$ — 40% ABV — unaged
The wonderful part about tequila is how fresh it smells, almost like the succulent had just been carved up after a long, slow roasting. It's sweet but also distinctly vegetal, more in the company of charred zucchini than stewed fruit. Most mezcals can't hope to hide this agave flavor, and most don't want to.
La Madrileña is obviously trying for a different experience with Piedra Azul. That sweet green agave flavor comes — but only after a wave of nutty and floral flavors. It's downright candied before it gives way to the traditional tequila finish.
Though you may not have ever heard of it, Piedra Azul won very high marks in 2013's San Francisco World Spirits Competition and it's easy to see why. This is almost too smooth of a white spirit for mixing, its only detriment. Despite what the price suggests, you might have to look elsewhere for something rambunctious enough to stand up in a margarita or a tequila punch.
Go ahead and sip this one straight, it lives up to its namesake: as vibrant as a blue turquoise. For friends who may think tequila is all just aguardiente meant to be tolerated for the sake of being a good sport, let them have a try of this one. People often forget tequila is made from sugar sap, same as maple syrup. Here is their reminder.
La Madrileña is located in Tototlan, Jalisco in the Mexican Highlands. Established in 1911, it remains an independent distiller.