UWA Tequila Review | Felipe de Herida

UWA Tequila Review By Felipe de Herida https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5MaUWA 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.

UWA Tequila Review By Felipe de Herida https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5MaI 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”.

UWA Tequila Review By Felipe de Herida https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5MaColour – 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.

Margaritas in Ireland

[Editor’s Note:  On this day after 2018’s International Margarita Day festivities, Tequila Jockey, Jim Johnston, shares his fond recollections of margarita making inside Ireland’s renowned Dick Mack’s Pub & Brewhouse, while visiting relatives in 2017.]

No Country for Cocktails

Ireland is not a cocktail country.

Don’t get me wrong, I had several well made drinks during my visit, but, in most pubs you’re going to find a diverse tap and a shelf stocked with whiskey.

Margaritas in Ireland https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5wy

Such was the case at Dick Mack’s Pub & Brewhouse in Dingle, County Kerry, a wonderful coastal town on the far west of Ireland.

Historic Dick Mack’s has been serving up liquid refreshments since 1899.  It has been in the same family and built a reputation as the classic example of an Irish pub.  Besides a pristine tap, a brass fixture, polished daily with the pub’s name engraved on the front, there is a shelf from bar to ceiling full of Irish whiskeys.

In recent years, Dick Mack’s also has been awarded Munster province and Overall Irish whiskey bar of the year for 2014, 2015, and 2016.  The pub also serves a fair amount of Dingle Gin from the distillery up the road.

Margaritas in Ireland https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5wy

I was told that most Americans drink the traditional Guinness draft, one of the light American lagers available, or they choose to taste some whiskeys from the impressive collection.

When I asked if there was any tequila in the house, Finn, grandson of Dick Mack himself, produced a bottle of what I typically keep on hand at home, Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado.

Ireland’s Cocktail Culture

What followed was a great discussion about the cocktail culture of Ireland, including the failed attempts of previous spirits brands to promote tequila on the island.  Patron’s The Patronic (Patron tequila, tonic and lime) did not take off here.

Finn’s hope is that the acquisition of Bushmills by Cuervo flagship Proximo in 2014,Margaritas in Ireland https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5wy would lead to a more modern, consumer savvy, tequila-esque promotion of the Irish whiskey label.

As we spoke I noticed a bottle of Cointreau hiding behind some whiskey, as well as some fresh lemon juice and quite a few limes waiting to be sliced.

We were staying with my two cousins in Dingle and it was they who, when they lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, introduced me to tequila and the simple art of the margarita.

The Simple Art of The Margarita

It was a particularly warm day for Ireland in late May, about 75 degrees.  Perfect for enjoying margaritas.

I offered to give the Irish crew behind the bar a quick lesson in margarita making and they went about putting together the Irish version of the first really good margarita that I had ever had, the House Traditional, at the famed Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen in Santa Fe, where lemon juice is the citrus of choice.

We made margaritas, and the boys behind the bar agreed that they were a far better effort than the last attempt at tequila marketing that they had been exposed to.

Slainte!

Margaritas in Ireland https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5wy

I would venture back to Dick Mack’s several times that week but, knowing that I had a steady stream of tequila to taste when I came home, I stuck to the perfectly poured Guinness and local whiskey.

Who knows?

When I go back to Ireland, I may have a margarita waiting for me.

Slainte!

Love and Fun at the Mammoth Margarita Festival

[Editor’s Note:  All photos and videos are by Tequila Jockey, David Dinius, Special Correspondent to Tequila Aficionado Media at the Mammoth Margarita Festival.  Thanks also to Michelle Dinius and David Decker.]

For Love and Fun

One of the more beloved and popular tequila and mezcal events these days occurs in the Village of Mammoth in Mammoth Lakes, CA.

The Mammoth Margarita Festival, celebrated its sixth year in 2017.  It is the brainchild of Russ Squire and Michael Ledesma, owners of Gomez Restaurant and Tequileria, reputed to have one of the largest selections of tequila and mezcal in North America with over 500 bottles.

Love and Fun at the Mammoth Margarita Festival http://wp.me/p3u1xi-5g6

Not your average agave spirits tasting event, the two-day Mammoth Margarita Festival commits to raising money for Disabled Sports and the local non-profit American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO).

As Russ puts it, “…It is a feel good thing for love of what we do and fun….”

By all accounts, love and fun are exhibited by everyone, from the customers to the participating brands and their representatives.

What follows are interviews, sights and sounds reported by Special Correspondent and Tequila Jockey, David Dinius from the Mammoth Margarita Festival.

Love and Fun at the Mammoth Margarita Festival http://wp.me/p3u1xi-5g6

 Doug French of Scorpion Mezcal

“My first interview at the Mammoth Margarita Festival 2017 and it was with the one and only Doug French of Scorpion Mezcal.”

Del Maguey Mezcal

“My second interview at the Mammoth Margarita Festival 2017 and it was with Alfredo Gama of distributor, Wine Warehouse for Del Maguey Mezcal.”

Alex Chaigne for Banhez Mezcal

El Silencio Mezcal

Love and Fun at the Mammoth Margarita Festival http://wp.me/p3u1xi-5g6

“My fourth interview at the Mammoth Margarita Festival 2017 and it was with Natalia Garcia Bourke of El Silencio Mezcal.”

Love and Fun at the Mammoth Margarita Festival http://wp.me/p3u1xi-5g6

Cazcanes Tequila

Love and Fun at the Mammoth Margarita Festival http://wp.me/p3u1xi-5g6

“This brand is not in the states yet, but these guys tell me it should be in about 2 months. When it does, get a bottle or two.  You will not regret it!  This is one good juice.”

Love and Fun at the Mammoth Margarita Festival http://wp.me/p3u1xi-5g6

Campo Azul

“Here I talk with Dean Berger from Pacific Edge Wine and Spirits about Campo Azul Tequila.”

Alma De Agave Tequila

“Nene Gonzalez tells me about Alma De Agave Tequila and gives a little history of the Mammoth Margarita Festival.”

Fortaleza Tequila

“The charming Alfredo Gama reappears in the next couple of frames.  Here, he tells me about Fortaleza Tequila.”

Arette Tequila

Patron Barrel Selects

“Here I talk with Mike McGinnis from Patron about a couple of Barrel Selects they had at the festival.”

T1 Tequila Uno

“I let Jim Friedrichs tell us about T1 tequila.”

Siete Leguas

“Talk to Mark Fania about Siete Leguas.”

Maestro Dobel Tequila

“We end up totally catching Andrea Kelley off guard and have her tell us about Maestro Dobel Tequila.”

Tres Agave Tequila

“Mike Kelly talks to us about Tres Agave Tequila and bar mixes.” 

Love and Fun at the Mammoth Margarita Festival http://wp.me/p3u1xi-5g6

Sin Rival

“I talk with Rodolfo Gonzalez about Sin Rival and he mentions a couple of others at the distillery.  And of course he has to get a shout out to Mike Morales!”

Mammoth Margarita Festival Wrap Up

“Here was the wrap-up at 2017’s Mammoth Margarita Festival.  I talk with Michael Ledesma and Russ Squire from Gomez’s about the festival.”

“This was such a fun event to take part of.  Thank you to all involved.  These two put on a wonderful event and I am grateful for them helping me out this weekend.”

Love and Fun at the Mammoth Margarita Festival http://wp.me/p3u1xi-5g6