Ready for some more mezcal? After the three unaged Espadín examples, we’ll now try a couple of others that are a little different.
Los Danzantes Añejo (45,9%)
Made with Espadín. Mezquite wood is used for the underground fire. Aged for sixteen months – 15% American oak barrels and 85% French oak casks. Around € 85.
Los Danzantes are a group of restaurant owners who started distilling their own mezcal.
Nose: lovely combination of coconut and mint with garage aromas (diesel, hints of paint). Polished oak, as well as herbal notes and leather. Earthy touches and chocolate in the background.
Mouth: slightly sour and salty at first. Salted lime. Then the typical plastic-like smokiness. A slightly peculiar, fragrant note too (hints of potpourri). Spicier (pepper) and woodier towards the end. Liquorice in the finish.
Really good, although I don’t know what to think of the fragrant, almost soapy note on the palate. Still one of my favourite mezcals so far.
Real Minero Espadín, Largo, Tripón & Barril (46,5%)
A blend of Espadín and three wild varieties of agaves, aged from 12 to 18 years before harvesting. Double distilled in earthenware pots with bamboo tubing, from Santa Catarina Minas. Around € 100.
Nose: a restrained fruity note (pear) mixed with buttery notes and spices (clove). Quite creamy. A lot of plain agave notes too. Subtle smoke. Slight farmy touches as well. Nice but not the most complex.
Mouth: fresh, lemony start, lifted by mint and salt. Some fruity sweetness in the middle (strawberry liqueur) before it moves towards sweet pepper and subtle toffee. Just lightly smoked. Quite smooth and gentle.
Finish: long, still creamy but with a slightly medicinal / sweet and bitter note.
Really good again, but the complexity is limited after the wood-influenced Añejo. As if more types of agave gives a more vague profile.
Del Maguey Ibérico (49%)
Made with Espadín. Triple distilled, from Santa Catarina Minas. Around € 180.
Del Maguey is an interesting producer. They import and distribute “single village” mezcals. Each of their mezcals comes from a separate Oaxacan village, each one unique in character and flavour.
This Del Maguey Ibérico is made in the style of a Pechuga Mezcal. During the third distillation they add fruits, nuts and white rice to the spirit and they suspend a chicken breast in the distillation chamber. Del Maguey tries something different: they use a Spanish Ibérico ham instead of a chicken breast – as suggested by the famous Spanish-American chef José Andrés. Whisky regulations are so restrictive if you look at this swine-infused mezcal…
Nose: high complexity. There are dark fruity notes (prune, roasted pineapple, tipe guava) as well as the typical, slightly industrial / plastic-like touch that resembles smoke but not quite. Lots of oily touches, including turpentine. Hints of black olives. Some leafy notes and jasmine. After Eight. Eucalyptus.
Mouth: round and sweet, with citrus and mint, earthy / grassy notes and plenty of herbs after a while (thyme), growing slightly more bitter. A little aniseed and ginger.
Finish: long, slightly austere, really mineral and leathery, with liquorice and dried herbs but also a slight fig-like sweet note and a minty aftertaste.
This is at the pinnacle of Mezcal, in terms of complexity but also marketing and price. Great spirit – possibly the best mezcal I’ve tried so far – but I personally don’t think the price is justified.