May 2012

Archives for May 2012.

Agave Tobala

How Many Agave Varieties Can Be Used To Make Mezcal?

I always keep a running mental list of all the mezcals I taste and read about that are made with magueys other than the agave espadin (which accounts for about 90% of mezcal production).  For years, really the only one I would see beyond espadin, was the Del Maguey Tobala.

However, in the last few years, I have started to see other agave varieties pop up in mezcal such as madrecuixe and tepeztate.  But I keep hearing there are about 30 varieties of agave that can make mezcal, so first I started wondering where they all are hiding (perhaps with the Knicks offense?), and then I wanted to know precisely which agaves can be used to make mezcal. (more…)

el-cortijo-joven2

9 Mezcals You Have Probably Never Heard Of

I recently came across a post from another mezcal blogger, La Nina del Mezcal (click to see her post), that I found to be interesting.  It was about the “MEZCALFEST DF 2012”, which was apparently recently held in Mexico City, though I confess that I cannot find anything online in English about this mezcal festival (yes, my lack of Spanish language acumen is a chink in my mezcal armor!).

But nevertheless, her post intrigued me because there was a list of the top 10 mezcals from this festival.  Was this La Nina’s list?  An official list?  I am not sure and she does not say.  Please, La Nina, enlighten us!

But I am always on the look out for premium mezcals so this list got my attention.  However, the only mezcal on this list that can be had in the U.S. is Wahaka, which I have tried and is quite good.  The others, while I had heard of a few, cannot be found in the U.S. (please tell me differently if you know better), so keep this list handy next time you are mezcal binge-ing through Oaxaca and bring some back!

Here is the list from La Nina with a few judge-a-mezcal-by-its-label-and-packaging comments from me :

1.  Mezcal El Cortijo.  Label is a Freaky Friday Valentine.  Man with pig nose ripping heart out of dowdy puritan lady. (more…)