In the 21st century, mezcal is still made from the heart of the agave plant, called the piña, in much the same way as it was 200 years ago. In Mexico, mezcal is generally consumed straight and has a strong smoky flavor. Though other types of mezcal are not as popular as tequila (made specifically from the blue agave in select regions of the country), Mexico does export the product, mostly to Japan and the United States, and exports are growing.
We were joined by Matt McKay – @thedramble on Twitter, for this tasting, and all 5 Mezcal samples were very kindly sent blind by Matt to us also. You can follow Matt at the bottom of this review.
We’ll, that hot mashed potato aroma is here, I like that, almost like a heavier grain aroma, there is a smokiness, macadamia nuts for sure, and slightly botanical too. #thewhiskeychaps
Nice mouthfeel, and the smoke comes through straight away, the ABV is good, kind of nutty spicy, there is a lovely sweetness too, almost perfumed, floral, and coffee with aniseed. #thewhiskeychaps
Quite black pepper, black coffee, a real sweetness that I’m having a problem nailing down at the moment, and short to medium long. #thewhiskeychaps
This was literally the first Mezcal iv’e ever tasted, and it’s very nice. Being as i genuinely didn’t know what to expect i found this a wonderful and exciting new thing in my life. The range of aromas and flavours in this spirit are superb. Smokey, nutty, spicy, fruity, and floral, with darker heavier notes, i really enjoyed it.
And Mezcal #1 is
Oooh, that hot mash is here again, and this one isn’t so sweet at this point. It’s got a certain “dustiness” to it. No the sweetness is slowly arriving 😁 🤦. It’s almost becoming new make like now, red berry jam. #thewhiskeychaps
Much more fruit, and like the nose it’s red berry jam, Jammy dodgers, quite spicy too, perhaps a touch of white pepper, I think what I’m describing as botanicals is the sweetness, there’s almost a gin feel to me. #thewhiskeychaps
Really nice and sweet now, Opal fruits, strawberry laces, raspberry ripple ice cream, cream soda, a slight menthol note too, again rather nice. #thewhiskeychaps
Starting off initially as not very fruity, this Mezcal soon changed into a real fruit bomb. i also found a botanical aroma and flavour running through all of these Mezcals, this wasn’t the strongest of the 5 in that regard. It was generally agreed that this would be a lovely easy drinking spirit for a barbecue with friends.
And Mezcal #2 is
Higher ABV here? A little Smokey and very fruity, gherkin jar juice, royal icing, slightly dusty, and almost a seared pineapple thing going on. #thewhiskeychaps
The palate isn’t as fruity initially as the nose. There’s almost a tinned pilchard flavour in here for me, with pickled gherkins, again it’s quite spicy and botanical. There is a sweetness that’s been in all 3 so far, floral and brown HP sauce #thewhiskeychaps
This bottling was quite different to the majority on this tasting. I love the more unusual flavours found in this one. It was quite difficult to explain the palate here, i found myself in a completely new place flavour wise. I could easily see myself enjoying this reasonably regularly.
And Mezcal #3 is
50% ABV and pretty expensive (hence stealing it from Bert’s clutches) – £100-120ish #thewhiskeychaps— Matt | The Dramble (@thedramble) March 3, 2022
The ABV must be higher again, and straight away I’m getting Smokey dark chocolate, hickory smoked coffee, raisins, dandelion and burdock, flat cherryade. #thewhiskeychaps
The palate is sweeter than the nose gives away. Guava and nectarines, followed by the smoke, chocolate, stout flavours too, black grapes, cask char kind of flavours, though I’m sure no cask has been near it. Grapefruit, pomello, and chilli. #thewhiskeychaps
A molasses/ treacle comes through, and sweetness does come late, almost sugary, perhaps lemonade. #thewhiskeychaps
Lots going on in this one, lots of darker notes. Again it’s distinctly different to the others, and again i really enjoyed it. It’s one i’d 100% enjoy any time i drank it.
And Mezcal #4 is
49% ABV and available for around £85 #thewhiskeychaps— Matt | The Dramble (@thedramble) March 3, 2022
@whiskeychap has said lemonade lollies, and he’s absolutely bang on. It comes with menthol and botanical aromas too, it’s a real nasal pleasure tbh. There’s a little of the evergreen boughs thing going on, and I’d say lime. #thewhiskeychaps
That lemonade lolly does come through on the palate too, so sweet, there is also a waft of smoke if you wait, yes to the lime also, and an orange rind zest citrus blast, this is so good, I really like this. #thewhiskeychaps
Medium long in general, but sweetness does persist. It’s much like the palate, but if you wait the smoke comes back with cigar leaves and almost cough candy. #thewhiskeychaps
This is the most distinctive of the 5 we tried on the evening. Yes lemonade ice lollies all day long, with some lime and zesty orange rind. I’d say this was the most refreshing, and i love it, a real summertime spirit, i’d love to own a bottle.
And Mexcal #5 is
As it’s triple distilled – a lower ABV at 43%. This one cost £60, but as 1 of 25 bottles, you’ll be seriously lucky to see it again #thewhiskeychaps— Matt | The Dramble (@thedramble) March 3, 2022
On the evening i put #4 in 1st place, #5 and #2 equal 2nd place, then #3, and lastly #1. It was actually quite difficult to put them in order except for 1st place as they were all very nice, and i’d happily have a bottle of all 5, definitely not being greedy, and Mezcal is a spirit i will be looking into more in the future.
A huge thanks to Matt – @thedramble for sending out these samples, for joining us for the tasting for answering our questions, and the use of his tweets from the tasting. Matt’s blog, The Dramble, can be found here, it’s well worth following for all things Whisk(e)y.Follow @thedramble Follow @thewhiskeychaps