Some Del Maguey mezcals

Other worthwhile things in life! Such as cigars, wine, coffee, watches, cars etc. ..
numen
VSOP-Cognac
VSOP-Cognac
Posts: 629
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:52 am

Some Del Maguey mezcals

Postby numen » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:13 am

I've tried a handful of tequilas that were well reviews, from the silver to the extra anejo, but never liked them. A well traveled whiskey drinking friend advised me that tequila grew on him, too, over time, and not to count it out even if I haven't liked it in previous attempts. With my recent positive excursion to rum, I decided that it may well be time to try agave spirits again. This time, though, I thought that I'd try mezcal. In the other agave spirits that I've had, I didn't care for the spice or chemical-like agave funk that some had in them. I hoped that even if that were present in a mezcal, the smokiness from the roasted agave might counterbalance it. I came across the name Del Maguey, which does village releases (including some rare agave varietals) and thought that I'd give some a try. With that, I got the Chichicapa, which was supposed to be a bit smoky, and the Tobala, named for the agave, which is smaller and less cultivated than the more common varietals.

I came away really impressed by both of these. The Chichicapa had more obvious and direct smoke, but was fairly linear. It was clearly extremely well made. The Tobala was more complex and layered, and clearly top-notch. My friends agreed; three of us kept going back to it over the course of an evening tasting and almost finished the bottle. I'd even get another bottle of it. I don't have any of the tequilas that I tasted previously to see whether I'm just less bothered by the agave, or if there's something else about these... but I'll say that these really are excellent all the same.

Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal, 46%

Nose: Buttery and almost slightly rancid, but in a good way (and in the literal sense), with a touch of sweetness. There's a soft smokiness in the background, persistent, and on the lines of a dry mesquite bbq. With time, there's a plastic note, and a few floral hints. Clean, straightforward, if even a bit mild.

Palate: Altogether direct. Silk on entry, with a very subtle trace of sweetness - no granular sugar here. At the midpalate, still a bit buttery and oily. The smoke emerges here on the same lines as the nose.

Finish: More of the same, and the floral note comes back in the tail, and some of the agave as well. This does what it does, and is really well made. If you want a good, clean and buttery, smoky mezcal, this will do the job nicely. The oiliness even outlasts the actual flavors. Thankfully, it's easy to drink. Almost too easy. B (and on the cusp of B+) Don't take the score too seriously.

--------

Del Maguey Tobala Mezcal, 45%

Nose: Wah! It's a high-pitch profile, but with dense aromas and fairly robust. Oily, rancid butter, and flowers, that really funky agave note (in a really intriguing way), as well as some smoke. Thuja and a pinch of spice. A dose of citrus, and not the run of the mill fruits; think of Buddha's hand fruit, starfruit, and then vibrant lemon zest. Maybe a drop of sweet orange. It all merges in to a single fabulous point.

Palate: Like the Chichicapa, it's a bit linear on the palate, but it's silky and oily. Touch sweet. As well as a few faint citrus fruit juice drops. Gotta love this. At the midpalate, a brief bitter note comes out, but it gets together with a pervasive smokiness (same mesquite bbq) that does the tango with the floral fruits. Hold on, allow me just one more sip...

Finish: Decent length, and the smokiness is rather softer, though the fruit, and violets and irisis are able to play a part as a result. The buttery agave is always present, too. More graceful and dynamic than the Chichicapa. I can really get behind this, as can my friends, apparently, with whom we nearly drained a bottle over the course of an evening tasting. A- Don't take the score too seriously.

BSinTX
VSOP-Cognac
VSOP-Cognac
Posts: 494
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:52 am

Re: Some Del Maguey mezcals

Postby BSinTX » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:40 pm

I certainly appreciate your effort to introduce the rest of us to these obscure spirits.

I didn't need another dang hobby!!!!!


Yin and Yang


I checked TPS website and they have a few varieties in stock. One of them happens to have been aged in a French oak barrel for about a year. What should a beginner like me look for when buying my first Mezcal? It seems that most of it is clear so I am going to guess that typically aging in a barrel is not the norm.

numen
VSOP-Cognac
VSOP-Cognac
Posts: 629
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:52 am

Re: Some Del Maguey mezcals

Postby numen » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:21 pm

I had the same reaction when I liked this stuff: I didn't need a new set of things to buy!

I'm in the same boat as you when it comes to agave spirits. I've had only a handful or three over the years, and definitely lack the experience and knowledge to recommend anything broadly or generally when it comes to this stuff. This was just the start of my willingness to dip my toe into the pool of agave spirits. Some friends sent me a few tequila samples as a result, and they were also great, but it's tough for me to say at this point why some tequilas are one way and others are another way.

When it comes to ageing tequila:
blanco is unaged
reposado is 2-12 months
anejo is 1-3 years
extra anejo is 3+ years.

I think that it's the same for mezcal. I think, from the limited amount of agave spirits that I've seen (or tried to see) when looking at websites and stores, it's more common with tequila and mezcal to see unaged product than it is to see white dog. There's a tradition of calva (unaged calvados - as just an eau de vie) and other unaged eau de vie in some parts of France and Europe (a la kirschwasser), but I don't think that it's as widespread as it is with agave based drinks.


Return to “All other delights”