24 Responses

  1. Matt at |

    Hi!
    I know by the end you didn’t really get any opinions, but I wanted to know as a mezcal drinker what you think about Doña Sarita?
    Let me know!
    Thanks,
    Matt

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Been a long time since I tried it but my recollection is that it is pretty average. I could be wrong….

      Reply
  2. Tyler at |

    Doc,

    Quite an epic tasting. I’m just getting into all the articles you’ve posted and not sure if you’ve posted about more tastings but I’m curious if you would keep the same order if you did another one. For instance, the pechugas are kind of “fancy” mezcals so might not be best to serve near the end. However, I’ve noticed that it can take a few sips to warm up your tastebuds when doing tastings so starting off with a pachuga, tobala, or tepeztate might not be the best idea either. Additionally if you are serving mezcal newbies you might want to serve an espadin or Ilegal anejo to transition them from the “smokey” stereotype over to more complex flavors. Have you honed the tasting experience since this one?

    Separately, do you have a favorite pechuga? Recently I tried the Del Maguey Iberico (sweet ham) which was very interesting. Unfortunately I can only find the Pierde Almas Pechuga in the liquor store, but not a bar – very keen on trying it.

    Thanks for sharing this tasting

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Have I refined my tastings? Definitely not! Have I tried other experiments or orders? For sure. I put some ideas about how to do a tasting in my book, but I think the things you are saying are correct as well. If you host one, do what YOU think makes sense so you can talk your guests through it. It will be logical to you and they will probably be inexperienced with mezcal and just go with what you are doing. Even if they are experienced in mezcal, I am sure they will love your path too!

      As for pechugas, they can be polarizing. I find the Del Maguey Iberico a bit of a reality distortion field (if you have read the Steve Jobs book). The regular DM pechuga is excellent, as our many others, including the Pierde Almas. But you do have to have a taste for them…..

      Reply
  3. Cody Craig at |

    I keep ending up on your website in my search for Tequila and Mezcal knowledge and your posts are always on point. I work as a bartender at a Cantina with an extensive bar that serves Oaxacan food, and they (and me being guero and all) don’t seem to know how to sell mezcal. Your posts have helped me educate my customers about what we have to offer. My current favorite is El Silencio Espadin. If you’ve got any suggestions for getting my customers away from margaritas and into mezcal, I’d love to hear them.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Cody, you are coming to the right place! Thanks for reading and trying to spread the gospel of mezcal. I am guessing you are already doing many of the right things without my help. But, I would do these 4 things if you are not already doing them: 1). Make sure you have a mezcal margarita on your cocktail/margarita menu. Some people will just try it. And make it with a good, not overpowering mezcal like Silencio. 2) Suggest to people that they try a mezcal margarita. Offer to buy it for them if they don’t like it. 9 out of 10 people will like it. It is an easy introduction to mezcal and oh so good. 3) Put a mezcal cocktail, other than a margarita, on your list. I have a bunch in my book that are easy to make and everybody loves. I have never had one person not swoon over the Mexican Firing Squad that is in my book. People freak out on that drink. It is amazing and a great introduction to mezcal. 4) Pour people a taste of a great mezcal. In particular, I frequently use Ilegal reposado or anejo as an intro to people. Most people are familiar with repos and anejos from tequila and Ilegal’s aged bottles are incredible. They are just beautiful spirits with a nice amount of smokiness, yet gentle and so yummy. For many, the first taste of a mezcal joven will simply be too smoky, but the repos and the anejos take the edge off.

      Those are my thoughts. Keep doing god’s work and thanks for writing!

      Reply
  4. Sergio Inurrigarro at |

    Are you aware that smoky is not a virtue but a fault in mezcals???

    I am happy you took the first level with Douglas in New York y look forward to meeting you when you deside to become a master mezcalier and come to Oaxaca for level 4

    Best

    sergio inurrigarro

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      That is an interesting opinion, but one I do not share. A mezcal that is TOO smoky is definitely a fault, but not in the normal course at all. I am curious why you would say that??

      Reply
  5. Victor Contreras at |

    Congratulations for your passion and blog over Mezcal’s world! Just wanted to suggest you to look out for the Bru-xo Mezcal, it has 6 different options. I have only tasted No. 4 “barrel” and it was a well balanced flavor (meaning not so smokey, not so strong). I’m not an expert but thought you should know about it. Kind regards!, Victor.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      I have not seen it in the US but will be on the lookout. Thanks!

      Reply
    2. Fina M at |

      Good evening, you have an extensive collection of Mezcal. Very Impresive.
      Have you heard of the Lable “Alipús ” Mezcal. From Oaxaca.?
      You should be able to get it in N.Y. City.
      They have several types of Mezcal as well. Different colors in the lables, represent different flavors. I am not selling you anything. I am just asking.

      Reply
      1. Mezcal PhD at |

        While this sounds like a bit of advertising, I do have some Alipus bottles. Some are definitely better than others. And beware the one with the green label….

        Reply
  6. Shamika at |

    Good post. That was an exhaustive list of Mezacals

    Needed to know – Someone has got this bottle of Mezcal called Moyahua de Tonaya. It doesn’t really say it’s mezcal, so i’m not sure if it’s authentic. Perhaps you know more about it? Couldn’t find much on the web!

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Never heard of it. Most likely some local brew that is not imported to the US. The key thing to look for on the label is whether it says “100% Agave” or not. Bad sign if it does not say this. If it is 100% agave, then it may be made in a region of Mexico where they cannot label it Mezcal, though it technically is a Mezcal.

      No matter what it says, try it and see if you like it. Your taste buds are always the best judge! Send me a picture of the bottle if you like.

      Reply
  7. Chuck at |

    This is a great rundown of an incredible event – but really words can not do it justice. Very much looking forward to the review on the Ilegal home aging barrel!

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Glad you enjoyed it. Mezcal is such a unique spirit. It inspires people and we all need to keep spreading the word!

      Reply
  8. Flycakes at |

    I pitched a tent right next to the Ilegal anejo and that’s where I lived all night long. Who knew cupcakes and Mezcal were such a great combination?!

    Reply
  9. Sonia Gomez at |

    Is always fun to read your blogs but this one is particularly interesting. I learned a lot about my favorite drink!! Mezcal and Flycakes chocolate cupcakes and brownies!!! What a fantastic combination!!

    Reply
  10. Ray Tekosky at |

    Loved the review of the tastings. Am finally on my quest to understand mezcals, settle on a few favorites to replace my tequilas. After 40 years of tequila, Herradora Anejo is my tequila of choice, Cazadores reposado as an altenative style. both preferred because of taste and value in the same bottle.
    Where in NYC might I find many of these lovely bottles? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      I think the best mezcal selection in the city is at Astor – the only place I know with a mezcal section! But still limited compared to what you can find online. See my post on Mezcal Brands in the U.S. where I list some of the best online stores.

      I would recommend not “settling” completely. It is great to have a few go to bottles, but one of the joys of mezcal is the tremendous variety that can be found due to varied production techniques, agave varieties, terroir, etc. I love tequila as well, though is increasingly diminished in my regular consumption due to the incredible complexity of mezcal. This may happen to you too!

      Keep reading and send me an email at john@mezcalpd.com if I can be of any help in your mezcal pursuits.

      Reply
  11. Mario at |

    I’m amazed at the incredible variety of species, production methods and sheer quantity of brands that were offered for tasting. Well done John. I’m sorry I couldn’t have been there.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      It wasn’t the same without you! We will have to do a mini-version next time we get together!!

      Reply
  12. Polly at |

    When’s the next tasting? That was way too much fun

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Polly, your score sheet was the best! I could not post it as some sensitive types may have been offended, but you had us dying! You are first on the list next time. Do your mezcal homework in the meantime. I want to see you apply yourself.

      Reply

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