Tag Archives: Tequila

Casa Na’am Artisanal Pox, 40%

When it comes to Mexican Spirits most folks have heard of Tequila,

But Pox?

It’s not made from agave,

It’s outside any ‘technical file’ rules,

But it is distilled in traditional ways, from ancient recipes, using local ingredients – spring water, wheat bran, sugarcane & panela for Casa Na’am,

And it’s in my glass!

Oh – it’s pronounced posh!

The clear, colourless liquid displays thick oily legs.

A soft & gentle aroma of sweet earthiness greets me – tempting me in.

The oiliness continues on the palate – which is also quite gentle – before slowly dying out on the finish.

Leaves with a tingling savoury dryness which is certainly intriguing, appealing & entertaining!

It’s not a spirit that grabs you by the throat – more of a subtle seducer!

I’ve just been stung by the Pox!

Sláinte

For more on Casa Na’am Pox visit their website here.

My bottle was purchased via Casa Agave here.

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Don Julio Aged Tequila, 38%

Well this is an old Don Julio Tequila.

I can tell by the distillery number – NOM 1118.

Modern Don Julios are from NOM 1449.

Information on the web was scant – but it appears the brand went through a number of multi-national owners over the years.

Seagrams previously owned Don Julio, followed by Jose Cuervo – who gained Bushmills in a deal with Diageo when they in turn acquired full control of Don Julio in 2014.

My bottle is probably sometime before Diageo’s involvement with Don Julio – which began in 2003 – making this bottle around 20 years old!

There’s also odd labelling too.

It simply states ‘aged’.

No reposado or anejo.

Another indicator this predates the ‘Official Mexican Standards For Tequila‘ issued in 2005.

So I cracked it open to have a taste of tequila history!

Once it’s poured from the dumpy brown bottle a very pale yellowing colour presents itself.

What it’s aged in or for how long isn’t divulged – but from the colour it would probably come under the current reposado category.

There’s a lovely richness to the nose – classic earthy agave with a black pepper spice.

Very smooth in the mouth – oily too.

A growing warmth develops before leaving with that signature dry pepper spice which pleases my palate.

A very fine tequila to tickle my tastebuds!

Sláinte

What is the NOM number page here.

Don Julio history lifted from Wikipedia page here.

2005 standards for Tequila here.

Don Angel Tequila Blanco, 38%

I don’t know about you – but I find the flavour variation within tequila to be narrower than that of whiskey.

Partly it’s due to all tequila being made with blue weber agave – rather than mixed mash-bills of barley ,rye, wheat & oats.

There are subtle differences – but often I find them hard to pick out unless on a back-to-back tasting.

Don Angel Tequila Blanco is a case in point.

I came across it in a hotel bar in Ayr.

Don Angel delivered all the classic 100% tequila signature flavours – pungent earthy agave nose, smooth & silky mouthfeel, prickly pepper spice on the rear – & was satisfying.

Perhaps just not as rich & warming as some I’ve had.

There’s scant information on the web for the brand – apart from it’s available widely.

An Amazon site suggested it’s a Diageo brand – which would explain the distribution – if not the obscurity of detail.

Distributors & brand builders Ankers Amsterdam Spirits have it listed on their site.

Having failed to photograph the bottle – which usually reveals additional data – Don Angel’s origins remain a bit of a mystery

Never mind.

I done a Don Angel.

Sláinte

Amazon site suggesting Diageo link here.

Ankers Amsterdam Spirits website here.

Ten Drinks That Changed The World, Seki Lynch

This is an extremely informative & highly stylised publication that provides a potted history of 10 drinks that changed the world.

They are – in order of appearance in the book;

Baijiu

Cognac

Vodka

Scottish & Irish Whiskies

Shochu

Tequila & Mezcal

Bourbon

Rum

Gin

Absinthe

Packed full of colourful stories, factual details, cocktail recipes & suggested bottle choices – the publication is an entertaining insight into the various worldwide spirits categories.

There’s only two I haven’t yet explored – Shochu & Absinthe.

This book makes me want to seek them out & give them a taste!

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Desperado Red, Cachaca, Gurana & Red Fruits Beer, 6%

I must be desperate to reach for Desperado Red again – but the labelling has changed.

Gone is the ‘Tequila’ of previous bottles – & in is ‘Cachaca’.

Confusingly the white neck label states ‘Cachaca Tequila’ & as one is made from sugarcane juice & the other blue agave – I’m not sure what’s actually in this concoction.

I do remember the Mexican Tequila authorities were taking Desperado owners Heineken to court over the use of ‘Tequila’ in the beer.

It appears they have won!

Old label

Desperado Red meanwhile – to me at least – remains like a heavily flavoured alcoholic lemonade.

But as it’s always on the shelves of my local stores – I notice these things.

Sláinte

My original Desperado Red blog here.

Tequila CRT take Heineken to court here.

VodQuila, WhisQuila, RumQuila – An Exploration of Blending.

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.

My donor bottles were;

Tequila Azteca, 38%

Absolut Vodka, 40%

O’Neill’s Irish Whiskey, 40%

Ron Pelicano Jamaican Rum, 40%

Pressing on the coloured highlights will take you to my original blogs on the liquids.

VodQuila

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!

WhisQuila

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!

RumQuila

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!

Thoughts

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.

I’m certainly glad I did!

Sláinte

Red Eye Louie’s website here.

Tequila Jack’s, Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, Corralejo Silver, 38% & Zignum Reposado, 40%

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.

Nice!

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!

Sláinte

Guinness Cork Jazz Festival website here.

Tequila Jack’s website here.

Corralejo Tequila site here.

Zignum Mezcal here.

Rebel Brass Twitter site here.

La Medida, Mezcal Artesanal Joven, 40%

I enjoy exploring Mezcal.

Rather than use 1 type of agave for distillation like Tequila – Mezcal uses up to 40 different varietals offering a far wider flavour spectrum.

Mezcal Artesanal must also prepare that agave – agave angustifolia for La Medida – in earthen or stone pits giving a smoky element to the product – which attracts me.

There’s a stack of information on the back label – but how it tastes is paramount to me – so I poured a glass.

The earthy agave notes are quite soft & subtle, augmented by a gentle smokiness which enticed.

Smooth oily mouthfeel slowly develops an engaging dry vegetal smoke giving a warm embrace to the proceedings.

Leaves with a dry prickly pepper fading away.

La Medida is a well balanced offering showcasing a complex interplay between the vegetal agave notes & those fabulous smoky vibes.

Very engaging!

Sláinte

For an explanation of Mezcal rules read here.

La Medida website here.

La Chica Tequila Gold, 38%

After a highly enjoyable day walking along the Barrow Way in Co Carlow a spot of liquid refreshment was in order.

Meaney’s Bar in Leighlinbridge proved a suitable resting spot & with the sun still shining a pint of cold lager fitted the bill.

Scanning the spirit shelves – as I do – revealed a La Chica Tequila Gold. Never having tried it before I thought it would make a sunshine style chaser to my cold lager.

Now ‘Gold’ usually denotes a mixto style of tequila whereby a minimum of 51% agave sugars must be used for distillation. This never puts me off exploring the category.

Slightly yellow in colour La Chica proffered a soft agave nose with a faint smokiness poking through. Fairly easy delivery – the earthy agave grassiness is evident along with that signature peppery spice on the rear. It’s a bit sharp on the finish – which fades quickly away – but it ticks all the right tequila flavour boxes.

An easy no nonsense tequila.

Over the next few days of my Barrow Way ambles further forays into local bars uncovered more La Chica. It got me thinking how availability of a brand is a boost to sales.

Turns out MCM Brands of Donegal handle La Chica in Ireland – as well as a few other brands you might be familiar with – & seem to have the South East well covered.

La Chica meanwhile appears to be a brand for Burlington Drinks in the UK who produce various other ‘house’ spirits for the market.

Whatever the source of La Chica – being tequila it must be made in Mexico & display distillery of origin – NOM1124 in this instance – as it was on the shelf I gladly partook of a few.

I’d gladly enjoy a few more when on the fabulous Barrow Way again!

Sláinte

Barrow Way information here.

Meaney’s Bar facebook here.

MCM Brands website here.

Burlington Drinks website here.

Tequila rules information here.

Dead Centre, Que Chido, Tequila & Lime Gose, 5.5%

I gotta hand it to Dead Centre Brewing – they sure know how to brew up some tasty beers for special occasions.

Image courtesy Dead Centre Brewing

This Tequila & Lime Gose was for Cinco De Mayo.

I popped down on a sunny Friday afternoon for a quick one – & was very pleased I did.

Quite light, very refreshing, with subtle hints of earthy agave complimented by a tart sourness.

A lovely sup by the Shannon!

Sláinte