A tequila “collective.” Think about this concept for a moment. A gathering of agave enthusiasts brought together to sample the smoothest of tequilas available, paired with some of the best Mexican food L.A. has to offer, and a side of complimentary margaritas. All this enjoyed while getting schooled on the spirit's finer points by knowledgeable experts. Sound like a good time? Then we recommend getting involved with the Mezcal Collective, a series of tequila celebrations set to take place at Las Perlas downtown.

The first meeting, in which guests will sample the Casa Herradura-certified Double Barrel Reposado, will take place on Thursday, December 16th (that would be tomorrow) from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Las Perlas manager Raul Yastorza tells us repasado tequila is “rested,” or aged in an oak barrel between 1 and 3 years. For this event, Herradura historian and global brand ambassador Ruben Aceves will enlighten tequila tasters on the art of aging.

Black mole chicken tamales and chips with Coloradito mole from Guelaguetza will be served alongside, as well as tacos Arabes from Pal Cabron. (And oh yeah, margaritas.)

We asked Yastorza how the idea for the Collective was born. “The Mezcal Collective grew from conversation on 'how do we get like minded people together to talk, drink and celebrate the true craft of creating the agave-based spirit mezcal and tequila?' I didn't want a club or a society but instead a pool of talented people who already had significant knowledge in the area of mezcal and tequila. Once I had these people on board, the natural process of like-minded people would find their way to the collective.”

Next month, on January 25th, the Collective will premier LaPalabra, a limited-edition, certified organic mezcal from the high sierra of San Juan del Rio, Oaxaca.

We also spoke with Yastorza about what one should look for when tasting tequila, and he gave us the following advice:

“Tequila and mezcal's complexity is both humble and complex. The nose should be pleasing with no heavy chemical aroma. The aroma of roasted agave, much like a cooked sweet potato in flavor, should dominate the experience, followed by citrus and confectionery notes of butter, pepper and cinnamon, to name a few. How does one know quality? Make sure that the label first says it is made from 100% blue agave. Second, if you can, find out where and or who makes the tequila. There is more tequila produced than there are distilleries, which means multiple brands come out of the same factory. This does not mean that a tequila that comes from a factory that produces more than one and up to 35 is not a good tequila. The odds, however, are low. Does the tequila manufacturer have his own distillery, does the distillery have its own plants?”

For any connoisseur, research is key.

To join the Las Perlas Mezcal Collective, and receive updates and evites, visit www.lasperlas.la. Tickets for each event are $99.

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