By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Jan 03, 2009 at 1:28 AM

Calling all tequila tasters; there's a new player in the game. From its summer 2008 birth in a distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, Maestro Dobel has since made its way to the States and is making its mark as a luxurious clear-aged tequila.

Juan-Domingo "Dobel" Beckmann, the sixth-generation leader of his prominent tequila-producing family, says his new liquor concept is the first of its kind.

"There is so much curiosity and interest in the tequila category as it is, but with the introduction of the category's first silver-aged tequila, we've been able to capture the luxury spirit consumer's attention," he says. "The craftsmanship and detail behind each bottle of Maestro Dobel represents six generations of my family's dedication to creating the finest tequilas available." 

Beckmann adds that the popularity of his product also signals a renaissance -- a new way of thinking about and enjoying tequila.

Dobel is a distinctive blend of three aged tequilas: Reposado (rested 15 months), Anejo (rested 24 months), and Extra-Anejo (rested for 36 months). After growing for 12 years, the agave picked for Dobel is cultivated at the family's ranch, La Copalear, located in the volcanic lowland region of Jalisco. This area's agave naturally produces a tequila with lighter herbal and citrus aromas.

Maestro's distilling process -- proprietary blending and a gentle filtration technique -- gives the silver spirit its unique taste, with smooth hints of chocolate. Beckmann describes it as "untraditional," with the complexity of an aged cognac and the crispness of a luxury vodka.

Dobel is produced in limited quantities and is currently only available in California, Illinois, Georgia and Wisconsin. As of now, the tequila is available in Milwaukee at the following establishments:

Mi Key's -- 811 N. Jefferson St.
Intercontinental Hotel -- 139 E. Kilbourn Ave.
Cempazuchi -- 1205 E. Brady St.
Café Luna & Lounge -- 106 W. Seeboth St.
Umami Moto -- 718 N. Milwaukee St.
Grainger's -- 3400 W. Loomis Rd. in Greenfield

By March 2009, Maestro Dobel will expand to markets in New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Washington, D.C. and Nevada.

While Beckmann's sipping suggestion is to imbibe neatly on the rocks, there are several interesting ways of preparing this tequila.

Take, for instance, the Dobel Spicy Chill:
4 basil leaves
1 serrano chili slice ¼-in. thick
2 oz. Maestro Dobel Tequila
¾ oz. lime juice
¾ oz. simple syrup

Directions: In a pint glass, crack the chili with a muddler. Add basil, then muddle or bruise. Add all spirits and mixers. Shake and strain in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a Serrano chili slice and a basil sprig.

There's also the Crafty Maestro:
1 red bell pepper ring ½-in. thick
8-10 mint leaves
2 oz. Maestro Dobel Tequila
¾ oz. lime juice
¾ oz. simple syrup

Directions: In a pint glass, muddle bell pepper ring and mint. Add all spirits and mixers. Shake vigorously for six seconds. Strain in cocktail glass. To garnish, drop a bell pepper ring in cocktail glass and a mint sprig.

But the cocktail that perhaps most demonstrates the tequila's "diamond clarity" is the Maestro's Moment of Clarity:
2 oz. Maestro Dobel Tequila
¾ oz. simple syrup
2 oz. dashed Regan's orange bitters

Directions: In a pint glass, add all spirits and mixers. With a bar spoon stir for 20-30 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass. For garnish: with a potato peeler, peel a large piece of orange peel and drop in cocktail.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”