El Matador’s Bloodhound Is ReDonkulicious [DRINKS OF THE WEEK]

Mmmm… Tequila, Vodka, and Whiskey! No, we’re not mixing a jumbo batch of jungle juice or long island ice teas… we’re talking about this week’s installment of “Drink of the Week” featuring Toro de Lidia Reposado, tequila directly from Mexico; Enchanted Vodka, proudly produced in the great state of Texas; and Rendezvous Rye Whiskey from the High West Distillery in Park City, Utah! Check out our full reviews and drink recipes below…

Enchanted Rock Vodka

Founded at Rebecca Creek Distillery in the summer of 2010 by San Antonio entrepreneurs Steve Ison and Mike Cameron, Enchanted Rock Vodka is actually named after the national landmark (an enormous natural granite formation that rises 425 feetabove its surrounding terrain in the Texas Hill Country). Enchanted Rock is a grain-based, 80-proof vodka that is distilled six times and was designed with sustainability in mind. Green initiatives include employing an extensive water-recycling program, incorporating water that is naturally filtered using native limestone from the Trinity Aquifer, and donating left over grains to local farmers to use as livestock feed. Also, Enchanted Rock has been officially certified by the Texas Departmentof Agriculture with its GO TEXAN stamp, a program that recognizes Texas-based agri-businesses that positivelysupport and promote the state of Texas. Somewhere, Al Gore is shedding a tear!

Proof: 80 (40% ABV)
Age: Unaged
Flavors: Neutral
TasteA- (Excellent)
Mix-abilityA- (Excellent)
Buzz Factor: B+ (Very Good)
Price: $18 – $20 USD (750 ml)

Overall: We give Enchanted Rock Vodka an A- (Highly Recommended). Not only is this brand eye catching from a design perspective, but everything about the vodka is pure and clean. The folks over at Rebecca Creek Distillery hit a home run with this vodka, and if you enjoy similar vodkas such as ABSOLUT or Ketel One, you’ll likely fall in love with Enchanted Rock as we did. It’s great for mixing, yet soft enough to sip… a great combo!

MIX IT UP WITH“Bloodhound”

Ingredients:  2 oz Enchanted Rock Vodka, 3 oz Fresh Squeezed Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice, .25 oz Finest Call Orgeat Syrup.

Directions:  Shake over ice, pour into a tall glass and granish with a ruby red grepefruit wheel.

Toro de Lidia Reposado Tequila

A few weeks back you might remember we gave our review a little known blanco (silver) tequila by the name of Toro de Lidia. Well, today we’re going hands-on with it’s older brother – Toro de Lidia Reposado. Similar to its sibling in that it’s produced with 100% of the finest selection of Blue Agave in Mexica Toro uses pure spring water for fermentation. Where the two differ is in the maturing process. The reposado version of Toro de Lidia is aged from 6-12 months in un-charred American white oak barrels.  It is then oxygenated, chilled to 4 degree centigrade then filtered through activated carbon filters before bottling. From start to finish, producing tequila can be painstaking!

Proof: 80 (40% ABV)
Age: 6 – 12 Months
Flavors: Agave, honey, citrus, and hints of oak
Taste: A- (Excellent)
Mix-abilityB+ (Very Good)
Buzz Factor: B+ (Very Good)
Price$22.00 USD (750ml) 

Overall: We give Toro de Lidia Reposado Tequila a B+ (Highly Recommended).  The aging process which takes place in un-charred American white oak barrels gives this reposado tequila an exceptionally smooth profile that is easily enjoyed as a sipper, shooter, or mixer. While we enjoyed Toro de Lidia reposado best overall when mixed, there’s no reason to keep the shot glasses, salt, and lime wedges too far away!

MIX IT UP WITH: “El Matador”

Ingredients: 4 oz Toro de Lidia Teposado tequila, 4 oz triple sec, 8 oz cranberry juice.

Directions: Make by the glass for a few guests or in a shaker or pitcher for a large party. Serve in a cocktail glass, garnishing the glass rim with a half slice of fresh lime.

Rendezvous Rye Whiskey

Refusing to chill filter their whiskies because they prefer to retain the natural oils that contribute flavor, texture, and a lingering finish, High West Distillers produces their whiskey for sipping. Rendezvous Rye is no exception! Bottled at 92 proof, (the minimum proof where chill haze is less likely to form) Rendezvous Rye is a blend of two exotic straight rye whiskies; one old, and one young. They’ve married the rich aromatic qualities of a 16-year-old rye with the bold spicy properties of 6-year-old rye, creating a full flavored, very complex whiskey. Earlier this week we were given the opportunity to test and review their labor of love. The results were surprising!

Proof: 92 (46% ABV)
Age: Blended
Flavors: rye spices, cinnamon, oak
TasteA  (Excellent)
Mix-abilityA- (Excellent)
Buzz Factor: A (Awesome)
Price: $30 – $40 USD (750ml)

Overall: We give High West Rendezvous Rye an A- (Highly Recommended). Remember when we said the results of our testing and review were surprising? Well, what we meant by that was for once the distillers description matches the product 100%. This whiskey is best served straight or with a splash of water where it’s true complexities and long finish can truly be appreciated. At 92 proof it’s a bit of a kick in the mouth for novices to whiskey, but after spending a little time with it and easing into it with a splash of water, we came to truly appreciate this unique rye whiskey. Wondering if you can mix it? Of course… but please, man up first and give it a whirl neat. The distillers designed it that way.

MIX IT UP WITH: “ReDonkulicious”

Ingredients: – 2 oz. Rendezvous Rye, 1 small peach, 3 mint leaves, 2 pieces lemons, 1 oz water, 1/2 oz simple syrup

Directions: Muddle all ingredients except whiskey in a bar glass. Add whiskey, and shake with ice. Strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass, garnish with a sprig of mint and a peach slice, and serve.

Next week: Rebecca Creek Whiskey | Clear10 Vodka | Spice Box Whiskey

Josh is COED Magazine’s resident testing and review specialist, with a keen eye for all things tech, booze, and sports related. When he’s not contributing for COED his latest work can be found over at BeSportier.com. To have your products tested, reviewed, and featured on COED shoot Josh a quick Email. You can also follow Josh on Twitter – @JoshHerder

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