Tag Archives: Agave

La Medida, Mezcal Artesanal Joven, 40%

I enjoy exploring Mezcal.

Rather than use 1 type of agave for distillation like Tequila – Mezcal uses up to 40 different varietals offering a far wider flavour spectrum.

Mezcal Artesanal must also prepare that agave – agave angustifolia for La Medida – in earthen or stone pits giving a smoky element to the product – which attracts me.

There’s a stack of information on the back label – but how it tastes is paramount to me – so I poured a glass.

The earthy agave notes are quite soft & subtle, augmented by a gentle smokiness which enticed.

Smooth oily mouthfeel slowly develops an engaging dry vegetal smoke giving a warm embrace to the proceedings.

Leaves with a dry prickly pepper fading away.

La Medida is a well balanced offering showcasing a complex interplay between the vegetal agave notes & those fabulous smoky vibes.

Very engaging!

Sláinte

For an explanation of Mezcal rules read here.

La Medida website here.

Tequila, Terroir & Geographical Indicators

A recent post highlighting an Australian Agave Project caught my attention lately.

Courtesy Twitter Post

Being a fan of Tequila & Mezcal – both Geographical Indicator protected terms specific to Mexico – I was intrigued to hear of an Australian company growing agave with the intention of releasing an agave spirit.

Whilst researching for my Whisky In Africa blog I also happened to come across a distillery in South Africa already marketing a Karoo Agave drink.

Courtesy Twitter Post

Both of these companies immediately attracted my attention.

Neither of them can use the terms ‘Tequila’ or ‘Mezcal’ – but that is essentially what they are making.

Using agave plants – which can be grown outside of Mexico – to make the spirits using similar techniques the results would make for a very interesting tasting.

Would you be able to discern the difference between the 3 drinks?

I’d certainly love to try them!

What about you?

Sláinte

Explanation of what a Geographical Indicator is from World Intellectual Property Organisation website here.

Act Of Treason website here.

Leonista Agave website here.

Whisky In Africa blog here.

Header image courtesy Australian Agave Project.

Azteca Tequila Blanco, 38%

Tequila is booming – at least according to a Spirits Business article here – and I’m enjoying the rise of this tasty distilled Mexican beverage.

Especially when it appears in my local Lidl.

Lidl keeps abreast of drinks trends & their own label spirits range is worth exploring – so much so they won Icons Of Whisky Own Brand Supermarket of the year at the 2022 World Whiskies Awards!

Impressive!

So how does their Azteca Tequila Blanco fare?

A welcome earthy agave nose.

Smooth & oily mouthfeel.

The rich agave notes return on the rear with a soft dry peppery spice livening up this very well balanced tequila.

Azteca satisfies my tequila tendencies!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Madre Mezcal Artesanal, 45%

Anytime I pop over the Irish Sea I tend to use up my amazon.co.uk vouchers – which are otherwise worthless – & order up a bottle of spirits.

Rather than leave behind a partially drunk full-size offering the attractively designed Madre Mezcal 200ml caught my eye.

Made using 2 different styles of agave plant – Espadin & Cuishe – & roasted in earthen pits – Madre Mezcal is all about the raw ingredients & artisanal production methods used in this unaged spirit for the wonderful flavours to be enjoyed.

And what flavours they were!

An engaging soft smokiness off the nose. Not peaty – more earthy or woody like a gentle campfire.

Smooth & oily on the palate coating the mouth in subtle herbal agave notes.

A flourish of warming heat on the finish where the dry & slightly prickly smoke reappeared leaving the embers slowly drifting away.

A well rounded & finely balanced Mezcal offering a delicately smoked agave rich introduction to the flavourful charms of this wholesome spirit.

The ‘mother of all the dead’ has a gentle kiss!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

KAH Tequila, Blanco, Reposado & Anejo, 40% to 55%

Meet my new amigos!

KAH, KAH & KAH.

Blanco, Reposado & Anejo.

All beautifully presented in signature ceramic Mexican Skull vessels – which certainly make them stand out in the crowd.

But how do they taste?

Blanco, 40%

Gorgeously rich black peppery spice nose.

Joyfully mouth coating & gently warming oily palate.

Vegetal agave notes mix with stimulating spice on an engagingly long lasting finish.

Class.

Reposado, 55%

Quite a spirity nose.

Only when I got out the magnifying glass did I realise this one’s at a stonking 55%!

Not encountered that before in Tequila!

Sadly – on my palate – the higher ABV gave a mouth blowing experience accentuating the peppery spice at the expense of the more subtle yet alluring agave notes.

Glad to have tried it – but not for me.

Anejo, 40%

Back to a richer, fuller flavoured & rounder drinking experience at 40%.

Less spice, more vegetal agave with a topping of oakiness.

A juicy lip-smacking finish.

Nice.

Thoughts

As is my personal palate preference – Blanco wins out.

The richness & influence of the agave raw ingredients are at their most pronounced with Blanco.

The 55% Reposado is something unique – but detracted from the warm flavours for me.

Anejo was lovely & complex with barrel ageing – just not engaging enough for my palate.

KAH have produced an extremely attractively packaged trio of tasty tequila.

Many may find them gimmicky – but I think both the Mexican Skulls & the rich agave notes within demonstrate & celebrate the joyfully long heritage of Tequila making.

Love’em!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Del Maguey Mezcal Tasting, 42% to 49%.

Mezcal – the artisanal spirit from Mexico that’s attracting attention right now.

Already a convert – mainly due to the smokey element – I eagerly signed up for the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder Zoom Tasting with Del Maguey Mezcal.

The 1st offering – Vida Mezcal, 42% – immediately satisfied. A seductive smokiness combined with those rich earthy agave notes reeled me in!

Gorgeous!

Chichicapa Mezcal, 46%, dialed down the smoke a touch & ramped up the pungent agave along with a prickly dryness on the finish from the higher ABV.

Unlike the whiskey world – which for some is all about the wood to bring about complexity & flavour – Mezcal is all about the raw ingredients & production methods used to deliver a fully flavoured spirit with depth & complexity straight from the still.

Tobala Mezcal, 45%, shone in this department. Using a roast time of 30 days accentuated the rich smokiness. A long fermentation of up to a week brought out some cheesy funky notes & using the A. potatorum agave species added pungent earthy overtones.

Certainly the Mezcal that enamoured me the most!

Pichuga Mezcal, 49%, rounded the evening off.

Compared to the others there was less smoke evident – but those engaging earthy agave aromas entertained me no end.

The Del Maguey website is packed full of information on these single village mezcals.

If you haven’t ventured into Mezcal yet – you won’t go far wrong enjoying any of the above.

A quintessential Mezcal quartet!

Sláinte

Bottle images courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop

Agavales, Blanco Tequila, 35%

As it’s Day Of The Dead – I thought a Mexican Tequila would be in order to celebrate all those that have gone before.

Agavales Blanco c/othewhiskeynut

Part of my miniature haul purchased back at the start of the pandemic – Agavales Blanco is a 100% Agave from a distillery in Jalisco – NOM 1438 – that produces many brands.

Classic clear colourless blanco.

Prominent & pleasing agave pungency.

A tad soft & easy on the palate – which may reflect the 35% ABV.

Opens up on the finish with prickly peppery spice & an enlivening bite too!

A toast to the dead! c/othewhiskeynut

A rather gentle introduction into 100% agave.

Salud

A Maestro Dobel Tequila Trio, Silver, Diamante Reposado & Anejo, 40%

Tequila – It makes me happy.

Sang Terrorvision back in the 1990’s.

And both are still keeping me happy today!

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Tequila trio c/othewhiskeynut

This tasty trio from Maestro Dobel come in classy bottles topped with cork stoppers – even in miniatures!

Silver – otherwise unaged Tequila.

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Silver c/othewhiskeynut

A delightful full on flavoursome agave hit – rich earthiness abounds! It’s what I like in a 100% agave – and it certainly delivers.

A lovely exploration of the tequila genre.

Diamante Reposado – aged from 2 to 12 months in oak barrels.

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Diamante c/othewhiskeynut

Usually reposado tequila takes on a slightly golden hue from the barrel ageing – but Diamante Reposado has been filtered to remove the colour – and although exceptionally smooth & easy going with a touch of spice on the rear – I can’t help feeling some of those rich agave flavours have been stripped out too!

Añejo – aged from 1 to 3 years in oak.

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Anejo c/othewhiskeynut

A touch of woodiness, a hint of tobacco, a smidgen of smoke.

Añejo is an elegantly balanced & complex tequila displaying an agave base overlaid with flavours emanating from those wooden barrels.

A wonderful combination!

Picking a winner from this trio depends on the angle you’re coming from;

For agave fans – Silver is the truest representation,

Añejo would please whiskey drinkers,

While Diamante Reposado offers an easy drinking platform for cocktails.

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Back label c/othewhiskeynut

For me Diamante Reposado was a bit of a disappointment – but the full on flavours of both Silver & Añejo excited my palate.

They kept me happy!

Sláinte

Good Logo

 

La Penca, Joven Mezcal, Con Gusano, 40%

Have you ever encountered a spirit that simply reels you in with seductive aromas?

Entices you with fabulous flavours?

Entertains as it dances merrily on your palate?

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Smoking Mezcal c/othewhiskeynut

Well that’s how La Penca struck me.

Simmering smokiness on the nose.

Smooth earthy agave intermingling with campfire warmth.

The embers gently fading away in a cosy embrace.

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And no, I declined the worm! c/othewhiskeynut

Should have bought the large bottle!

Sheer delight.

Sláinte

Good Logo

Joven is young or unaged.

Con Gusano is with worm

La Penca uses Salmiana agave for distillation.

 

Desperado Original, Tequila Flavoured Beer, 5.9%

Well – I had to try it.

After exploring whiskey barrel aged beers I searched for tequila equivalents  – and ended up with this.

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Desperado? c/othewhiskeynut

A tequila flavoured beer by Heineken – of all people.

Now lawsuits were threatened over the use of the word ‘Tequila’ by the Mexican Tequila Regulation Board – CRT.

Tequila is a strictly defined category of alcoholic drinks made in Mexico from the blue agave plant – which Desperado clearly is not.

The brand is readily available in Ireland.

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Desperate! c/othewhiskeynut

Golden straw in colour, lively head.

Decidedly empty on the flavour front.  A hint of sweet oranges & a chemically aftertaste.

No depth, no body & definitely no agave.

At 5.9% it’s deceptively light.

Not a pleasant drinking experience.

Desperate.

Sláinte

Good Logo