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Koch El Mezcal


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#1 Guy DeLouche

Guy DeLouche

    Tequilero

  • Agave friends
  • 130 posts

Posted 08 March 2013 - 04:30 PM

Brand Name: Koch El Mezcal Wild Agave

Producer: Cirilo Hernandez for Sabores Intensos S. De R.L. de C.V.
Origin: Calzada Heroes De Chapultepec 304 Centro, Oaxaca
Importer: MHW Ltd., Manhasset, NY

Retailer: Andrews Wine Cellars, Oswego, NY. $44.99.
Type: Joven

Distillations:  ?
Gusano: No
Alcohol by Volume: 47%

Lot: EKG002

Number: 0171X

Closure: Real cork topped with plastic.
Bottle: 750mL tall, clear bottle.
Agave: 1Cirial, Tobasiche, Tobala and Maguey de Lumbre

Visual: Water-clear, no sediment. A few quick pearls.

Nose: Mellow and smooth, with a brandy-like fruitiness. Vanilla beans and almond extract. Cherries, or perhaps Kirsch. Agave is present but faint at first; awakens as it breathes. A hint of olive brine (though there is little saltiness on the palate...this is definitely one of the sweeter mezcals despite the high proof). There is a solventy, linoleum volatile there as well that I have detected in mezcals before, but it is not strong in this one. No sign of smoke yet. Not as warm and pastry-like as Siete Misterios Arroqueno, but neither is it as explosively herbal/floral as Yuu Baal. 

Body/Taste: Very refined; those brandy, almond and vanilla notes continue, masking somewhat the expected fire of a 94-proof mezcal. Warming on the tongue with a pleasantly rich palate weight. Again, only the barest wisp of smoke, but the following heat and familiar wash of cooked agave on the aftertaste keep it easily identifiable. The sweet-to-warm transition is really nice. Like Siete, this broadens my horizons of what mezcal is supposed to taste like - like that one, this is elegant and beautifully complex even without the smoke (though I think it would benefit from just a tiny bit more).

Overall Impression: With the blend of wild agaves, I was expecting a more varied botanical contribution, but again I am surprised. I'm beginning to think individual still design and distillation technique tend to trump differences in agave variety, but it would be really nice to have a vertical tasting of "single varietal mezcals" from one producer, in order to distinguish precisely what tobala, or tobaziche, or madrecuishe add to flavor and aromatics. I'm very happy with this mezcal; along with Yuu Baal and Siete Misterios Arroqueno, they are among the best I've tried. Each of these three is so different; very exciting to find these in North America, and I hope the importers keep them coming. I keep hearing myself say, "Aha! This is what mezcal is supposed to taste like!" Yet it's different every time. :)


Bang for the Buck Rating: Also excellent. This is not much more than Sombra, Fidencio Clasico or DM Vida, all perfectly good mezcals; but this one offers some lovely and distinctive complexities they don't. Don't like smokeless mezcal? Can't say I blame you. But I still wouldn't dissuade you from trying this one. Sure, it doesn't have the wow factor of the Pierde Almas or Marca Negra lineups, but a delicious mezcal very worth adding to your collection.