Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Leguas, a Premium Tequila
Atotonilco, Jalisco, Mexico
Whatever it is, tequila
probably can't fix it, but it's worth a shot! - Jimmy Buffett
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Leguas, a premium tequila, is made in the Mexican Highlands town of
Alto. It is located in the "Golden Zone" of the tequila-making towns of
Atotonilco, Arandas and Jesus Maria.
Years ago, we had already visited
the town of
Tequila and learned how Mexico's national drink
made. But we wanted to pursue the tasting of some of the best tequilas
in the world, so off to the Mexican Highlands we went!
The Siete Leguas Tequila Factory
Our personal story of tasting Siete
Leguas begins a few years before.
Billy and I were at
our favorite beaches on the Mexican Pacific Coast, when we passed by a
collection of tables at Chico's
Restaurant. The Grandmothers, Mothers, Sisters and Aunts had already
gone home, but the Grandfathers, Fathers, Uncles and Sons were still at the
table, reverently sipping on a family traditional tequila.
"The Best in the World!" an older
gentlemen confidently stated.
"Here. Sit with us and try some."
The name of the tequila, Siete Leguas,
was named after Pancho Villa's horse who was known as a distance runner.
This tequila would go the distance, just like Pancho's horse, they assured
So we sat down with this family of
gentlemen of all ages, and sipped on a legendary beverage.
Agave fields in Mexico's Golden
Triangle region of the Highlands
Tales were told and stories of Pancho
Villa's horse and the education of their sons were shared.
It was this night that we decided, come
heck or high water, we were going to the Siete Leguas distillery.
Located in some town whose name we
couldn't pronounce (Atotonilco), we found that it was only a few hours from
our own adopted home town of
The decision was easy, but finding the
time to go, and arranging for a tour proved to be a challenge.
Fresh agave pinas (pronounced
PEEN-yas) right from the fields
For months we called Siete Leguas to set
up an appointment for a tour. This, that and the other was explained to us,
but translated, the answer was "No."
But we love your tequila! People in
Mexico already know about it, why not let Americans and Canadians hear of
your premium brand?
"Well, um... No."
This made no sense to us, so we decided
to simply arrive and take our chances.
These pinas above are about 6
years old, cut in half before they are roasted. In the center is a flowering
stalk, called a quiote, and it is removed to prevent a bitter flavor
seeping into the fermenting tequila beverage.
The heart of the pina has no fiber
and is able to be eaten easily after roasting. the outside sections growing
from the heart have more sugar to them, but they are fibrous and you must
scrape these fibers between your teeth to get the agave. Whenever you
go on a tour, you are given a piece of roasted agave to sample.
Both parts are used to make the tequila,
balancing the sugars between them for the flavor the maker wants to express.
A worker in front of a pina
Well, we did arrive to the factory, and
knocked on a closed royal blue metal door that was flush to the sidewalk.
A worker opened it up to us, and we
explained our situation to him. He kindly allowed us to stand inside, and he
spoke with Bertha, the tour guide and manager of Siete Leguas. Again, Bertha
said "no" to him about us, but left some telephone numbers for us to call.
Grateful to the worker, we thanked him
and said our good byes.
Little did we know, but as we walked out
the door of this section of the factory, there was Bertha giving a tour to
about 15 people! We learned of this the following day when we met her.
It's all very strange...
A volcanic stone wheel, called a
tahona, is pulled by donkeys
These tahonas can weigh up to 3
tons each. They are pulled by oxen or or in this case, donkeys, to smash the
pina pulp to extract the aguamiel or sweet honey water from
the roasted pina.
This is the traditional manner for
centuries in which the pinas have been crushed to release that
As you can see here, the pina has
turned brown due to the roasting in one of the 8 ovens that Siete Leguas
has. This crushing goes on and on until the worker sees the pinas
have given up their golden honey.
Then these dry bits of pina are
put back into the agave field for fertilizer.
Donkeys pull the tahona as a
worker arranges the shredded pina into place.
The donkeys were hooked up to the
tahona and began their circular walk, over and over again. The worker
arranges the shredded pina to be in front of the wheel so it will be
crushed, releasing its juice.
Some of the minerals from the volcanic
tahona get mixed into the aguamiel, adding a "bottom" flavor to
the juice that will be fermented into the tequila. In some complex tequilas,
you can taste the minerals from the tahona!
As you can see, we finally made our way
inside the distillery through Bertha, the tour guide. We joined another four
people who were also on tour.
Maybe the "No's" we received were simply
to add mystique to this already enigmatic tequila.
Fermentation area of Siete Leguas
Siete Leguas ferments the pina
juice naturally, using no yeast. Instead they utilize the natural bacteria
present on the biomass.
Each distillery has a different approach
in order to pull from the agave plant the flavor they find to be the
Bertha said Siete Leguas has about 100
employees, including the 4 chemists, the truck drivers, the workers in the
fields (the jimadores), the men who cut and carry the agave
pinas, the office personnel and the miscellaneous people it takes to run
The agave pinas can weigh 20-40
kilos each, so the men who have cut them and then form a chain line to get
the pinas into the ovens are quite muscular.
A special aging barrel at Siete Leguas
Even though we were allowed into this
particular tour, the mystery continued. We were told we were not allowed to
take photos of anything other than the donkeys and the tahona.
The other four tourists we had joined had
their cell phone cameras snapping away, but it was only when we brought out
our "real" camera that Bertha admonished us over and again for breaking the
So... our photos to share with you are
limited... (the ones Billy sneaked by Bertha).
We highly recommend Siete Leguas as a
premium tequila, ranked #5 out of 106 at
Some of Siete Leguas tequila choices
Here you see an advertisement for Siete
Leguas tequila in Blanco, Anejo and Reposado.
If you see this brand in your liquor
store, be confident to purchase. A premium tequila, the flavor is smooth and
complex, one to be sipped from a copa. This is not to be thrown back to your
throat and followed with a bite of lime and salt.
For more information, photos and
stories about Mexico,
The most extensive
tequila database on earth,
For more information on
tequila, where to find it, how to taste it, and how it's made,
VIDEOS, VIDEOS, VIDEOS! See
Mexico for yourself! Beaches, Bars, Babes, Great Food, Live Music.
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha