A visit to La Cata typically begins with a flight—a tasting structured around three or more spirits, designed to enable you to make comparisons based on production method, region, agave source, producer, or any number of other factors.
“Vertical” flights start with a less-aged class, such as blanco, and progress through more aged classes, such as añejo or extra-añejo. Vertical flights are often brand-specific.
“Horizontal” flights feature different spirits within the same class; for example, all joven or reposado.
“Mixed flights” or “Bartender’s Choice” include a mix of options curated for your taste buds. Such flights could include a comparison of tequila, mezcal, and sotol, for example. With the size of La Cata’s selection and our staff’s knowledge, the possibilities are nearly limitless.
Please note that the theme of each flight is what is most important. Substitutions of particular brands are very much welcome.
The Valley of Tequila (sometimes mistakenly called “Lowlands”) is the birthplace of tequila, and one of the oldest sites of distillation in Mexico. While many claim that tequilas from this region tend to be citric, spicy, and earthy, there is quite a bit of diversity based on microclimate and production methods.
Don Abraham (NOM 1480), Fortaleza (NOM 1493), Casa Noble (NOM 1137)
The Jalisco Highlands, three hours east of Tequila, began producing blue agave in the early 20th century and now produce the majority in the industry. While many claim that tequilas from this region tend to be sweet, fruity, and floral, there is quite a bit of diversity based on microclimate and production methods.
Siete Leguas (NOM 1120), Viva México (NOM 1414, Tapatío (NOM 1139)
The tahona is a large stone wheel used to crush cooked agave in the most artisanal tequila processes. Very few producers continue to use this method, due to its inefficiencies. Fans of the tahona though have no problem paying extra for the types of flavors found in these products.
Suerte (NOM 1530), El Tesoro de Don Felipe (NOM 1139), Roca Patrón (NOM 1492)
“Hydrolysis” in tequila refers to the complex carbohydrates of the agave being broken down into simple sugars. Traditionally, this was done by steam cooking in a stone oven. In the mid-twentieth century, some producers began to use pressurized stainless-steel autoclaves to carry out a similar cook in less time. And towards the end of the last century, large producers began using diffusers - machines that use chemicals or enzymes to extract the carbohydrates in liquid form from raw agave.
Purasangre (NOM 1146), Los Tres Toños (NOM 1459), Sauza Tres Generaciones (NOM 1102)
Comparative Barrel Flight (Añejos)
Tequila must be aged in oak by law, but using different types of oak and barrel treatments opens up myriad flavor possibilities. Tequila was originally aged in used American whiskey barrels, and this is still the predominant practice. New American oak will impart color, aroma and flavor more quickly. French oak is a different subspecies of tree, and confers different flavors entirely.
Don Fulano (NOM 1146), G4 (NOM 1579), Hacienda Sahuayo (NOM 1511)
Even More Flights Available
The flights presented here should give you an idea of what a typical tasting flight at La Cata consists of. Of course, the individualized attention from our Agave Guides is what brings it all together. We feature a rotating menu of pre-set flights like those on this page. We are also always happy to work with you to a create a personalized flight - whether it’s comparing your old favorites, expanding your palette with unknown expressions, or pouring you a blind flight of our choosing - the ultimate palette truth serum!