Technically, mezcal is any Mexican spirit distilled from the juice of the heart
of the agave plant. Oaxaca is home to most mezcal production, though can
be produced from one of dozens of agave species and doesn’t need to be
made in a specific region.
Mezcal is traditionally produced on a small scale – and is based on
traditions that date back hundreds of years. Mezcal production is similar to
that of Tequila, with a few distinctions. While the cores of the agave plants,
or piñas, for Tequila are cooked in large ovens or pressure cooked, piñas for Mezcal are cooked in traditional underground ovens over a number of days.
This gives Mezcal a smokier profile than Tequila. The juice from the cooked
piñas is fermented in large vats, then distilled in a copper or clay still. The
final product is a rustic spirit with a smoky backbone. Mezcal is typically
served straight up, best enjoyed by sipping.
The first step in mezcal production is harvesting the agave plant, which
takes between sever to ten years to reach maturity. The leaves are hacked
off, leaving only the heart, or piña, which is then cooked, generally in the
presence of smoke, which gives mezcal its typical smoky character. The
piña is then crushed, and the juice that comes out of it is fermented. That
fermented juice is then distilled, and the resulting spirit is mezcal.
Espadin Green fresh aromas dominate, followed by anise and subtle smoky notes. Bright green herbal flavors continue on the palate, into a smooth medium-long finish.
Tobala The nose opens with smoky bacon and fireside smoke aromas, with wood and spice. Smoke gives way to bacon fat, earth, dried orange peel and pepper into a long robust finish.
Jabali Lemongrass, dried anise, eucalyptus, bacon fat, and herbal aromas. Palate follows with slate, dried mint leaf, oriental spices, high mineral notes and ultra-smooth elegant finish.
Capon Floral, perfume and spice aromas jump out of the glass. Wood and dried tangerine peel dominate the palate, followed by delicate lemongrass and robust anise, into a seemingly endless peppery finish. Espadin Capon (agave angustifolia) refers to mezcal that is only made from agave “capado”. This means that 100% of the piñas (agave cores) which are used for mescal production have started growing a quiote or flowering stalk. When an agave plant flowers, a large amount of energy is required to grow the 20-foot-tall flower. When the quiote is cut off by the maestros, the sugar that would have been used to grow the flower is concentrated in the piña.