El Tesoro "Knob Creek Rye Edition" Anejo Tequila Mundial Collection
40% ABV, 750 ml, aged in Knob Creek Rye Casks
"“This barrel started its living in Kentucky and were used in Maker’s Mark. And after that, those barrels traveled to Scotland and then were used for ten years aging Laphroaig and after those ten years, they were emptied and then came back to [North] America—in this case, Mexico, to age tequila,” Camarena said. “This is what we had in mind by thinking ‘Mundial.’ Those barrels were traveling the world into different spirits: first bourbon, and then Scotch whisky, and then tequila. What are those barrels and the previous spirits bringing to the table? What are they imparting into our tequila? That was the challenge: How can we honor that travel? How can we honor these other spirits into tequila without covering one with the other, but actually complementing each other?”
Camarena’s philosophy also extends to the Mundial Collection’s Knob Creek Rye Edition. For this particular expression, Camarena collaborated with oft-celebrated Fred Noe—the seventh-generation master distiller at the James B. Beam Distilling Co. behind Knob Creek Rye.
“It’s not something where we just happened to think, ‘Okay let me get some barrels of Knob Creek and I do it on my own.’ It was a collaboration of two families getting involved with it. I remember taking samples out of these barrels and sending a sample to Fred Noe in Kentucky. And then we would have this discussion on the Internet—on Zoom,” said Camarena. “So he was in Kentucky and I was in Arandas and we were tasting and I said, ‘Hey, am I honoring what you had in mind with this bourbon? Is this reflecting the flavors that you would expect? So this is a work of collaboration. How can we build together—from agave, from grain; from tequila and from bourbon—something that honors both spirits? Not one trying to overpower the other, but how can we kind of combine them together in order to create something different.”
Knob Creek, which is recognized for its approachability because of the relatively low rye content in its mash bill, contains less than 55% rye. So unlike many high-rye expressions, it delivers more sweetness than spice—and that same distinct characteristic follows through in El Tesoro’s latest release. There’s a rich (but balanced) dark chocolate-caramel note that soon gives way to warm baking spices and orange rind—certainly the kind of flavors that make for an añejo that does justice to its blanco." Review by Forbes