Age: NAS (unaged)
Appearance: pale, hazy yellow with decent legs.
Nose: Raw spirit, maybe a hint of flowers.
On the palate: light, creamy taste, then just burn.
The finish: This is where the resemblance to tequila really blossoms, no pun intended. Citrus, spice, sweetness. Not complex, but interesting.
Mixed: Does very well in a “hopquila sunrise” with oj, ice, grenadine and orange bitters. OK in a “hoprita”, no worse than a standard mixto tequila. With an ice cube and a squeeze of lime, the sweetness and citrus notes come to the fore, almost turning it into lemonade.
Parting words: Hatter Royale is an unaged barley spirit infused with centennial hops, giving it a tequila-esque floral aroma. I’m not sure if it will ever be anything other than a novelty, but it works on that level. It does best as an interesting alternative to a white or mixto tequila in summertime mixed drinks. It will never work as a substitute for a fine sipping tequila, but I don’t think it was intended to. Recommended for mixing.