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thirsty for mezcal


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#1 Guy DeLouche

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 02:10 PM

Greetings Mezcaleros,


Just want to say thanks for all the great Mezcal reviews, particularly from "gabe" - this is the most comprehensive and helpful collection of reviews that I was able to find on the web regarding this elusive beverage. Being of meager means, I doubt I will be able to sample the powerhouse Del Maguey lineup, although Sombra is on my list, and a new (I think) DM product called Vida, which is supposed to retail for about $40 (anyone seen this yet?) I did find a great e-tailer in LA called ramirezliquor.com - they have a really impressive selection compared to most. DrinkUpNY has also begun carrying mezcal, and I've already received two bottles from K&L Wines, namely Los Danzantes Blanco and Benesin. Once I get over this blasted cold, I will attempt a couple of reviews. Initial impressions however (I couldn't wait) are smooth & powerfully smoked for the Danzantes, and sharp, lightly smoked and appropriately agave-laden for the Benesin. Plus the latter is certified organic, which is more impressive for the extra effort the distiller made to get it certified than for the actual purity of the beverage. Although I suppose it's a better indication of what isn't in the spirit than what is. But more details are forthcoming, and hopefully I will be able to get my hands on more bottles in the coming months as finances and family allow.

I'm actually a beer writer for the homebrewing magazine Zymurgy, and I write a Page A Day beer calendar, so I'm somewhat familiar with booze reviews; though mezcal wallops the senses with so much at once, I'm guessing it will be a challenge to try and put the experience into words. I'm also an absinthe fan, and have done some reviews of that noble beverage - the complexities and history of mezcal, however, are every bit as rich from what I can tell.

Current shopping baskets (alas, it may be awhile before the actual purchase):

Ramirezliquor.com - great mezcal selection!
San Juan Del Rio (not the Del Maguey - this is made by the same guy who does Benesin, I believe.)
Embajador de Oaxaca (the anejo, I think; doesn't specify, but it's amber colored in the photo)
Don Amado Mezcal Anejo

DrinkUpNY - free shipping >$100!
Fidencio
Ilegal blanco
Sombra

Binnys - "Chicagoland Superstore," how American is that?!
El Zacateno
Los Danzantes Reposado

Any opinions on these or others, please let me know! And if there are other suggestions on where to shop, please chime in. Seems to be quite a variance on price - for example, the Benesin at K&L was $13 more than at Ramirez...

Guy

#2 Lippy

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 04:13 PM

Hi Guy,
Think about "Scorpion" mezcal.
I did a mezcal - tasting show with Gabe and we were really liking its subtle sweetness...

#3 Guy DeLouche

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 09:17 AM

Hi Guy,
Think about "Scorpion" mezcal.
I did a mezcal - tasting show with Gabe and we were really liking its subtle sweetness...


Thanks Lippy,
The only thing that deters me from trying scorpion is...well...the scorpion. From the postings on this forum, I've gathered that the general consensus is, mezcal "con gusano" is generally of inferior quality. How is a scorpion in the bottle different from a worm caterpillar?
Guy

#4 SILVER

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 09:11 PM

Thanks Lippy,
The only thing that deters me from trying scorpion is...well...the scorpion. From the postings on this forum, I've gathered that the general consensus is, mezcal "con gusano" is generally of inferior quality. How is a scorpion in the bottle different from a worm caterpillar?
Guy

Call the little bugger a grub.
It's neither a worm or a caterpillar.
BTW, it's nice to have such an eloquent new member.

#5 Lippy

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 12:09 PM

Hey Guy -- i HEAR you about the scorpion.

I'd rather they didn't include it in the bottle (a naked marketing ploy), but I have gotten used to it. Check out their 5 yr anejo. My favorite of the bunch!

#6 Guy DeLouche

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 12:30 PM

Lippy,
Well, Scorpion is one of the more available mezcals in my area, so I may have to grab a bottle of the 5 year, decant it off the mortal remains of one unfortunate arachnid, and have a go. By the way, (and this is a rather morbid thought) but do they just use the exoskeleton, or is it the whole beast? Just wondering, for shPosted Imagets & giggles, if they drop the little guys in still kicking, so that the last thing going through their little minds is mezcal...
(Oh, and yes, scorpions do have brains...I looked it up.)
I once dropped a California potato bug into a glass of Gibley's gin (lame excuse: college freshman) and its reaction was, to say the least, disturbing. Not something I recommend, or will ever do again.

Update: Upon further research, the company claims that the scorpions are FDA approved, the stinger is removed, and that they impart no flavor to the mezcal:
http://www.scorpionm...zcals/faq.shtml

Still, if it's good mezcal, why the gimmick? I guess it's better than an eyeball or something. I can see it now: Mezcal Cojone!
Guy