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.
The amusing title drew me in & has opened up the amazing world waves – be they sound, light or even taste! – have on our everyday lives.
It all boils down to vibrations – more specifically the frequencies they operate at – & the ‘good vibes’ they give us.
I never thought of taste – as in smells – having a vibration, but it turns out there’s a row going on in the olfactory world about how we perceive smell.
One tribe – the Chemical Group – posit smells are unlocked by the shape of the odour molecule fitting specific receptors – as pertinent to whiskey tasting.
The other – Vibration Group – posit all molecules vibrate & it’s this the receptors pick up on.
I like the sound of the Vibration Group myself.
Often when talking about whiskey we experience ‘notes’. Turns out those ‘notes’ might have far more in common with music than we imagined!
Music can be experienced both physically & emotionally as a result of the vibrations – or frequencies – made by those performing the piece or hearing it through speakers.
Whiskey – it seems- can also be experienced in a similar fashion.
All of this only reinforces my belief that whiskey tasting is an intensely personal experience. What one person ‘gets’ from a whiskey might be an entirely different experience to anothers.
When in Italy recently I didn’t join the rest of my group listening to opera as it simply doesn’t connect with me. Similarly they didn’t join me in the delights of grappa. Yet we all enjoyed a beer listening to jazz in the outdoors!
So when you do find a piece of music – or whiskey – that moves you – you’ll know.
It’s the ‘good vibrations’ – and don’t let anyone put you off your vibes!
To begin with it was there, on the shelf, in my local store, and in a 350ml bottle too, making it both accessible & affordable – increasingly important factors in the current economic climate.
Further, my St Remy VSOP Brandy, initially purchased for an WSET course back in 2019, was nearing it’s end. I found the brandy world shared – like whiskey – a set of rules & regulations governing it’s production – as well as a long history – plus barrel ageing too & I enjoyed the drinking experience, encouraging me to explore more.
Tesco Napoleon appeared a shade darker than my St Remy, suggestive of extra caramel, a permissible added ingredient for the category – just like whiskey.
Quite a shy nose – not very aromatic for me – soft sweet winey elements are all I got.
Smooth, soft mouthfeel, easy on the palate.
Dark notes of burnt caramel & a tingling warmth surfaced on the finish giving Tesco Napoleon a bit of a lift.
Lacked any hints of oakiness I enjoyed with St Remy.
After sampling Tesco Napoleon I read the label – Mellow And Smooth Taste – it says.
I have a decision to make when reaching for Tequila.
Do I choose the influence of the raw materials used in production or the influence of wood in the maturation of that product?
Blue Agave is the raw material – 100% in this Corazón Tequila – but there are a few different production methods that can effect the taste – earthen pits vs brick ovens vs autoclave to cook the agave being some.
I didn’t check which method Corazón used before drinking & have yet to do a back to back taste test of all 3 methods to discern any resultant differences.
However I have done a back to back tasting of Blanco Tequila – unaged – vs Reposado – aged between 2 & 11 months – vs Anejo – aged for more than 1 year – and it does make a noticeable taste variation.
With Blanco it’s all about the agave. The rich earthy notes I love complimented by a spicy pepperiness on the finish usually topped off by an oily mouthfeel.
With Anejo those agave notes are somewhat diminished by the influence of wood. Oaky tannins, vanillas & caramel all make an appearance resulting in a softer more rounded drinking experience.
I begin to encounter flavours associated with aged whiskey – where it’s all about the wood – & therefore generally prefer Blanco.
That’s not to say Corazón Anejo isn’t a fine Tequila – it is.
Smooth & silky, those agave notes are blended expertly with warm woodiness building engaging flavours – but for an alternative to my usual whiskey tipple – Blanco is the way to go.
What’s your preference in a Tequila?
For an article on Tequila production methods read here.
Authors from differing disciplines were invited to submit essays on varying aspects relating to whiskey.
The results are highly entertaining, thought provoking and at times – challenging.
Can you apply Hegelian thought, Aristotle virtue, the philosophy of Dualism, Buddhism or plain old group think & social cohesion to tasting a whiskey?
It’s all in the mix of this publication.
Why do you like one whiskey over another?
Is taste malleable?
Does knowing the master blender, visiting the distillery, being part of the clan, liking the manufacturing techniques, agreeing with the sustainable policies, bottle design, price point all alter our experience of drinking whiskey?
I certainly have my views of the above – and they’ve been further enlightened by the discourse within the pages of this book.
Whiskey & Philosophy is a bold publication full of complexity & rich depth. The diverse elements combine elegantly giving creative excitement to this blended entity.
With the trio of clear spirits represented by rum, tequila & grappa it’s more about the interplay of the raw ingredients & distillation process used to bring about a richness of taste in the unaged spirit.
Clear spirit does not mean silent spirit – as this lovely Nardini Grappa Bianca demonstrates.
Nardini are one of the oldest & largest grappa distilleries in Italy where the leftovers from wine production – pomace – is distilled in a combination of copper stills to produce this rich & pungent spirit.
An earthy sweetness greeted me on the nose.
Smooth, oily mouthfeel with a rich, almost agricultural style of flavour going on.
Doing the Wine & Spirit Education Trust – WSET – Level 2 Spirits Course a few years ago opened my palate to spirit categories I hadn’t appreciated before.
Brandy being one of them.
This St Rémy bottle is a leftover from that course.
You have to taste a variety of spirits to pick out the characteristics of each category.
It looks like a whiskey.
The nose is sweet & fruity.
Soft, smooth & mellow on the palate.
Finishes with a gentle oaky spice.
An easy approachable drinker to sit back & mull over – if it wasn’t for the phylloxera epidemic of the 1860’s that wiped out most of the grapevines worldwide – could brandy have been as big as whiskey?