The restaurant business can be brutally physical, the hours long and exhausting, and the competition cutthroat.
Except sometimes it isn't.
Cameron Douglas helps run the Dusty Boot in Beaver Creek and Eagle, and the Metropolitan in Beaver Creek.
Not so long ago the good folks from Herradura invited him and some the management staff to the Tequila region of Mexico where they distill, wait for it ... tequila. Crank up The Champs song of the same name and sing along.
It was a fact-finding mission and they found Herradura Reposado, one of the best tequilas on God's green earth.
The Cameron Crew took a VIP tour of the Herradura grounds and spent many educational hours in the tasting room. They got to chose their favorite double barrel of tequila, which has now been shipped to Colorado and you can try it yourself at four local restaurants. In Eagle County, that's the Dusty Boot Beaver Creek and Eagle, The Metropolitan in Beaver Creek and Luigi's in Eagle.
Reposado means "rest." Herradura Double Barrel Reposado Tequila is aged at least 11 months, then another month is a second barrel, this one toasted oak, and that's where the smoothness comes from.
It has some caramel notes, you'll note a little cooked agave, dried fruit and some sweet brown spice. They hand bottle it at the estate.
Douglas has been in the restaurant business for years and knows that not all tequilas are created equal. But a refresher course is always good.
Basically there are three types of tequila:
o Silver: Unaged, the kind you drank when you were a college student with no sense of self preservation.
o Reposado: Ages 6-12 months. The kind you drink now that you bear a striking resemblance to a grownup.
o Anejo: Aged more than a year.
Herradura is a double barreled reposado.
"It's more of a sipping tequila, like a Scotch," Cameron said.
In the name of good investigative journalism and The Public's Right to Know, we sampled some Herradura Reposado. Then we sampled some more, because we needed to be absolutely certain, and we are.
Herradura has been doing this 135 years, and this is what tequila is like when you get it right.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.