If you see a sherry cask sitting somewhere in Scotland, it’s a pretty safe bet that there’s some whisky aging in it. But using these Spanish fortified wine barrels to age tequila in Mexico, while not quite as ubiquitous, has become increasingly popular and Maestro Dobel is getting in on the burgeoning trend.
Maestro Dobel Tequila is a relative newcomer to the American market, arriving in 2009, and claims to have introduced us to several firsts—smoked tequila (Humito), pechuga tequila distilled with a turkey breast (Pavito) and cristalino tequila (Dobel Diamante, although Don Julio would beg to differ with that last assertion). The brand is owned by Becle, which is the drinks giant that oversees a little brand called Jose Cuervo along with other well-known tequilas, whiskeys and rums.
Maestro Dobel 50 1967 is the second in the brand’s “50” series of tequilas meant to celebrate founder Juan Dobel’s 50th birthday (he was born in 1967, real name Juan Domingo Beckmann Legoretta), and the first in a new lineup of limited-edition extra añejo cask-finished tequila. While the price is set quite high at $950, it looks like it’s already going for thousands more than this at online retailers. The tequila is an extra añejo aged for at least three years in a combination of French and American oak barrels before being finished in sherry casks for four to five months. The plan is to continue releasing these cask-finished tequilas over the coming years, each using a different type of barrel. The tasting notes for this release include vanilla, spice and a bouquet of floral flavors on the nose, along with toasted nuts, coffee, chocolate and dried fruits on the palate.
As mentioned above, this is not the first time a tequila has gotten to know the inside of a sherry cask. Patron has an añejo aged for its entirety in sherry butts, El Mayor’s entry into the field spent a full 38 months getting this special treatment and the luxury brand Tears of Llorona uses sherry barrels along with scotch and brandy to age its core expression. Just as with whisky, this type of maturation can overtake the palate of a tequila, but Maestro Dobel is hoping it has struck the right balance and retained the core identity of the tequila while giving it an extra boost of flavor—and will hopefully bring scotch, bourbon and Irish whiskey drinkers over to the agave side.
Maestro Dobel 50 1967 is available now to purchase online and at select retailers, with about 600 bottles available in the US.