For years, some tequila producers have been using additives to their products. The rules and regulations for tequila production have allowed for caramel coloring, oak, extract, glycerin, and sugar-based syrup (NORMA Oficial Mexicana NOM-006-SCFI-2012, Bebidas alcohólicas-Tequila-Especificaciones 4.1). How it got passed me, I don't know, but for the rules and regulations for 2013 had added this little phrase that I was completely unaware of until last week while attending the Distintivo T, a course that was developed and run by the CRT.
"4.36.1 Tequila blanco o plata
Producto transparente no necesariamente incoloro, sin abocante, obtenido de la destilación añadiendo únicamente agua de dilución y lo previsto en el numeral 18.104.22.168 en los casos que proceda para ajustar la graduación comercial requerida, pudiendo tener una maduración menor de dos meses en recipientes de roble o encino."
For the most part it is saying that additives (abocantes) can not be used with blanco/plata tequilas. This is great news, as long as producers are not side-stepping, we will no longer have overly-sweet and un-natural tasting blanco tequilas. The biggest problem is that for many people who would taste a blanco tequila that had additives of glycerin and sweeteners, would come to expect all tequilas to be something that they inherently are not. Hopefully, this will lead us to having "additive-free" tequilas, or at the very least the labeling of said additives to the packaging.
So in the middle of class, I asked a few of my ultra-geeky tequila friends if they were aware of this amendment which lead to Clayton Szczech of Experience Tequila to publish this great article:
"Mexico Bans Additives in Blanco Tequila"