El jimador is the person – are they always male? – who harvests the agave plants when they’re ready for tequila making.
El Jimador Blanco is a 100% Blue Agave tequila easily available in Irish stores at a reasonable price.
Tequila is a category yet to catch on in Ireland. The major store selections are dominated by the big playing multinational brands. El Jimador is no exception. Brown-Forman are the owners. They also have more familiar labels like Jack Daniels & Slane Whiskey – as well as many others.
As it was on the shelf in my local supermarket I purchased it – keen to find out how it tasted.
Being a Blanco El Jimador is a clear colourless spirit.
Rich agave aromas greet me.
Clean fresh palate, minty.
The dry peppery spice on the finish has a bit of a bite – which is nice – & leaves with a drying sensation.
A welcome introduction to 100% agave!
As an aside I compared my freshly opened 100% agave El Jimador with the last remnants of my mixto Azteca Tequila.
El Jimador is noticeably fresher on the nose. Azteca has a muddier, yet warmer feel on the palate. Both show dry peppery spice on the finish.
On a blind tasting I’m not sure which one I’d pick. The clean minty freshness of El Jimador or the smooth warmth of Azteca?
I’d like to think I’d chose the 100% agave – but having never experienced a blind tequila tasting – that theory remains to be tested.
Red Eye Louie’s brand of blended spirits caught my eye.
They do a line of Vodquila, Whisquila & Rumquila which had me tempted.
Unlikely to appear in Ireland – I decided to make my own.
Rather than blending from the same spirit category – Red Eye Louie’s mix up the spirits creating something new & exciting. Not knowing the percentages used nor the original spirit donors – I simply went with what I had & settled on a 1 third to 2 thirds mix weighted towards tequila.
Pressing on the coloured highlights will take you to my original blogs on the liquids.
Not sure what to expect here – or if the spirits will ‘marry’ together – but no venture no gain!
Well the pungent agave nose survives! Shouldn’t have been too surprised. Vodka after all is a neutral spirit suitable for mixing. An oily mouthfeel, more agave notes warming to a pleasant peppery finish.
Could have easily confused this for an actual tequila!
I had to re-check with Azteca to get a comparison. If anything the agave notes were more pronounced with the original – but the vodka had provided a boost to the body of the mix.
I’ll take the Azteca nose, VodQuila body & Azteca finish with this one!
This might be more of a challenge!
Both whiskey & tequila have distinctive characteristics – will they gel together?
In a word – yes!
The agave still came through – but with added vanilla, caramel & a touch of oak. All contributions from barrel ageing. The peppery spice still provided a flourish on the finish.
This blend strayed into reposado style tequila.
I must say I found it very entertaining!
The final push!
How will a funky Jamaican get on with a tasty Mexican?
It’s the funk that plays the nose on this one!
The fruitiness is somewhat subdued by an almost savoury agaviness on the palate & then it all comes alive on the finish. The funk just got peppered!
That’s a new experience for me!
I must say I’ve been mightily impressed with the results!
All 3 blends gave additional body, flavours and/or joie de vivre to the individual components – making for an entertaining & highly enjoyable tasting extravaganza!
I think Red Eye Louise’s are onto something with their pre-mixed drinks – but there’s nothing to stop yourself from experimenting at home.
Browsing through the music venues for the Guiness Cork Jazz Festival 2022 Tequila Jack’s caught my eye.
It’s not often you get a bar namechecking Mexico’s famed beverage!
We duly ended up at the establishment!
An impressive display of Tequila & Mezcal graced the entrance foyer leading into a large & spacious central bar area surrounded by dining tables. Not partaking of food we sat on the comfy bar stools & selected suitable drinks from the well-presented Day Of The Dead themed Cocktail Menu and an extensive Tequila & Mezcal Booklet – ‘Vol 2’ I noted!
While my fellows went for differing cocktails, I choose a distinctively tall tequila bottle of Corralejo.
Tequila Jack’s specialise in cocktails & their friendly bartenders were kept busy entertaining the customers with their creations.
Meanwhile – I appreciate my tequila neat!
Corralejo Silver is a 100% blue agave unaged tequila presented at 38%.
It has that classic rich agave nose followed by peppery spice, a smooth & oily palate with loads of dry pepperiness on the rear.
While enjoying our drinks a very lively group of teenagers turned up with their brass instruments & proceeded to entertain us with their infectious interpretations of modern tunes!
Rebel Brass are certainly a group to catch live!
We decided to stay for another round.
Zignum Reposado Mezcal at 40% made my glass.
This was a richer, warmer caramelly kind of nose. Hints of woody sourness pulled me in. Mild & mellow palate opened up to soft woodiness with gentle wafts of smoke on the rear.
An unusual yet engaging mezcal which connected with me!
Loved my time at Tequila Jack’s – if only it was closer to home!
A recent post highlighting an Australian Agave Project caught my attention lately.
Being a fan of Tequila & Mezcal – both Geographical Indicator protected terms specific to Mexico – I was intrigued to hear of an Australian company growing agave with the intention of releasing an agave spirit.
Whilst researching for my Whisky In Africa blog I also happened to come across a distillery in South Africa already marketing a Karoo Agave drink.
Both of these companies immediately attracted my attention.
Neither of them can use the terms ‘Tequila’ or ‘Mezcal’ – but that is essentially what they are making.
Using agave plants – which can be grown outside of Mexico – to make the spirits using similar techniques the results would make for a very interesting tasting.
Would you be able to discern the difference between the 3 drinks?
I’d certainly love to try them!
What about you?
Explanation of what a Geographical Indicator is from World Intellectual Property Organisation website here.