Category Archives: Tequilas

Rick’s Mystery Dram series – Week 4 of 10 – Sample #4

Well folks, it’s Monday again which means we’ve got another mystery dram to solve.

As I mentioned in the last mystery dram post, I’ve decided to make this a wee bit more interesting by sending out a mystery dram to the correct guesser of the week’s mystery dram or, if there has been no correct guess, the sample goes to a commenter (randomly chosen).  Last week, Gal of Whisky Israel won the mystery dram.  Details on how to win a mystery dram sample (which will be Scotch or American whisk(e)y, your choice) are listed below, after the review.

For previous “Rick’s Mystery Dram” entries :

Here’s Mystery Dram #1 (which ended up being Parker’s Heritage First Edition)

Here’s Mystery Dram #2 (which ended up being Parker’s Heritage Golden Anniversary)

Here’s Mystery Dram #3 (which ended up being Evan Williams Single Barrel, 2000 vintage, barrel # 234)

Review time!

On the nose It’s quite obvious that Rick is trying to throw me for a loop here.  The first three drams were whiskeys.  American Whiskeys.  He decided to go south of the border this time and secretly switched my whisk(e)y with Tequila.  Based on the deep color, I’d say it’s an Anejo but, from the very first sniff all I could smell was agave and oak.

This is a sweet nose, but not seemingly as juicy as the Don Julio Anejo I reviewed a few months back during Passover.

Toasted wood and chocolate notes (strange, never got chocolate notes in a tequila before…) pop as does some marijuana (Man, this brings back memories.  Break out your double LP of “Frampton Comes Alive”), spicy notes and a good bit of agave for sure.  Sandalwood and Nag Champa incense.

On the mouthLight and watery tequila (is this even 40% ABV?).  This is a nice sipping tequila for those nervous about the stuff (or remembers the headaches from college).  Chocolate notes return and some nice ruby red grapefruity notes appear.  Not as sweet as the nose but oh, so drinkable.  I was hoping for a whisk(e)y dram but, this is a welcome change.

I change my mind, it’s got an oily mouth feel but it’s as if it’s been watered down a bit.  Strange – insanely smooth.

Finish Short to medium length.  Nothing too-too special but not disappointing in any way.

In sum Rick, you did it again.  You’ve managed to fool me but, I’d say that you may have fooled my readers as I’m guessing not many of them know a whole heck of a lot about tequila.

Then again, I could be totally wrong.


  • Low ABV (I’d be surprised if it were more that 40%)
  • Very woody (my guessing from the extra aging to make it an Anejo)
  • Chocolate, marijuana and sandalwood notes
  • Produced in Mexico 🙂

JMSWS antes up!

For those who attempt to guess – each week I will be sending out one mystery dram (a small 5cl bottle) and the first person guesses correctly wins the dram.  Actually, if there are no correct guesses for the week then a winner will be chosen at random.  You win whether your right or not (like a weatherperson – right or not, s/he still has a job)!

So again, I will be awarding a free whisk(e)y sample every week to one lucky winner (whether you guess correctly or not).

How do I enter to win you ask?

Easy, comment on this post with what you think the mystery dram of the week may be.  It’s that simple.

I will let you choose the type of mystery dram — Scotch or American Whiskey (though that’s all you’ll know about it).  And if you’d like, you can send me your tasting notes and I’ll post them for my readers to guess at.  If you’d prefer the blind tasting to be between just you and me… that’s cool too.

Don Julio Añejo Tequila

Jalisco, Mexico (Highlands Region) – 38%ABV – 750ml – $39 (from the Duty Free shop), normally about $65

WARNING & DISCLAIMER – For those who keep, this tequila is not certified as “Kosher” or “Kosher for Passover” (I am no rabbi but I think, based on their meticulous process and the fact that Don Julio uses virgin American oak casks, that this may be “Kosher by Nature”, not to be confused with “Naughty by Nature“)

For information on Don Julio’s Cooking, Mashing, Fermentation and Distillation Process, check out this link from

I bought this bottle of Don Julio Añejo more than a year ago while on a business trip to Monterrey Mexico.  Supposedly, Monterrey is a very beautiful city – I had no time to enjoy it, I was either in meetings or in my hotel.  The Duty Free shop had NOTHING for Single Malts so I figured I’d pick up a nice tequila.  I opted for the Don Julio.

If you’ve not visited the Don Julio website, I suggest you do.  There are some great videos of their process, history and tasting notes that I think are really well done.  Check it out.

The Don Julio Añejo has been my drink of choice (with the exception of some wines, the Siembra Azul and Slivovitz) for this week of Passover.  This is truly some delicious stuff.  Not to be chilled, mixed or tarnished with a lime:

On the nose Juicy citrus fruits, Mandarin oranges, Ruby Red Grapefruit, lime rind and something a bit creamy.  I also smell a bit of strawberry & melon.  While this is fresh & fruity, there’s a warming quality to the nose, not as punchy or peppery as a “silver” or “blanco” tequila that has not had any barrel aging.

Palate — *Big* on juicy, over-ripe honeydew melon!  Oh, good G-d that’s good!  Oak comes through as does some creamy vanilla.  Smooth, buttery and quite chewy.  Lip smacking goodness!

Finish Continuation of the melon, spicy but again, not nearly as much as the “silver” or “blanco” type of tequila.  Warming from your tongue to your toes.  Butterscotch notes come back up after the swallow; right on the sides of my tongue.  Perfect at 38% ABV if you  ask me.

In sum I would reach for this any day.  Quite fantastic and on a level of it’s own.  Oh-so refreshing while warming at the same time.  There’s a reason Don Julio is regarded as one of Mexico’s premier tequilas and I just found out why!

Siembra Azul Tequila “Blanco”

Jalisco, Mexico (Highlands Region) – 40%ABV – 750ml – $35

WARNING & DISCLAIMER – this tequila is certified as “Kosher” but not “Kosher for Passover”

Even though it’s not K for P certified I thought I should list both the fermentation process as well as the aging process as I can not see why this would not be K for P:

Fermentation Process “The agave juice is extracted into a large vat where it is fermented with the same “prisse de mousse” yeast used in the fermentation of Champagne. Throughout this delicate slow fermentation process, Siembra Azul is gently serenaded around the clock by the sounds of Vivaldi and Mozart, in a sophisticated technique known as “serenading” the tequila. The soothing rhythms and gentle vibrations is thought to have a positive effect on the living yeast cultures, and helps to produce a smooth, mellow tasting tequila.” (I wonder what would happen if they played some Kimono Draggin’ during the process…)

Aging “Before bottling, Siembra Azul’s Reposado and Añejo rest in virgin American White Oak “medium toast” barrels from the Ozarks in Missouri. These barrels were selected bcause of the impact the virgin oak from this region has on the flavor profile of Siembra Azul. The Reposado is aged for 3 months and the Añejo rests in these barrels for 12-36 months. The Añejo is bottled when the Master Distiller feels it is at its prime” (This is the “Blanco” which, correct if I’m wrong, does not spend much time, if any, in a barrel.)

Seems good to me – I’m moving on.  Before I do, here’s some more info on this fine tequila (and, it is a very fine tequila, worth more than the price I paid for it):

Quick Description of Siembra Azul “Siembra Azul, meaning “blue harvest”,  is created in the town of Arandas, Mexico from only the finest blue agave. This premium quality spirit is different because more agave is used per bottle. The agave is also allowed to mature longer, which gives it a rich, pronounced flavor. To preserve this flavor, Siembra Azul is bottled by hand in specially designed bottles with air-tight metal caps.  High quality ingredients combined with the creator’s attention to detail has resulted in a truly exceptional spirit.”

Sounds appetizing, right?  Lets go!

On the nose Mint – right off the bat, tobacco, lemonade, gingerbread man cookies, maybe ginger snaps, it noses more like a malt than it does a tequila, oaky (which is strange if this did not spend time in a barrel.  Perhaps it’s a natural flavor from the agave?)

PalateBlack pepper (am I tasting salt too?), back to the mint and spiced tobacco (like licking an unlit cigar wrapper – “Roam” Acid Cigar to be specific), back to the citrus, this time it’s more orangey – Mineola Oranges (sweet and tart)

Finish Peppery, lasting, citrus, more pepper

In sum What a nice little break from whisk(e)y.  This is really getting me ready for summer.  While I am tasting this at room temperature, this would be quite nice chilled.  Not sure I would ruin it with a lime but, if I wanted to make a bad cocktail taste good, I’d add this for sure.  Out of the way Cuervo, Patron, there’s a new tequila in town!  YUM!