Mezcal (‘Mexicali’ meaning oven-cooked Agave) derives from a type of Agave plant native to Mexico. Legends tell of a lightning bolt that struck an Agave plant cooking and opening it and in turn releasing its liquid. For this reason, it is known as the ‘Elixir of the gods’. Whether the distilled drinks were produced in Mexico pre- or post-Spanish conquest is unknown still to this day.
Mezcal to the ignorance of many has phenomenal levels of complexity and depth to it. From the Agave plant when it is matured, it forms a “piña” or heart in the centre from which juice is extracted to convert into Mezcal, then there will be the 7-to-15-year maturation period creates flavours that are intense and can be quite peppery, spicy in style.
Animas Mezcal Joven Artisanal Papalometi 48% £67.95
Region: Oaxaca Area: Santiago Matatlan Agave: 70% Espadin, 30% Papalometi, Double Copper Pot distilled. Tasted: Jul 2018.
The nose is edgy and ascetic with raw agave and hints smoke. The white fruit has a pleasant sweetness and a distinct woody/ fibrous character, which definitely makes it feel artisanal! With time hints of milky vanilla.
The palate is raw but soft and like the nose displays a real artisanal unrefined agave quality. Hints of straw, woody smoke and sweeter agave notes follow. Intense and drying middle but a long, peppery and earthy finish with lingering citrus and green pepper.
Derrumbes Mezcal Oaxaca 45.9% £49.68
The new batch of Derrumbes Oaxaca is different from the previous one. It’s now 70% agave Espadin and 30% Tobala (it used to be 100% Espadin). Lot 6 Btl: Feb 2017 Tasted: Jan 2018.
An intently citric nose with edgy, lightly acerbic and earthy pulped fruit. Quite mineral with an underlying sweeter agave character and a touch of smoke.
The palate is quite peppery (black pepper) and sweetly smoked with coal dust, citrus and a lovely combination of sweet and acerbic agave. Really peppery on the middle with lingering edgy agave and white pepper.
Derrumbes Mezcal Michoacan 49% £58.81
Cenizo Agave Lot 2 Dist: May 2014 Tasted: Oct 2014
The nose is pungent and smoky. Fresher than the Oaxaca with again a natural agave character. Hints of white wine vinegar and a touch of vanilla come through.
The palate is very fresh and citric with gentle pepper and white wine vinegar notes. The black pepper notes develop pleasantly to be joined by a touch of white pepper. Lovely depth and again a little dry on the finish, but the spirit has plenty of substance to balance.
Animas Mezcal Joven Artisanal Espadin/ Cupreata 48% £69.20
Region: Oaxaca Area: Santiago Matatlan Agave: Espadin & Cupreata, Double Copper Pot distilled. Tasted: Sept 2018.
The nose is fresh and citric with plenty of acerbic espadin and hints of smoke, earth, green banana and subtly sweet white fruit. Late hints of granulated sugar and an almost barley’d note.
The palate opens with the sweet, pulped white fruit with a touch of lime and acerbic espadin. Lightly earthy and smoky with hints of vanilla and pepper on the middle. Long with a very spicy and earthy finish
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