8 Shots: Maestro Dobel Reserva

There was a headache the next morning, but it wasn’t as bad as you’d think.

What follows is a review of a liquor and the experiences the writer had while consuming an unreasonable quantity of it.

1 Shot: There are sipping tequilas and there are margarita tequilas. Maestro Dobel feels like what happens when column A and column B overflow into a shot glass. The initial hit – the liquor lands solidly on the sour/sweet receptors at the front of the tongue – is impressively smooth and there is a lingering smokiness courtesy of the agave, but the fundamental taste profile is more Cuervo than creative. Sip at it a bit and you get more of a citrus spark, but you also get mocked by your coworkers.

2 Shots: There’s less of a burn on the second shot, but there’s still a bit of static on the tonsils. This stuff is slightly underproof and that helps, but 40 percent ABV is still 40 percent ABV.

3 Shots: Palms sweat. A salty dew gathers above the eyebrows. One of the side effects of drinking tequila is looking dishonest, which isn’t particularly helpful when you’re trying to come up with an excuse for fleeing the midtown cocktail scene. The guy in the mirror looks like he’s searching for an angry fix.

4 Shots: The flask leaves a bit of a chrome sheen on the slightly metallic taste of the burnt desert bloom. There’s a subway preacher espousing religious views that seem self-contradictory and another woman engaged in a rather thorough an ocular pat down, presumably looking for the liquid bulk under my jacket. Her boyfriend looks a bit frustrated and a bit sympathetic. Maybe he wants some? We’ll never know.

5 Shots: It’s too nice a restaurant to sneak in a drink, but there’s always that temptation when you’ve accidentally brought your own.

6 Shots: Halfway through a slightly overcooked steak, the pre-hangover hits. It’s a dull ache. No one wants to sober up in public – or while awake for that matter – so a furtive reach towards salvation makes sense. The woman across the table giggles. She feels guilty and says so before taking a pull for herself. She winces and takes a sip of red wine as a chaser. This is not, she points out, a good pairing. The taste now seems a bit less reminiscent of a freshman-year bender and a bit more transgressive.

7 Shots: By now, the sting of the alcohol has faded to nothing, flattening the taste. And there are other concerns about continuing to drink.

8 Shots: No matter how well made a liquor is – and Maestro Dobel is certainly constructed with an eye to detail – the dregs always taste like the dregs. The guy at the bodega smiles when the mints hit the counter. He winks when he sees the girl waiting outside.