Let’s get something out of the way. I am not a fan of tequila. I tolerate a few, but for the most part, I’d choose a cola over a tequila if that’s the available option. However, with the #DrinkCurious mindset added to the fact that Mrs. Whiskeyfellow loves tequila, I’m willing to explore it.
Typically, I decline opportunities to review tequila. There have been exceptions, but they’re very few and far between. When Storywood Tequila approached me, my gut reaction was, “Thanks but no thanks.” Then I noticed Storywood aged its tequila in former Scotch whisky casks. That, my friends, is what we call an attention-getter.
The story of Storywood began in 2016 when Michael Ballantyne was visiting his mother’s Mexican hometown of San Miguel de Allende in search of new inspiration for cooking. While he was there, he bumped into Luis Trejo, the master distiller of Distiller La Cofradia, and the conversation turned to distilled spirits and how agave was far different from grain-based whiskies. One notable difference Michael noticed was how agave-based spirits are typically aged in former Bourbon barrels. In contrast, whisky will use a variety of cooperages.
"Our mission is to bring new flavours to tequila through oak. We work with distilleries, wineries, and cooperages from around the world to hunt for the freshest casks that we can get our hands on. Our oak and flavours are what we love, but its the places we go and the people that we meet along the way that becomes our story. Storywood is our chapter one with many more to come." – Michael Ballantyne, Founder
Today I’m exploring two of Storywood’s expressions: a 7-month Reposado and a 14-month Anejo. Both were aged in former Speyside single malt Scotch casks from an undisclosed Dufftown distillery. My detective skills got me as far as eliminating four of the nine possibilities as to the source. From there, it is anyone’s guess. Even Michael says that information isn’t disclosed to him. It was revealed to me that these Speyside barrels were first-fill Bourbon that held single malt Scotch for at least a decade. The barrels were wet when Michael filled them with his tequila.
Both expressions were distilled from 100% Lowland blue agave that grew for about ten years in Jalisco, Mexico, utilized medium-charred casks for aging, and packaged at 40% ABV (80°). The Reposado has a suggested price of $50.00, and the Anejo is $85.00, unless you’re in Texas, in which case you’ll pay $39.99 for the Reposado and $64.99 for the Anejo. Shipping is available to 42 states and can be purchased at the Drinkhacker website.
I sipped each of these neat from a Glencairn glass. And, because I’m far from a tequila expert, I enlisted Mrs. Whiskeyfellow’s expertise to help me with the value statements. Aside from that value statement, the review is written from my perspective as a whiskey drinker.
Before I can get there, I must thank Storywood Tequila for providing me with this opportunity (and the samples) in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest assessment.
First up is the Reposado.
Appearance: It had the look of pale straw. A medium-weighted rim generated thick, sticky droplets that clung to the wall.
Nose: I smelled what I’d describe as typical agave, along with mild oak, peach, and honey. When I inhaled through my mouth, I discovered vanilla that rolled across my tongue.
Palate: The mouthfeel was creamy and medium-bodied. At the front, I tasted an earthy funk mellowed by black pepper and oak. Midway through, I tasted honeysuckle, agave, and crisp apple, while the back offered caramel and vanilla cream.
Finish: Medium in duration, the finish featured smoky vanilla, peppercorn, apple, and that earthy funk.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I enjoyed Storywood’s Scotch-aged spirit. Mrs. Whiskeyfellow commented on how good the flavors were. She’s not big on Reposados. As a whiskey drinker who doesn’t care for tequila, I’m impressed and happily crowning it with a Bottle rating.
Now, it is the Anejo’s turn.
Appearance: A thick curtain formed when I allowed the pale liquid to swish in my glass.
Nose: The Anejo was quite fragrant, holding notes of honey, vanilla, light oak, agave, and something floral. Thick honey teased my tastebuds as I drew that aroma into my mouth.
Palate: The texture was silky. I tasted what I could only describe as a Heath candy bar on the front. Flavors of almond, apple, and caramel formed the middle. The back consisted of citrus, oak, and vanilla cream.
Finish: I noticed a grassy quality that met a kiss of smoke. As that combination dissipated, citrus and apple flowed until the fruitiness was halted by chocolate and English toffee. Those, in turn, were conquered with an explosion of vanilla cream. The length was somewhere between medium and long.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I found Storywood’s Anejo captivating, particularly the finish that stood out the most. Was it tequila-like? Yes. Was it whiskyish? Also, yes. Mrs. Whiskeyfellow commented on how well this tequila was constructed and didn’t shy away from its price tag. I believe a Bottle rating is well-earned based on how much I liked it and what she thought of its value. Cheers!
My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.
Post a Comment
As we should drink in moderation, all comments are subject to it. Cheers!