fbpx
Top
Image Alt

Mezcalistas

Doña Tules Single Barrel expressions 01, 02, 03 tasting notes

Recently Susan wrote about the Doña Tules Single Barrel project which is a series of three labels of Tosba mezcal aged in barrels in the US. The collaboration is something that has become standard in the whisky world but, except for sporadic projects like Wahaka’s Repo on Rye, hasn’t consumed the mezcal world. True, there was a wave of tequila inspired reposed and añejo bottles but those are now few and far between. It’s not that barrel aging ever disappeared completely. Ilegal has done it for quite some time. Pierde Almas is doing it. And a handful of others have projects that are in motion.

But the Doña Tules Single Barrel project really advances the entire barrel aging space with the care applied to the mezcal and the deliciously nuanced results. A big differentiator is the mad scientist approach that Scott Andrews, the man behind the project, used. He didn’t age it in a single barrel. As Susan notes:

Andrews ended up dismantling 11 different French and American oak barrels that had previously contained bourbon, brandy, sherry, port, chardonnay, zinfandel, and cabernet and cut them into sizes so the surface to volume ratio inside a bottle would be the same as in a barrel.

and then he

also puts 7-10% of each bulk product into glass to add back into the final aged product.

I can’t distinguish the individual barrel types but I’m pretty sure that the refresher of the unaged mezcal adds balance and removes much of the tannic nature of most aged mezcals. There’s something here for each flavor set and Andrews is clearly not chasing the classic tequila mix: He’s doing something new and letting the interaction between the base spirit and the barrels do the talking.

Now that I’ve tasted these, I’m very interested to see how Andrews’ experiments in aging Bacanora and Raicilla turn out because, while I’m a frequent drinker of wood aged spirits, I’ve rarely found wood aged agave spirits that have excited me as much as the Doña Tules line.

Doña Tules release 01

Details

  • Location: San Cristobal Lachirioag, Oaxaca
  • A. angustifolia – Espadin (100% estate grown)
  • Maestro Mezcalero: Edgar Gonzalez
  • Aging: New French oak for 20 months then in glass for 20 months.
  • Vintage: October 2016
  • ABV: 47.6%
  • Tasting keywords: Roast agave candy.
  • Buy it today

Appearance

Eark amber, your classic rye or bourbon color.

Nose

Sweet with a touch of molasses.

Taste

Edgy with a balance of barrel tannins and the natural agave sugar sweetness from the piñas. It recalls roast agave candy.

Doña Tules release 02

Details

  • Location: San Cristobal Lachirioag, Oaxaca
  • A. angustifolia – Espadin (100% estate grown)
  • Maestro Mezcalero: Edgar Gonzalez
  • Aging: Six months in New French oak followed by 22 months in a single use bourbon barrel.
  • Vintage: October 2016
  • ABV: 47.8%
  • Tasting keywords: Lightly aged rum, sandalwood.
  • Buy it today

Appearance

Lighter amber, like a light rum.

Nose

Sings like a very light maple syrup.

Taste

A very playful and bright. This is my favorite of the three because it’s neither sweet nor tannic but fully integrated with a really light touch of sandalwood.

Doña Tules release 03

Details

  • Location: San Cristobal Lachirioag, Oaxaca
  • A. angustifolia – Espadin (100% estate grown)
  • Maestro Mezcalero: Edgar Gonzalez
  • Aging: 30 months in French oak Chardonnay barrel.
  • Vintage: February 2017
  • ABV: 46.6%
  • Tasting keywords: Blackberry honey, bourbon.
  • Buy it today

Appearance

Dark amber – your classic rye or bourbon color.

Nose

It conveys a rich, balanced sweetness.

Taste

This is the dark rum end of the spectrum among the three. Conjure up dark and stormy. Rich, unctuous, honey sweetness, low viscosity, an incredibly robust sensation that holds up well up, on the rocks, and in cocktails.

Max co-founded Mezcalistas with Susan way back in 2012. Before that he was a journalist at Salon.com and The San Francisco Chronicle.

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You don't have permission to register