Review: El Tesoro Mundial Collection – Knob Creek Rye and Laphroaig

Review: El Tesoro Mundial Collection – Knob Creek Rye and Laphroaig

Late last year, El Tesoro launched a new line of tequilas called The Mundial Collection, which will be built around various whiskey cask finishes. “Mundial” translates to “world” in Spanish — a cue that you’re going to see finishes from all over the place used in this lineup.

The first two releases are build around Knob Creek Rye and Laphroaig Scotch. Production details for each follow in our reviews below.

Both are 80 proof. NOM 1139.

El Tesoro Mundial Collection: Knob Creek Rye Edition – This is El Tesoro Anejo finished for 12 months in Knob Creek Rye barrels. An American rye cask finish isn’t a big stretch for this tequila, and sure enough the Knob Creek Rye barrel is quite complementary to an already stellar product. Big with caramel and vanilla on the nose, it comes across a lot like an extra anejo, with well-integrated but subdued agave notes and a slight touch of lemon peel. Much the same on the creamy, lush palate, where an herbal quality is a bit more evident along with a sprinkle of barrel char and some toasted cereal notes. Whether this is all driven by the agave, the rye, or both is indeterminate, but whatever the case is, the addition is complementary and engaging, adding a little kick to an otherwise dessert-heavy experience that might otherwise come across as a little too sweet. Surprisingly light in color, the tequila tricks you up front into assuming its barrel influence will be restrained, bringing things closer to blanco territory. Not so: This is a groovy, seductive tequila that’s built for after-dinner sipping and reflection. Lovely. A

El Tesoro Mundial Collection: Laphroaig Edition – And now for something completely different: El Tesoro Anejo finished for 12 months in peaty Laphroaig casks. You would think a peated Scotch would have done a number on a silky sweet tequila, but that’s surprisingly not the case. Here we find a nose that’s only gently smoky and earthy. That said, it strikes a much more powerful aromatic appearance, offering a much denser core of agave, barrel char, and caramel that comes across as heavily toasted rather than gently simmered. The palate infuses all of that with a more forceful, green agave quality, now showing some of the peated elements in gentle, restrained fashion. Bolder from every angle, the tequila sees a lovely, light salinity as the finish approaches, tempered with more vanilla and milk chocolate, and a lingering hint of smoke. All told, I had trouble deciding if I preferred this more intense, smoldering experience or the effusive, dessert-like Knob Creek expression, bouncing back and forth between the two for more than an hour. In the end, I had to decide it was all a matter of momentary mindset. You can’t go wrong either way. A

each $175 /

El Tesoro Mundial Collection: Knob Creek Rye Edition




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

1 Comment

  1. Eli on February 12, 2024 at 3:36 am

    And let’s not forget, those Laphroaig barrels are on their third use, here.
    The Irish and Scotch finishing almost always gives a lighter touch because of how many distilleries in UK use ex-bourbon barrels.
    So this Tesoro Anejo is using barrels Laphroaig rested their whisky in for 10 years after Maker’s Mark used them to age their whisky for, well, an unspecified amount of time but somewhere between 6 and 7 years.

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