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  1. […] goodness moment. Told you, I’m a total sucker… To read more about Mezcals, check out MEZCAL PhD Today’s cocktail muddles fresh Hothouse cucumbers (the only kid worth buying at the grocery […]

  2. […] and taking a boat to the Marietta Islands 15:40 Tequila– La Cofradia and Carlos Santana 16:21 Mezcal PHD–what’s the difference between tequila and mezcal? [18:18] OMG. Smoked Marlin tacos at […]

  3. Anthony at |

    Hi,
    So for pinas that are cooked in the autoclave, does the resulting mezcal not have a smoky flavor? Can that be used to determine if a mezcal if artisan or not? Thank you for your time!

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Only industrial mezcal producers use autoclaves, and their stuff is mostly barely drinkable and not the artisanal mezcal many of us love. Autoclaves do not produce any smoky flavor – just heat and pressure to extract the juices. If you are looking for mezcal that is artisanal see my blog post called Starter Kit – much good stuff there!

      Reply
  4. kazim at |

    I wish this author gave correct nomenclature and spelling in it’s truest form and knew how and when to apply the “tilde’ …..at this rate it seems to become just a laymans simple translation at best . Phhhhht !

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      I don’t mind the criticism, but you are incorrect that this is a translation. This is my original content. Sadly, I have no game in Spanish, but yes I could be better at using tildes, etc. But I do this for fun for free, and it does take a lot of time. If you want to start paying me to be more exacting, I’m in! Try to enjoy the content and get past the minor cross-border clerical errors! There are no errors in the content.

      Reply
      1. Kerry at |

        Hey Kazmin, This is for informational purposes only… not a scholarly paper. I found it very informative and interesting. Thank you Mezcal PhD

        Reply
  5. Brande Plotnick at |

    I love this post! I declared 2017 my Year of the Mezcal because I am just waking up to how fabulous it is. This helped me understand the differences and where that amazing smokey flavor comes from. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      My pleasure. Enjoy the journey!

      Reply
  6. James Head at |

    “With artisanal mezcal production, the pinas are cooked in an underground, earthen pit. The pit is typically about ten feet wide and ten feet deep, and cone shaped down to the bottom. It is lined with volcanic rock. A fire is started in the bottom with wood. This fire burns to the embers heating the volcanic rocks to extreme heat. The pinas are then piled into the pit and covered with about a foot of earth. This underground “oven” now smokes, cooks and caramelizes the pina over a multi-day cooking process.”
    Sounds very much like cooking cow head that my friend Humberto (native of ‘old Mexico’) described to me. We worked together years ago in Toledo, Ohio where he had to cook the cow head in the oven of his apartment. He did get the eyes because he was the Dad at that time. 🙂
    Thanks for your very interesting article. I look forward to trying Mezcal.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Well OK then! Very funny. The image of the cow’s head in the oven in the kitchen is one to savor. Thanks for the note!

      Reply
    2. Dave at |

      Ahh, your Mexican friend was talking about Barbados. This wonderful Spanish dish celebrated primarily on Sunday and is part of a feast. Find yourself a good Mexican grocery where they make it on Sunday. Be prepared to stand in line on Sunday morning with the locals. You won’t be sorry.

      Reply
  7. Heber at |

    I have been fortunate enough for to have a wife from Oaxaca. We recently came back from Oaxaca and had to oportunity to visit palenques and see the whole process. Mezcal is more than a drink, it’s art, and an amazing experience. I have always loved mezcal but seeing and tasting it from the source and learning about the traditions and culture of Oaxaca made me truly understand the why is so unique. The biggest thing is to not drink it like tequila shots in one sip, but to enjoy every sip you take. Thank you for spreding the word. I highly recommed Sinai Mezcal. Salud.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      I agree with all you say. Well said. I have not heard of Sinai or seen it in Oaxaca, but I will be on the look out. Thanks for contributing!

      Reply
  8. Em at |

    I had the same experience…been drinking premium tequila for many years and just found mezcal. My latest purchase was Mezcal xicaru…I just tried it for the first time and fell in love. Any other mezcal recommendations?

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Check out my blog post – Mezcal Starter Kit. That will give you a long way to run! Thanks for contributing. I think you can do a lot better than Xicaru with most of the mezcals on that list. Drink mezcal!

      Reply
  9. Michael in Texas at |

    I am glad I found this informative site. Good reading.. Thanks! I am a long time tequila fan but never tasted mezcal until El Jolgorio on a business trip to Mexico last month. Wonderful stuff in my opinion. My only exposure to mezcal until now was a bottle of Cusano Rojo that my grandfather brought me from Oaxaca back in the 1950’s or 60’s that I never opened because I was warned it tasted like gasoline and was advised to stay far away from all Mezcal. However, I still keep it in my office because it is the only memory I have of g-pa, aside from a single old photo.

    A neighbor just returned from visiting her family for the holidays in Zacatecas and brought me a bottle of La Pendencia Mezcal Reposado and said it is the most popular mezcal in her town. Have you tried that one by chance?

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      That’s a great memory to have of him and you are doing him a great honor not opening that bottle! You started your new mezcal experience in the right way – El Jolgorio is one of the best brands for sure. I have not heard of La Pendencia, but if it does not have a worm in it that is a good start. Let me know how it goes! Thanks for writing in and let’s raise a glass to grandpa…..

      Reply
  10. Douglas G Bailey at |

    I really like Islay Scotch, and have recently learned that I love really smoky Metcalf. Can you suggest some super smoky, earthy mezcal in the $35- $55 range? I live in Montana, so don’t have the best selection, so add many add you can think of off the top of your head would be very appreciated!

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Read my post on Mezcal Starter Kit. Lot’s of good suggestions there in that price range. They will likely all taste smoky comparatively to Scotch…..enjoy!

      Reply
    2. Diver Down at |

      I just bought my first bottle of Mezcal in Cozumel last month. Instantly fell in love with the Smoky taste and found this article about the difference of tequila and mezcal.
      Mine is El Senorio-Jovan Con Gusano. To me it is absolutely delicious and will have a hard time going back to Tequila. Cannot find it in any of our liquor stores to compare price. I paid a whopping $12 a bottle in Cozumel and don’t know why I bought 4 bottles never having it before but happy I did.

      Reply
      1. Mezcal PhD at |

        Awesome that you have discovered mezcal! Anything with a worm in it is generally an industrial mezcal and in the view of most people (present company included) nowhere close to as good as artisanal, hand crafted mezcals. I know El Seniorio and it is definitely industrial. And so I would suggest you look at my Mezcal Starter Kit post and try some of those mezcals. If you still like El Seniorio after that, more power to you. Drink what you like to drink not what other people tell you is good!

        Reply
  11. John at |

    A friend gave me something called ” Minero” which seems to be a kind of Mezcal. Tastes very smokey and delicious. Would you drink it straight or with a lime. I doubt it’s a mixer but curious

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Can you take a picture of the bottle and send it? It may be a mezcal but does it say “mezcal” on the label? Or anything else like “destilado de agave”? At any rate, if it is delicious, I would drink it straight. No lime. No salt. No ice. But you should drink it however you like! No judgments….

      Reply
  12. Mahrie at |

    Do you think any of the tequilas under the Kirkland brand that Costco sells are worthy of having in a liquor cabinet?

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      I have no idea. I would give it a try if you are curious, and if you like, perfect!

      Reply
  13. Mezcal vs Tequila | Tequila life at |

    […] Mezcal vs Tequila […]

  14. […] of tequilas, including the 100% pure agave ones, which is what you really want to drink, and even a mezcal or two. Most of them will run upward of 30€. For something just as good but at almost half the […]

  15. Korby Sinclaire at |

    Thanks! I’m enjoying some Vida Mezcal at this very moment. Loved your article.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Glad you liked it. Read my Starter Kit post for more tips on entry level mezcals!

      Reply
  16. Paul Ingram at |

    I have a substantial collection of Tequila’s I purchase (generally) at the Tequila Festival in T.J. each year. Yesterday my neighbor brought over a bottle of Taberna Los 3 Hombres (Raicilla Blanco)…..nice stuff! I need to explore Mezcal types more!! Living near Ensenada.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      I would love to try that raicilla! Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  17. Tammy Barber at |

    Do you recommend a first time mezcal? Thinking of trying it in a Bloody Mary but don’t want something cheap nor super expensive…

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Look at my post called Starter Kit. That will lead the way….

      Reply
      1. Tammy Barber at |

        Thanks!

        Reply
    2. Paul Ingram at |

      Hmmmmmmm; I make an excellent Bloody Mary and enjoy a good one elsewhere, however i cannot picture anything from an Agave plant in that mix. Kinda like trying to make a Bloody Mary with Clamato – just not the same! haha

      Reply
      1. Mezcal PhD at |

        Try it with mezcal….you’ll never go back!

        Reply
        1. Paul Ingram at |

          I have! Vodka and Mezcal are too different for that drink (for me)…

          Reply
  18. Len at |

    Didn’t find any decent Mezcal on my trip, the only Mezcal I could find was Gusano Rojo.

    As for the Del Maguey, I’ve been saving those for when my son gets married, or gets his Masters Degree. I think the degree is more likely, LOL. If I change my other mind I’ll let you know.

    Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Gusano Rojo? Ugh. Sorry to hear that. And definitely let me know if you want to unload vintage DM!

      Reply
  19. […] But, if you want to read about them (Mezcal mostly), check out this dude's website. […]

  20. Len at |

    Highly informative blog, much appreciated.

    I’ve been a Mezcal fan for many years, still have a few unopend bottles of Del Maguey from the late 90s.

    Heading to the Quintana Roo region on Monday and hoping to score some good Mezcal. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Glad you like the blog! Unopened bottles of Del Maguey from the late 1990’s? Any interest in selling them?

      Reply

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