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.
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!
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.
I’ve been enjoying AC/DC’s brand of rock from the mid 1970’s.
Bon Scott was the singer back then – for the last live shows Axel Rose was fronting – but Brian Johnson is back for their latest release – Power Up.
I’ve been enjoying Tequila ever since encountering it on a WSET course.
Exploring the different flavours & heritage of Mexican Tequila has expanded my knowledge & appreciation of distilled spirits.
Combining music & drink together just seems natural – so sipping on Thunderstruck Tequila while strolling down memory lane listening to early AC/DC was a joyous interlude in an otherwise chaotic world.
Tequila is a highly regulated industry.
It can only be made in certain areas of Mexico from blue agave – 100% in Thunderstruck’s case – and always shows the distillery of origin on the bottle – NOM 1472 here – allowing you to look up what other brands the distillery makes – over 20!
Thunderstruck comes in several varieties – I went for the Blanco – or unaged – looking for the influence of the raw ingredients on the distillation process. When you start maturing in wood – Reposado & Anejo – the cask influence can often impart flavours similar to that found in aged whiskey – and I was looking for something different.
The bottle is suitably chunky & solid – much like the music.
The liquid is clear & colourless – as expected.
The nose is rich & pungent – redolent of agave – earthy with a touch of pepper on the back.
An oily mouth coating palate.
The peppery spice gradually bursts through – much like Angus strutting his heavy guitar solos from the solid back beat of the rhythm section.
This is no nonsense Tequila from a no nonsense rock band!