Tag Archives: Mexico

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.

Corazón Anejo Tequila, 40%

I have a decision to make when reaching for Tequila.

Do I choose the influence of the raw materials used in production or the influence of wood in the maturation of that product?

Blue Agave is the raw material – 100% in this Corazón Tequila – but there are a few different production methods that can effect the taste – earthen pits vs brick ovens vs autoclave to cook the agave being some.

I didn’t check which method Corazón used before drinking & have yet to do a back to back taste test of all 3 methods to discern any resultant differences.

However I have done a back to back tasting of Blanco Tequila – unaged – vs Reposado – aged between 2 & 11 months – vs Anejo – aged for more than 1 year – and it does make a noticeable taste variation.

With Blanco it’s all about the agave. The rich earthy notes I love complimented by a spicy pepperiness on the finish usually topped off by an oily mouthfeel.

With Anejo those agave notes are somewhat diminished by the influence of wood. Oaky tannins, vanillas & caramel all make an appearance resulting in a softer more rounded drinking experience.

I begin to encounter flavours associated with aged whiskey – where it’s all about the wood – & therefore generally prefer Blanco.

That’s not to say Corazón Anejo isn’t a fine Tequila – it is.

Smooth & silky, those agave notes are blended expertly with warm woodiness building engaging flavours – but for an alternative to my usual whiskey tipple – Blanco is the way to go.

What’s your preference in a Tequila?

Sláinte

For an article on Tequila production methods read here.

Corazón Tequila website here.

For Tequila ageing categories read here.

La Chica Tequila Gold, 38%

After a highly enjoyable day walking along the Barrow Way in Co Carlow a spot of liquid refreshment was in order.

Meaney’s Bar in Leighlinbridge proved a suitable resting spot & with the sun still shining a pint of cold lager fitted the bill.

Scanning the spirit shelves – as I do – revealed a La Chica Tequila Gold. Never having tried it before I thought it would make a sunshine style chaser to my cold lager.

Now ‘Gold’ usually denotes a mixto style of tequila whereby a minimum of 51% agave sugars must be used for distillation. This never puts me off exploring the category.

Slightly yellow in colour La Chica proffered a soft agave nose with a faint smokiness poking through. Fairly easy delivery – the earthy agave grassiness is evident along with that signature peppery spice on the rear. It’s a bit sharp on the finish – which fades quickly away – but it ticks all the right tequila flavour boxes.

An easy no nonsense tequila.

Over the next few days of my Barrow Way ambles further forays into local bars uncovered more La Chica. It got me thinking how availability of a brand is a boost to sales.

Turns out MCM Brands of Donegal handle La Chica in Ireland – as well as a few other brands you might be familiar with – & seem to have the South East well covered.

La Chica meanwhile appears to be a brand for Burlington Drinks in the UK who produce various other ‘house’ spirits for the market.

Whatever the source of La Chica – being tequila it must be made in Mexico & display distillery of origin – NOM1124 in this instance – as it was on the shelf I gladly partook of a few.

I’d gladly enjoy a few more when on the fabulous Barrow Way again!

Sláinte

Barrow Way information here.

Meaney’s Bar facebook here.

MCM Brands website here.

Burlington Drinks website here.

Tequila rules information here.

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.

San Cosme Joven, 40%, Mezcal

A few years ago I happened to be in Gothenburg.

We were visiting friends.

An evenings meal was arranged in the popular area of Haga where many bars & restaurants abound.

San Cosme c/oMasterOfMalt

Looking for something different to drink a San Cosme Mezcal was on the menu.

Being a Joven it was clear in colour – yet rich in flavour.

Still to encounter a Mezcal in any Irish restaurant I’ve visited.

Sláinte

Abasolo, El Whisky De Mexico, 43%

It seems Pernod Ricard are on a spending spree.

Hot on the heels of their Whisky Exchange purchase a stake in Mexican Whisky Abasolo is also gracing the enlarged portfolio.

Whether this will increase the diversity of drinks into the Irish market is yet to play out. Abasolo is not currently available in Ireland – so I picked this one up on a UK visit.

Made with 100% Mexican ancestral corn using historical techniques to boost the flavour – Abasolo piqued my interest from the very start.

The nose exudes a rich, sweet & enticing aroma of toasted corn.

An earthy wholesomeness with added savoury notes peeking through on the palate.

All wrapped up by a pleasing spiciness giving a warm feeling of cosy roastiness slowly fading away.

It’s not very often a whisky just grabs me but –

Abasolo was ‘abasolutely’ fabulous!

Sláinte

All photos 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