Tag Archives: Mexico

Azteca Tequila Blanco, 38%

Tequila is booming – at least according to a Spirits Business article here – and I’m enjoying the rise of this tasty distilled Mexican beverage.

Especially when it appears in my local Lidl.

Lidl keeps abreast of drinks trends & their own label spirits range is worth exploring – so much so they won Icons Of Whisky Own Brand Supermarket of the year at the 2022 World Whiskies Awards!

Impressive!

So how does their Azteca Tequila Blanco fare?

A welcome earthy agave nose.

Smooth & oily mouthfeel.

The rich agave notes return on the rear with a soft dry peppery spice livening up this very well balanced tequila.

Azteca satisfies my tequila tendencies!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Madre Mezcal Artesanal, 45%

Anytime I pop over the Irish Sea I tend to use up my amazon.co.uk vouchers – which are otherwise worthless – & order up a bottle of spirits.

Rather than leave behind a partially drunk full-size offering the attractively designed Madre Mezcal 200ml caught my eye.

Made using 2 different styles of agave plant – Espadin & Cuishe – & roasted in earthen pits – Madre Mezcal is all about the raw ingredients & artisanal production methods used in this unaged spirit for the wonderful flavours to be enjoyed.

And what flavours they were!

An engaging soft smokiness off the nose. Not peaty – more earthy or woody like a gentle campfire.

Smooth & oily on the palate coating the mouth in subtle herbal agave notes.

A flourish of warming heat on the finish where the dry & slightly prickly smoke reappeared leaving the embers slowly drifting away.

A well rounded & finely balanced Mezcal offering a delicately smoked agave rich introduction to the flavourful charms of this wholesome spirit.

The ‘mother of all the dead’ has a gentle kiss!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

San Cosme Joven, 40%, Mezcal

A few years ago I happened to be in Gothenburg.

We were visiting friends.

An evenings meal was arranged in the popular area of Haga where many bars & restaurants abound.

San Cosme c/oMasterOfMalt

Looking for something different to drink a San Cosme Mezcal was on the menu.

Being a Joven it was clear in colour – yet rich in flavour.

Still to encounter a Mezcal in any Irish restaurant I’ve visited.

Sláinte

Abasolo, El Whisky De Mexico, 43%

It seems Pernod Ricard are on a spending spree.

Hot on the heels of their Whisky Exchange purchase a stake in Mexican Whisky Abasolo is also gracing the enlarged portfolio.

Whether this will increase the diversity of drinks into the Irish market is yet to play out. Abasolo is not currently available in Ireland – so I picked this one up on a UK visit.

Made with 100% Mexican ancestral corn using historical techniques to boost the flavour – Abasolo piqued my interest from the very start.

The nose exudes a rich, sweet & enticing aroma of toasted corn.

An earthy wholesomeness with added savoury notes peeking through on the palate.

All wrapped up by a pleasing spiciness giving a warm feeling of cosy roastiness slowly fading away.

It’s not very often a whisky just grabs me but –

Abasolo was ‘abasolutely’ fabulous!

Sláinte

All photos authors own.

KAH Tequila, Blanco, Reposado & Anejo, 40% to 55%

Meet my new amigos!

KAH, KAH & KAH.

Blanco, Reposado & Anejo.

All beautifully presented in signature ceramic Mexican Skull vessels – which certainly make them stand out in the crowd.

But how do they taste?

Blanco, 40%

Gorgeously rich black peppery spice nose.

Joyfully mouth coating & gently warming oily palate.

Vegetal agave notes mix with stimulating spice on an engagingly long lasting finish.

Class.

Reposado, 55%

Quite a spirity nose.

Only when I got out the magnifying glass did I realise this one’s at a stonking 55%!

Not encountered that before in Tequila!

Sadly – on my palate – the higher ABV gave a mouth blowing experience accentuating the peppery spice at the expense of the more subtle yet alluring agave notes.

Glad to have tried it – but not for me.

Anejo, 40%

Back to a richer, fuller flavoured & rounder drinking experience at 40%.

Less spice, more vegetal agave with a topping of oakiness.

A juicy lip-smacking finish.

Nice.

Thoughts

As is my personal palate preference – Blanco wins out.

The richness & influence of the agave raw ingredients are at their most pronounced with Blanco.

The 55% Reposado is something unique – but detracted from the warm flavours for me.

Anejo was lovely & complex with barrel ageing – just not engaging enough for my palate.

KAH have produced an extremely attractively packaged trio of tasty tequila.

Many may find them gimmicky – but I think both the Mexican Skulls & the rich agave notes within demonstrate & celebrate the joyfully long heritage of Tequila making.

Love’em!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Del Maguey Mezcal Tasting, 42% to 49%.

Mezcal – the artisanal spirit from Mexico that’s attracting attention right now.

Already a convert – mainly due to the smokey element – I eagerly signed up for the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder Zoom Tasting with Del Maguey Mezcal.

The 1st offering – Vida Mezcal, 42% – immediately satisfied. A seductive smokiness combined with those rich earthy agave notes reeled me in!

Gorgeous!

Chichicapa Mezcal, 46%, dialed down the smoke a touch & ramped up the pungent agave along with a prickly dryness on the finish from the higher ABV.

Unlike the whiskey world – which for some is all about the wood to bring about complexity & flavour – Mezcal is all about the raw ingredients & production methods used to deliver a fully flavoured spirit with depth & complexity straight from the still.

Tobala Mezcal, 45%, shone in this department. Using a roast time of 30 days accentuated the rich smokiness. A long fermentation of up to a week brought out some cheesy funky notes & using the A. potatorum agave species added pungent earthy overtones.

Certainly the Mezcal that enamoured me the most!

Pichuga Mezcal, 49%, rounded the evening off.

Compared to the others there was less smoke evident – but those engaging earthy agave aromas entertained me no end.

The Del Maguey website is packed full of information on these single village mezcals.

If you haven’t ventured into Mezcal yet – you won’t go far wrong enjoying any of the above.

A quintessential Mezcal quartet!

Sláinte

Bottle images courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop

Tequila Reserva 1800 Silver, 40%

Tequila appears to be the new ‘in thing’ with rising sales across the world.

Moving beyond the salt-lemon-tequila shot of yore are more upmarket brands made using 100% agave that can be appreciated neat for the pleasing flavours within.

Tequila in a Tuath c/othewhiskeynut

1800 Tequila is one of those brands.

Available in supermarkets across the UK & more specialist outlets in Ireland – 1800 is presented in an attractively designed bottle that catches the eye.

The contents pleased my palate too!

Tequila miniature c/othewhiskeynut

This Silver variety – unaged tequila – exhibits a rich earthy & vegetal agave nose coupled with a luxurious mouthfeel topped off with those signature cracked pepper spices on the finish.

1800 is a classy tequila.

Isn’t it about time you explored tequila?

Arriba, abejo, al centro, pa’dentro!

Britain, Brexit & The Lost Art Of Ordering Via Amazon.co.uk.

Happily receiving amazon.co.uk vouchers over the festive season I rushed to place some orders in the hopes they’d get through before Brexit kicked in.

Many Irish based whiskey fans use UK online sites to source product not normally available in Ireland & there had been warnings this could be in jeopardy after Britain left the EU.

My orders would test this new reality.

A few choices were simply rejected.

The computer says no! c/oamazon

So my search narrowed from the start.

A mixed bag of affordable spirits eventually made my basket.

Jatt Life Irish Whiskey

Jatt Life Irish Whiskey c/oMasterOfMalt

One of many sourced Irish Whiskey brands that exist totally outside of Ireland. This one appears to focus on the Asian market.

Mezcales De Leyenda

Mezcal triple pack c/oBlackwell’s

An attractive Mezcal triple pack to continue my appreciation of this alluring spirit.

Abasolo Whisky

Abasolo c/oMasterOfMalt

Mexico’s foray into whisky excited me.

English Park Whisky

English Park c/oWinestyle

A Czech distillery marketing a Union Jack clad whisky in the UK amused me for the sheer ‘we spotted a market & we’ll fill it’ opportunity.

A few books made up the remainder & I sat back to await developments.

Within a week Jatt Life cancelled.

Cancel 1

Within a fortnight the books & English Park arrived.

Sadly English Park was broken – but a replacement arrived swiftly.

Oops v Yeah c/othewhiskeynut

Then both the Mezcal & Abasolo – coming from the same supplier – cancelled as well.

Cancel 2 & 3

And that was it!

Ordering spirits from the UK is effectively closed.

Will Irish suppliers step up to provide an extended range?

Will former UK based operations set up in Ireland?

Or do the costs & market size just not stack up?

Whatever happens it appears the diversity of choice just got smaller & all that was solid melted into air.

Thank you Brexit.

Sláinte

Header image courtesy abcnews.

AC/DC Thunderstruck Tequila, Blanco, 40%

Let There Be Rock!

I’ve been enjoying AC/DC’s brand of rock from the mid 1970’s.

Bon Scott was the singer back then – for the last live shows Axel Rose was fronting – but Brian Johnson is back for their latest release – Power Up.

I’ve been enjoying Tequila ever since encountering it on a WSET course.

Exploring the different flavours & heritage of Mexican Tequila has expanded my knowledge & appreciation of distilled spirits.

Thunderstruck! c/othewhiskeynut

Combining music & drink together just seems natural – so sipping on Thunderstruck Tequila while strolling down memory lane listening to early AC/DC was a joyous interlude in an otherwise chaotic world.

Tequila is a highly regulated industry.

Have A Drink On Me! c/othewhiskeynut

It can only be made in certain areas of Mexico from blue agave – 100% in Thunderstruck’s case – and always shows the distillery of origin on the bottle – NOM 1472 here – allowing you to look up what other brands the distillery makes – over 20!

Thunderstruck comes in several varieties – I went for the Blanco – or unaged – looking for the influence of the raw ingredients on the distillation process. When you start maturing in wood – Reposado & Anejo – the cask influence can often impart flavours similar to that found in aged whiskey – and I was looking for something different.

Get It Hot c/othewhiskeynut

The bottle is suitably chunky & solid – much like the music.

The liquid is clear & colourless – as expected.

The nose is rich & pungent – redolent of agave – earthy with a touch of pepper on the back.

An oily mouth coating palate.

The peppery spice gradually bursts through – much like Angus strutting his heavy guitar solos from the solid back beat of the rhythm section.

This is no nonsense Tequila from a no nonsense rock band!

I think I’ve just been Thunderstruck!

Sláinte

Agavales, Blanco Tequila, 35%

As it’s Day Of The Dead – I thought a Mexican Tequila would be in order to celebrate all those that have gone before.

Agavales Blanco c/othewhiskeynut

Part of my miniature haul purchased back at the start of the pandemic – Agavales Blanco is a 100% Agave from a distillery in Jalisco – NOM 1438 – that produces many brands.

Classic clear colourless blanco.

Prominent & pleasing agave pungency.

A tad soft & easy on the palate – which may reflect the 35% ABV.

Opens up on the finish with prickly peppery spice & an enlivening bite too!

A toast to the dead! c/othewhiskeynut

A rather gentle introduction into 100% agave.

Salud