Whisky Meets Tequila-The Transatlantic Romance Continues

Whisky meets tequila. Yep, it was another serendipitous find for me and Mr. C. By the way, you can thank him for the silly title. 😉

Thanks to our mutual craving for margaritas one recent Saturday, we accidentally stumbled upon this latest offering from Don Julio while buying our tequila.

A bottle of a limited edition of Don Julio tequila that was aged in a cask that previously held Lagavulin whisky.

A little over a year ago, Don Julio released their first limited edition; a Reposado finished in barrels that had previously held Buchanan’s blended Scotch. I wrote about it here. Well, if I was excited about that one, then this year’s edition has me positively giddy. Why you ask? One word.


Don Julio’s 2019 release is an aged tequila that spent approximately eight months maturing in ex-bourbon barrels before finishing for two weeks in barrels that previously held this king of all Scotches. If Ron Swanson was to drink tequila, I believe this would be the one.

A box of Don Julio tequila that was finished in a Lagavulin whisky cask.

Don Julio’s web site describes their Lagavulin edition as follows: “Created by Master Distiller Enrique de Colsa in collaboration with the Lagavulin Distillery Manager, Colin Gordon, this limited edition, innovative tequila is inspired by Don Julio Gonzalez’s creative spirit and passion to take the art of tequila making to new heights. Tequila Don Julio Reposado, Double Cask is a unique, rich and nuanced expression of our traditional Reposado now finished in casks that previously held Lagavulin Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky.”

“There’s no wrong way to order a Lagavulin.”

-Nick Offerman

So what makes Lagavulin unique, and why is it such a great compliment to the Reposado? Distilled on Islay, the southernmost island of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, Lagavulin is known for its intense, smoky, peaty, full-bodied taste. Lagavulin’s site says, “This is an intense, roaring bonfire of a malt. Like a driftwood fire at dusk, their wood-smoke envelopes you, banishing the wet and the cold with maritime notes, salt, and an unexpected delicacy reminiscent of lapsang souchong. Not for nothing is this regarded as the definitive Islay, and for many, the definitive Single Malt Scotch Whisky.” An excellent description.

Don Julio’s Reposado, by contrast, is matured for eight months in American white-oak barrels. The result is a tequila that the company describes as “mellow, with an elegant flavor, and inviting aroma.” Paired with the intense, smoky whisky that is Lagavulin, it becomes a marriage made in heaven.

A bottle of 16 year old Lagavulin next to a bottle of a Don Julio special edition.

I’ll be honest.  There was a time a few years ago when I did not like smoky or peaty Scotches of any kind.  My palate was still young and had not yet fully matured to be able to appreciate a big Scotch like Lagavulin.  Now?  Oh my gosh.  Pour me a dram of Lagavulin any day of the week.  I would count it now as my number one absolute favorite whisky on the market.

So, there you go.  Another creative, innovative, unique, and delicious creation from Don Julio.  Try it neat or on the rocks.  I promise, if you enjoy a quality tequila and a grown up Scotch, you will not be disappointed.  I can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.


9 thoughts on “Whisky Meets Tequila-The Transatlantic Romance Continues

  • That sounds an interesting combination. I’m a bit partial to an Islay malt mysel, Laphroaig being my favourite poison, but I’m no expert on the finer points of Scotch whisky. No doubt I’ll be trying to find out a bit more when I stray north of the border in a couple of months time. Thanks for an enlightening post

  • Interesting. A question and a comment.
    Does the tequila aged in whiskey barrels have a different color than a traditional tequila.
    When we toured the south we visited the Jack Daniels distillery and saw how they make the barrels. A few days later we visited the Tabasco plant at Avery Island, Louisiana and learned that they age their hot sauce in used Jack Daniels barrels. I believe that there are some beers that are now aged in whiskey barrels.

    • I bet that is delicious hot sauce! It’s interesting how people are using these barrels to produce such unique products.

      I’m definitely not an expert on the subject but I think the color actually has more to do with the length of time it spends in the barrel. I have seen reposados that are almost white and some that are more of an amber hue. The Don Julio Lagavulin edition is very light in color, almost clear. It only spent two weeks in the whisky barrels.

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