Last week we ran through an espadin tasting which featured:
1) Wahaka Joven
2) Metl Blanco
3) El Prometido (private reserve)
A subtle body, nice and round with slight agave notes. At 40 percent it’s a great introductory mezcal.
Metl Joven Blanco
As far as we’ve been able to discern it’s only available in LA and NY now so check Ramirez Liquor in LA because they tend to have the most expansive mezcal collection around and ship widely.
Agave flavor notes combined with a slight chemical element. Not a high degree of alcoholic heat even though it weighs in at 48 percent. Wide mouth feel, well rounded mid-palate with a light tail.
From our private collection. Very alcoholic with a high heat component and a much more pronounced degree of smoke than the previous mezcals in this tasting. Rounded viscosity in mouth.
Del Maguey Chichicapa
A very slight nose of that wet cement or cocaine which could just be the clean scent from the copitas. That opens into a broad body with a viscous mouth feel and full agave flavor that lingers. This was the obvious heavyweight of the tasting which didn’t sit right with everyone. One taster said it was his least favorite because he detected an in “your face” smoke flavor without accompanying subtlety. Others enjoyed it exactly because it was a very full body and fruit forward mezcal.
This was a fun comparison of espadins. The Wahaka was very light and showed better than previous tastings, perhaps because it was followed by the Metl that wasn’t as overwhelming as other mezcals in the tasting. El Prometido’s alcoholic strength was a real jump in type and the Chichicapa’s additional body rounded everything out in a very traditional form.
We also tasted a pair of Arroqueños for a silvestre comparison; Real Minero and Cuishe. They reaffirmed that espadins and silvestres are such different beasts that you should taste them for what they tell you about one another rather than a qualitative comparison within a group. In the future we’ll keep these in separate categories and break out a third, the agave mixes that palenqueros have always made but which are now being tinkered with even more in the case of the Wahaka Ensemble and others. Both Arroqueños had very little alcoholic force, a much more subtle fruit mixture and a wider palate of textures. One taster compared them to Tetris because of the different things that jump out at you as you taste them: One minute it’s a roast flavor, the next a touch of alcohol, the next some viscosity.
We’d like to open up invitations to our tastings so if you can make a tasting in the San Francisco Bay Area send us an email and we’ll add you to our mailing list.