By Richard Thomas
I know what you must be thinking: “this is a whiskey media site, so why are they reviewing tequila?” Because we touch on all things connected to whiskey, including other types of liquor aged in old whiskey barrels. Take, for example, this recent review of a rye barrel-aged red wine.
Storywood is the creation of Scotland-born, Texas-raised Michael Ballantyne, and its shtick is sourcing tequila and aging it in various types of used casks. The case we are looking at here is a Reposado, which means the tequila has been aged for up to one year. In this case, that is seven months in a cask of undisclosed type (barrel? hogshead?) that was previously used to age an undisclosed Speyside malt whisky.
Keeping in mind that this is a whiskey-first website, I’ve chosen to approach this tequila in two different ways. One is to try it in a riff on a classic whiskey cocktail. For that, I made an Old Fashioned, using nectarines instead of the usual orange slices. We’ll see how a Speyside Scotch-aged tequila instead of bourbon in an Old Fashioned riff. The second is to take a sip of the tequila straight, and then another sip with chili salt and lime.
The Scotch-aged tequila took this into an unexpected direction, and I’m glad the riff I used recommended using nectarines. The modest note of honey complimented the nectarine slices in my drink well, and the light vanilla note was welcome and familiar. But the tequila gave the cocktail a sharp, earthy character, that is quite unlike what one expects from an Old Fashioned, transforming an entire side of a familiar coin.
As for taking the tequila straight, this one is an odd duck. Being a Reposado, and aged in an ex-Speyside malt barrel at that, it has one foot in a generic whisky and one foot in earthy agave. It therefore doesn’t need the salt and lime wedge the way a Blanco does, but at the same time, I can’t quite endorse the notion of sipping on it neat. It might make a good highball, though, done up with a lime wedge, soda and ice. But having already done one riff with the stuff, taking it in that direction must wait for my next trial.
Expect to pay about $50 for this bottle.