UWA Reposado – Scottish Tequila?!
By Felipe de Herida
Now here is a new brand that sets itself apart by not only being Scottish but also the only tequila aged solely in Speyside single malt whiskey casks. These are exported from Scotland and shipped to the home of a favourite of mine (Casa Noble) at La Cofradia – NOM 1137 – under the eye of master distiller Luis Trejo of Tequila 512 fame.
Their history is pretty straight forward. UWA was setup in Aberdeen, Scotland by two ex oil industry managers, Michael Ballantyne and Ross Davidson in the tail end of 2016, they’re that recent. No tale of woe or family feuds yet to be found here and so my introduction was when I stumbled across them early on at the London Tequila Fest in October of 2017, which is a blessing considering the amount you have to drink in those places.
I tried the three expressions they had on offer. Blanco, Reposado and an overproofed Anejo at 53%. Everyone seemed to be gunning for the anejo and it appeared that I was one of the few to hit a preference for anything other but the killer was the fact that nothing was yet available.
So, fast forward a few months, well six or seven and I eventually got my paws on a bottle via Master of Malt, a UK site (they ship internationally) that stocks all three. Naturally I went for the repo to see if my memory from an afternoon of full-bore tequila and mezcal tasting half a year earlier served me well. *cough*
So, one reposado rested for seven months and coming in at 40% ABV. Triple distilled.
First off, it comes in what reminds me of a perfume bottle. A corked top with the neat touch of a tartan seal. Now, if I’d found a spray applicator after removing it then this review would be just one word, “genius”.
Colour – gold/straw
Nose – sweet agave, chocolate, vanilla.
Tears on the glass that would make Mike beam, perfect line like a water or tide mark. Or maybe the glass is cleaner than usual.
Taste – Now, I don’t know if its because I know that it’s been in single malt casks but the initial hit is very much like I’d expect from a whiskey. Oaky yes, but with a good agave hit that dissipates very quickly into what you’d get from a dark chocolate. A great warmth to the chest and the aftertaste lingers for quite some time. There’s a hint of vanilla in there as it sits and a spice but more of a spiced honey. And although you don’t get a great deal of sweetness on the initial hit, I’d say due to the malt cask, it comes in quick while the oak gives a bit of seasoning.
The fact that it’s been in malt casks isn’t that obvious, if you’re not much of a whiskey fan then don’t write this off. It doesn’t have that taste to it. It’s one of those ingredients that you’d miss if it was gone. I’m not a fan of whiskey at all but I’d happily sip away at this so when payday comes I might easily get one of the others. And it’s not what I’d call a late night tequila either, it’s incredibly light and dare I say, refreshing? So a few rays would to add to the ambience. I’d pick this one up at lunch or go early evening with it, have it with a light meal, a Montecristo (Edmundos are becoming a favourite at the moment) or any other smoke of your choice if you’re that inclined. Now it’s just a wait until they release the sherry cask aged tequilas and yes, I’m impressed.