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  1. Oliver at |

    Just for the record, throughout its history, there has been some producers that do rest or age mescal, however, they used (and still use in some communities) glass recipients and not wooden barrels. This allows the mescal to keep its original notes.

    And in my opinion, “traditional” not only refers as how the mescal is produced but how communities and the maestros consume it (which is above 45%).
    All those brands/kinds of mescal that you mentioned are selling below 45% due to commercial reasons as someone stated above. And call me a purist, but if you ask me, the best of those mentioned is Pierde Almas (if we are to compare the same kind of agave – angustifolia- ) the rest are trying to get to an entry level niche by adjusting the taste and even not cooking the pinas for as long as they should to eliminate some of the smoky flavour. Nahuales (now Danzantes) and Mezcales de Leyenda come as second bests (actually, for someone that likes his mescal joven, I must admit that I really enjoyed the Danzantes repo and would recommend it to anyone getting into the mescal world).

    And those other brands “like Mezcal Union, El Koch, Siete Misterios, Real Minero…” are actually really good mescals with a superb quality.

    I agree there should be different kinds for all palates, however, these palates should be educated first about mescal if we do not want them to put such spirit in the same category as cheap tequila – call me a purist again, but seen many people shooting mescal!! –

    Also, if you check the NOM 70, you will realise (Im sure you already know it!) that there are now 3 categories:
    Mezcal
    Mezcal artesanal
    Mezcal ancestral

    yes no mezcal tradicional at all 🙁

    Perhaps you can start a new discussion about what makes one mescal ancestral -or what on earth is a komil- ? 🙂

    Cheers

    Reply
  2. David Barksdale at |

    Great article, well written and informative. Stumbled upon it via a Google search for a good Mezcal to pick up at the local Specs. Would guess that I fall into the pragmatist spectrum. Just want a fine sippin’ bottle of Mezcal. Still looking and will follow this string for suggestions. Many thanks. Vaya con Dios.
    DHB

    Reply
    1. Frank Torres at |

      David, if you don’t mind me asking, what part of Texas are you from? While Specs may have the most stores and cheapest prices they don’t have a very big mezcal selection in many stores. You may get lucky and find some Del Maguey Vida or the Illegal line but they will mostly have rot gut Zignum top shelf and other cheap brands. I am in the San Antonio area let me know if you’re anywhere around here and I will direct you to a store with a real selection of Mezcals.

      Reply
      1. David Barksdale at |

        Frank, Many thanks for the note. We’rd up on the Llano Estacado in Lubbock and you are rightv as rain, Specs was a total zero with but three bottles of $20+ Mezcal. Don’t know much but know to avoid such as that. Until August, owned Manna Bread and Wine, a restaurant & whisky bar up here for years. We ordered some “artisional” Mezcals to go with the Top shelf whiskies. One was Zignum, delightfully smooth but as I later discovered, not exactly artisinal. Thought that we might have ordered it from Specs or Docs, a local wholesaler owned by Specs. Thus, I’m back to looking up here. Will check with old WS connects to get some options sent up from Dallas.

        Reply
  3. dom perri mezcal at |

    “cordon” is also a test that bootleggers use. a test for you if you like, find 3 bottles of varying % of alcohol, as for apart from each other as possible. 151,60 and 42.
    shake each one and nice how long the bubbles stick around. the lower the percentage to longer the bubbles last also noting the quantity. the higher % the opposite.
    i would also like to add that it is possible to distill at a low percentage, but that process would be very slow, and the still would need to be controlled like a swiss watch. alcohol evaporating in the 170’s comes out of the still at a pretty high percentage but that percentage dwindles as the run finishes out. it wouldn’t be at the end that the percentage would drop. from the photos of mezcal distillers that i’ve seen, a lot of them are running pot still, with roaring fires. this could add h20 to the process, but down the road at bottling time, when the labels are getting put on, those distillers decided at a specific taxable %. if their runs were higher in percentage then they would be screwed, or they could add distilled agua to the mezcal to meet their percentage. also, if they have a super efficient reflux still, and do multiple runs, adding water before bottling just stretches out their money.

    everyone does it, whiskey, rum, vodka, neutral

    Im in mexico now and just tried some mezcal from “pescadero de suenos”
    saludos
    like your page

    Reply
  4. kalena at |

    hi!
    i am enjoying your website quite a bit.
    have you tasted through benesin mezcal?

    Master Distiller Efrain Nolasco has been cultivating agave and producing mezcal for over forty years, having learned from his fatter before him.
    After moving from Oaxaca to California in 1987 and working his way up in the Napa Valley Agriculture, Nolasco began bringing mezcal to the united states to help support his native San Juan del Rio, Oaxaca.

    in 2000, he created the San Juan del Rio Agave Growers Cooperative, by 2004 his mezcal brands, Benesin and San Juan del Rio, had reached California and in 2006, they became certified organic. Truly authentic, truly traditional.

    10% of the proceeds go to benefit education for children in San Juan Del Rio.

    Reply

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