Maestro Dobel Diamond: A New Tequila in Town

Cocktails and Spirits with Paul Clarke

Weekly insight into the world of drinks with Paul Clarke from the Cocktail Chronicles and Imbibe magazine.

In each branch of the spirits world, distillers are exploring techniques to create more distinctive and exclusive products for the highly profitable high-end market. In recent years, tequila has moved into a place of prominence, with skillfully crafted aged tequilas earning fans among a growing field of agave aficionados.

One of the newest entries to this sector is Maestro Dobel Diamond, a tequila retailing for around $75 that debuts in select U.S. markets this month. Prepared from a blend of reposado, anejo and extra-anejo tequila--meaning the bottled booze ages for as short as 15 months, and as long as 36--Maestro Dobel Diamond is filtered using a proprietary technology, which strips the spirit of its golden color while leaving the tequila's flavor and aroma unaffected (the makers claim).

In the glass, the Maestro is an interesting character. A bright, herbal fruitiness is the primary aroma. Due to the product's double-distillation, aging, and blending, the agave's distinctive peppery quality is much more subdued. In flavor, the Maestro is surprisingly light, with grassy, vegetal notes, the briskness of citrus peel, and a sweet, almost butterscotch element.

I say surprisingly because in many tequilas of similar age, the spirit has a stronger wood flavor, a gentle oakiness that gives anejo and extra-anejo tequilas a rich character similar to that of aged brandies. The Maestro Dobel Diamond bears little trace of this woodiness. Nor does it have the peppery bite of a silver tequila. What it does have is a complexity created by the production style and blend of differently aged spirits. The crisp flavor may lack the richness desired by fans of other aged tequilas, but those preferring lighter-flavored spirits will welcome this one.

The makers of Maestro Dobel Diamond set out to create something unlike any other tequila in the marketplace. I believe they've succeeded--though sometimes such differences can conflict with consumer expectations. I'm curious to see how tequila fans are receiving Maestro. Have you come across this spirit yet? Thoughts?