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Just found an informative and concise treatise on mezcal


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#1 LosOjosRojos

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 12:19 PM

http://www.mezcaleri...cal/mezcal.html

 



#2 Guy DeLouche

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 11:00 AM

Thanks for sharing this Osos...very informative! This surprised me:

"Modern breeding techniques have strongly impoverished the gene pool of the agaves in the Tequila regions."

They are talking about Agave tequilana (Weber), and then they later refer to Agave angustifolia (Espadin) as "archetype" of the Weber variety. So my question is, what if one of the traditional mezcal palenques harvested, roasted and distilled a 45-55% abv batch using 100% "impoverished," mass-farmed Weber agave? Would it have all (or even some of) the flavor nuances of a well-made, locally-sourced Oaxacan Espadin mezcal? This kind of touches on a broader question I've had for awhile, namely: when it comes to mezcal, does the importance of process trump the quality and terroir of the raw ingredient?

 

I realize this is somewhat rhetorical; most likely the result of such a venture would be more interesting than a big-brand blanco tequila, but somewhat less so than a traditional joven espadin mezcal. But in the interests of long-term sustainability of small-batch palenques along with increasing demand for mezcal, it might be worth exploring. Perhaps a Oaxacan palenque that outsourced its agave production to Weber agave farms outside Oaxaca could no longer even call the distillate "mezcal," but that doesn't mean it couldn't be a great (and for them, lucratively exportable) product. All speculation, of course, but I'd welcome any other thoughts on the subject.



#3 vanguero

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:31 PM

I like Mr.Jimenez from Mezonte's article here - keep in mind Diffords supposedly errored with the title - apparently was supposed to be How to Identify Traditional mezcales http://www.diffordsg.../page-10/mezcal



#4 gabe

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 12:26 PM

Thanks for sharing this Osos...very informative! This surprised me:

"Modern breeding techniques have strongly impoverished the gene pool of the agaves in the Tequila regions."

They are talking about Agave tequilana (Weber), and then they later refer to Agave angustifolia (Espadin) as "archetype" of the Weber variety. So my question is, what if one of the traditional mezcal palenques harvested, roasted and distilled a 45-55% abv batch using 100% "impoverished," mass-farmed Weber agave? Would it have all (or even some of) the flavor nuances of a well-made, locally-sourced Oaxacan Espadin mezcal? This kind of touches on a broader question I've had for awhile, namely: when it comes to mezcal, does the importance of process trump the quality and terroir of the raw ingredient?

 

I realize this is somewhat rhetorical; most likely the result of such a venture would be more interesting than a big-brand blanco tequila, but somewhat less so than a traditional joven espadin mezcal. But in the interests of long-term sustainability of small-batch palenques along with increasing demand for mezcal, it might be worth exploring. Perhaps a Oaxacan palenque that outsourced its agave production to Weber agave farms outside Oaxaca could no longer even call the distillate "mezcal," but that doesn't mean it couldn't be a great (and for them, lucratively exportable) product. All speculation, of course, but I'd welcome any other thoughts on the subject.

 

Love your comments and insights on mezcal, Guy. I suspect both raw ingredients and process are critical, and that it would not be possible to make a truly great mezcal if either one were compromised. But this is just my guess.



#5 *45*

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 01:04 AM

Great read - thanks!

I'd bet that a great restaurant could make a better steak with lesser quality meat, than most national chains could, with grass-fed beef.