Diablo Loco, Edinburgh

The Mexican food scene in Edinburgh is the strongest it has ever been right now. From the trendy El Cartel and chain staples such as Wahaca, to burrito kings Los Cardos and Barburrito, the whole spectrum of Mexican cuisine is covered. And covered well! But these boys better watch their back, as the new Diablo Loco will be giving them all a run for their money.

Located on South Clerk Street, Diablo Loco rose from the figurative ashes of Clerks Bar on Dia de Muertos – otherwise known as Mexico’s Day of the Dead. The bar promises a myriad of tequilas and mezcals, along with a selection of Margaritas, from Smoked Paprika to Pineapple and Cardomon. So what better way to toast the new restaurant’s opening than with a tutored tequila tasting?

Now, in the past, friends have tried to convince me that tequila is a sipping drink. But as soon as the vapours from the glass tickle my nose, I’m transported back to university, expecting a lick of salt and suck of lime to follow in quick succession. However, I’ve clearly been drinking the wrong (cheap?) tequilas!

Our tutored tasting comprised three different tequilas and was led by Diablo Loco general manager, Stuart Shearer, who clearly knows his stuff. Not only was he able to tell us plenty about the history and production of tequila, but he was able to easily answer some tough questions from me and the other tasters. Our line-up featured:

  • Blanco – a white spirit, which is either entirely unaged or aged for less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels
  • Reposado – which is aged for a minimum of two months, but less than one year, in oak barrels
  • Añejo – which is aged for a minimum of three years in oak barrels

I’ve obviously got expensive taste, as the Don Julio 1942 (the Añejo) was my favourite of the three. Its extra time in the wood meant it had plenty of vanilla and oak flavours, but there was still an undercurrent of tequila coming through. Although at £16 a shot, it might not become my go to drink. The blanco – El Jimador Reposado Tequila – reminded me of whisky new make spirit, by with a touch of Mexican character.

After our tasting, we were led up upstairs for a preview of what the Diablo Loco kitchen will have to offer. From the nibbles I manged to grab, I’ll have to head back soon to check out the full menu.

The Verdict
A great addition to Edinburgh’s burgeoning food and drinks scene. And although whisky might still hold my heart, tequila fans will be more than happy.

Diablo Loco can be found at 74-78 S Clerk St, Edinburgh, EH8 9PT, and there’s much more information on the restaurant’s website.