocols built into every aspect of our tours. We are preparing to implement social distancing, temperature checks, mask usage, frequent sanitization of surfaces, al fresco meals, and other “best practices.” We are confident that will be ready to host you in safety and style when the time comes. 

Nevertheless, as both the United States and Mexico struggle to contain the novel coronavirus, we have decided that we will not be resuming public tours for the remainder of 2020. This includes the public versions of our Valley of Tequila Four-Day Experience, Tequila Highlands Four-Day Experience, Valley of Tequila Day Tour, and our Mezcal Pechuga Camp. We will not be offering a public Day of the Dead Tequila Experience this year either.

Our priority remains maintaining the health and safety of our team, guests, and hosts at distilleries, hotels, restaurants and other venues throughout Mexico. We are particularly concerned with the possibility of bringing COVID-19 from hotspots in the US to rural areas in Mexico that have been successful in keeping the virus out of their communities. 

We will continue to accept reservations for private tequila and mezcal tours with start dates in September and later. These tours will be contingent upon the circumstances on the ground in both Mexico and the United States, and we will continue refund 100% of any payments towards tours that are cancelled due to the pandemic. 

We are all in this together, and we sincerely look forward to seeing you again in Mexico. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know

Sincerely, 
Clayton J. Szczech
Founder, Experience Agave

Leopoldo Solis on Fifth Anniversary of ET

Experience Tequila launched in December, 2008. To commemorate our fifth anniversary, we asked friends and colleagues for their comments or reflections on our first five years. We will post the comments over the course of several months.
Leopoldo Solís is a legendary master distillery and Tequila consultant. He was at Cazadores in its prime, and has worked on flavor profiles for several brands made at the Vivanco distillery (NOM 1414), and Tequila Don Pilar. His explanations of the chemistry of fermentation and distillation are some of the most lucid I have heard.

“Experience Tequila’s contribution has been the diffusion of the culture of Tequila. They have contributed to a better understanding and, therefore, appreciation of this world class alcoholic beverage.

Congratulations for having this idea, and we wish you many more years of growth and success. Onward!”

-Ing. Leopoldo Solis Tinoco,  Profesionales en Equipo y Filtración, S.A. de C.V.

This testimonial is part of a series marking Experience Tequila’s fifth anniversary. If you would like to submit your own, we would love to hear from you! Simply email us

Jacob Lustig (ArteNOM) on 5th Anniversary of ET

Experience Tequila launched in December, 2008. To commemorate our fifth anniversary, we asked friends and colleagues for their comments or reflections on our first five years. We will post the comments over the course of several months.Experience Tequila launched in December, 2008. To commemorate our fifth anniversary, we asked friends and colleagues for their comments or reflections on our first five years. We will post the comments over the course of several months.
Jacob Lustig has been blazing his own trail in the spirits business for many years. When I first became aware of his Selección ArteNOM line of tequila, I thought “That’s a great idea!” When I saw that he had chosen three of my favorite distilleries to feature – NOMs 1146, 1414 and 1079 (now 1580)- I thought “I have to meet this guy!” What ensued was an hour long phone call while we were both traveling and the discovery of an agave brother from another mother. I can’t emphasize enough how much I respect Jake and what he does for tequila. Salud, amigo!

“Experience Tequila has drawn more people to the enjoyment of Mexico’s premier agave distillate by increasing product knowledge and popularity. Clayton’s pursuit of accurate, pertinent production details and dissemination to a growing body of enthusiasts fulfills a critical need in the continuously developing culture of tequila.

Congratulations Clayton, the first five years are the hardest!”

-Jacob Lustig, Las Joyas del Agave

 Jacob Lustig

This testimonial is part of a series marking Experience Tequila’s fifth anniversary. If you would like to submit your own, we would love to hear from you! Simply email us

Ana Maria Romero Mena on 5th Anniversary of ET

Experience Tequila launched in December, 2008. To commemorate our fifth anniversary, we asked friends and colleagues for their comments or reflections on our first five years. We will post the comments over the course of several months.
Ana María Romero Mena is the most widely recognized maestra tequilera in the field of tasting and sensorial evaluation. I’ve had the pleasure of studying with her in various courses since March, 2011. Her instruction has been invaluable in honing my modest skills as a taster, and she continues to have a huge impact on the industry as an educator and consultant on flavor and aroma profiles. Maestra, thank you for everything!

“Many congratulations, Clayton. I feel proud to have had students like you, committed to tequila not only with professionalism, but with heart. May you have many more successes for many more years. A big hug!

-Ana Maria Romero Mena, Sensorial Creativa

This testimonial is part of a series marking Experience Tequila’s fifth anniversary. If you would like to submit your own, we would love to hear from you! Simply email us
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Diana Jimenez (Tequila Centinela) on 5th Anniversary of ET

Experience Tequila launched in December, 2008. To commemorate our fifth anniversary, we asked friends and colleagues for their comments or reflections on our first five years. We will post the comments over the course of several months.
Diana Jiménez is one of the most recognizable faces in the industry, traveling tirelessly as a global ambassador for Casa Centinela. Centinela has been a regular stop on our Highlands tours from the very beginning. Thank you, Diana and Centinela!

“Experience Tequila is a great opportunity to get closer to the Tequila Culture. Since this great project started, it has grown into the hearts of the people and also helped to increase Tequila knowledge.

Clayton, you certainly deserve all the success and recognition from us in the industry, for your hard work and dedication. Salud to that!”

-Diana Jimenez, Casa Centinela

This testimonial is part of a series marking Experience Tequila’s fifth anniversary. If you would like to submit your own, we would love to hear from you! Simply email us

Dr. Jaime Villalobos on 5th Anniversary of ET

Experience Tequila launched in December, 2008. To commemorate our fifth anniversary, we asked friends and colleagues for their comments or reflections on our first five years. We will post the comments over the course of several months.
Dr. Jaime Villalobos is a true maestro tequilero. he producers several brands including Realeza Mexicana, Corazón Maya and Mexitas. As a producer, his knowledge of production and chemistry is mind-blowing. As an author and historian of tequila and its tradition, he is equally impressive, having created the “Distintivo T” curriculum for the CRT and written the definitive history of the Sauza family. He was also a founding member of the Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Tequila. I had the privilege of studying with Dr. Villalobos for the better part of a year, ultimately earning a certification of “Experto en Tequila.” Thank you, maestro, for everything!

“I greatly value Clayton’s attitude and courage in immersing himself completely in the culture of tequila. I feel proud to be his teacher and a teacher is always happy when his students excel.

Clayton, may you continue learning about our beverage, our history and promote it with pride!”

-Dr. Jaime Augusto Villalobos Díaz, Cultura y Capacitación del Tequila, A.C.

This testimonial is part of a series marking Experience Tequila’s fifth anniversary. If you would like to submit your own, we would love to hear from you! Simply email us

 

Jim Riley (Azunia Tequila) on 5th Anniversary of ET

Experience Tequila launched in December, 2008. To commemorate our fifth anniversary, we asked friends and colleagues for their comments or reflections on our first five years. We will post the comments over the course of several months.
We’ve been fans of Azunia Tequila since trying it at the Spirits of Mexico Festival around 2009. Owner Jim Riley is part owner of this delicious and under-rated tequila, as well as an off-road truck racer. Jim is a tequila  fan first and foremost, and was responsible for bringing Amatitán’s classic Tequila Regional into the US. Thank you, Jim, for your kind words!

“I have known Clayton and his Company “Experience Tequila” for several years now. Although I have always viewed him as one of the industry experts and one of the few people that are truly passionate for tequila. It was not until a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest did I realize how widespread his effect actually was. In an area where tequila is emerging through the efforts of few boutique brands, Clayton is well known as the main authority on tequilas. His tours are have an excellent reputation as being educational and fun. It is our goal to utilize Experience Tequila more in the future as we continue to grow our own line of tequila.

Congratulations on 5 years of spreading the word about Tequila and the beauty of all that Mexico has to offer. As a producer of a boutique tequila, we sincerely appreciate your efforts to bring guests to a wonderful country filled with the finest people. Salud!”

-Jim Riley, Founder,  Azunia Tequila

Jim Riley made Clayton's day in 2013 by introducing him to basketball legend, Portland favorite, and Azunia co-owner Bill Walton.
Jim Riley made Clayton’s day in 2013 by introducing him to basketball legend, Portland favorite, and Azunia co-owner Bill Walton.

 

This testimonial is part of a series marking Experience Tequila’s fifth anniversary. If you would like to submit your own, we would love to hear from you! Simply email us

Kristina Schulte (Casa del Matador) on Fifth Anniversary of ET

Experience Tequila launched in December, 2008. To commemorate our fifth anniversary, we asked friends and colleagues for their comments or reflections on our first five years. We will post the comments over the course of several months.
Casa del Matador, in both Portland and Seattle, has hosted many of our scores of tasting events over the past five years. We’ve working more closely with Kristina Schulte at Portland’s East Burnside location than with anyone else, and she is a true tequila lover and consummate professional. Thank you Kristin and Casa del Matador for accompanying us on the first five years of our tequila journey!

“Casa del Matador Restaurant and Tequila Bar has had a professional relationship with Clayton and Experience Tequila for years. When I first moved to Portland to take over managing this restaurant I was told by many people that Clayton was the go-to-guy for tequila in Portland. We are extremely lucky to have Clayton as a contact in the tequila industry and I now consider him to be the go-to-guy for tequila in general. His passion and dedication to what he does is apparent the moment he begins speaking about the history, production and traditions of tequila. He has conducted educational meetings and tastings here which have reignited our desire to learn and really get involved in the intricacies of each tequila we carry. I’ve worked in the tequila industry for nearly 9 years and always learn something new when I talk to Clayton. I will continue to utilize Experience Tequila as a resource and recommend his services to anyone who has the desire to learn more about such a noble and complex spirit such as tequila.

Congratulations to Clayton and Experience Tequila for 5 years of educating, sharing and enriching the tequila industry with your wealth of knowledge. May you continue to celebrate your success in the years to come. Thank you for your invaluable contributions to our staff and the spirits industry.”

-Kristina Schulte, Casa del Matador East Burnside

This testimonial is part of a series marking Experience Tequila’s fifth anniversary. If you would like to submit your own, we would love to hear from you! Simply email us

Casa Noble on 5th Anniversary of ET

Experience Tequila launched in December, 2008. To commemorate our fifth anniversary, we asked friends and colleagues for their comments or reflections on our first five years. We will post the comments over the course of several months.
Casa Noble is s huge favorite among tequila fans, and truly committed to tequila education. Their organic and sustainable agave program and meticulous blending from new French oak barrels make them truly unique in the industry. Founder Jose “Pepe” Hermosillo and Vice President David Yan were some of our earliest supporters. Thank you, Casa Noble!

“It is fantastic to see a company/person with such passion for tequila. Experience Tequila has taken the time to learn and do things correctly, extending the knowledge of tequila.

Our great respect for Clayton, congratulations on a fantastic job in teaching about tequila and its culture.”

-Jose Hermosillo, Casa Noble

Clayton and Dave Yan
With David Yan at one of our countless visits to Casa Noble.

“Experience Tequila provides an unparalleled learning opportunity that connects people with the culture, people and brands that make Tequila such a unique and fascinating industry. Immersing visitors into a total experience that includes the history, production and people that help make Tequila such a unique product, helps provide an unforgettable journey that would otherwise be impossible for an individual to acquire.

Our deepest gratitude to Experience Tequila supporting Casa Noble in such a professional, authentic way. The privilege of hosting hundreds of his guests throughout this 5 years has given us the chance to generate and develop many invaluable relationships, thanks to the possibility of sharing the full Casa Noble Experience, where we immerse every person into a journey of the senses: the chance to see, hear, taste, smell and feel every single aspect of how we make our handcrafted luxury tequilas. Your collaboration also extends beyond borders, helping spread the Casa Noble experience in dozens of tastings, pairing dinners and seminars across the USA. Thank you SO much for your invaluable and continuous help.”

-David Yan, Casa Noble

 

This testimonial is part of a series marking Experience Tequila’s fifth anniversary. If you would like to submit your own, we would love to hear from you! Simply email us

Emilio Ferreira (Tequilas El Buho) on 5th Anniversary of ET

Experience Tequila launched in December, 2008. To commemorate our fifth anniversary, we asked friends and colleagues for their comments or reflections on our first five years. We will post the comments over the course of several months.
Emilio Ferreira Ruiz is the proprietor of one of the best tequila store in the world – El Buho, in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco. El Buho isn’t a must-visit site for tequila aficionados solely for the vast selection. People from all over the world come to El Buho, again and again, because of Emilio. He is a chemist by training, with a deep understanding of production processes. He is honest, ethical and fair with his customers. But most of all, he loves tequila! His passion for tequila knowledge is equal to that of our most hardcore guests. We are honored to call Emilio a friend and teacher.

“Experience Tequila has been one of the key factors in making Tequila known as an excellent beverage. Their tours to distilleries and other sites are very professional. Experience Tequila’s visits to El Buho have helped me expand my knowledge of tequila, as we have very interesting conversations with Clayton’s visitors – sharing our perspectives on quality, process, history, master distillers and other topics.

For me it’s an honor to know Clayton. He’s an excellent person and so his project couldn’t be any less. Congratulations, Clayton, on the fifth anniversary of ET. I am sure there will be many more years and successes in any project you develop. Cheers!”

-Emilio Ferreira Ruiz, Tequilas El Buho

El Buho

 

 

 

This testimonial is part of a series marking Experience Tequila’s fifth anniversary. If you would like to submit your own, we would love to hear from you! Simply email us