Food & Drink

Review: Del Maguey Mezcal – Vida, Las Milpas, Chichicapa, and 100% Tobala

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Ron Cooper based Del Maguey (professional tip: “del ma-gay”) in 1995, created the class of artisanal mezcal within the U.S. singlehandedly. The model has gone nowhere however up since, thanks definitely as a result of manner it really works. Reasonably than being a bulk product, Miller works with work with 12 completely different households in 10 villages in Oaxaca (and one in Puebla) to supply true, terroir-driven mezcal that’s made by hand, in small batches. Like, with horses dragging stone wheels round.

Throughout a tasting with New York-based model training director Éva Pelczer, she stated Miller desires of us to consider Del Maguey mezcal the way in which they give thought to wine — contemplating the completely different varietals of agave, completely different areas, and completely different manufacturing strategies used to make the spirit. Certain sufficient, among the many 25+ completely different expressions that the green-glassed Del Maguey now spans, the flavour profiles obtainable actually run the gamut. They even change barely from yr to yr attributable to a wide range of components starting from local weather to the wild yeasts that occur to land on the agave hearts. (Batch numbers are printed on all Del Maguey bottles, so you may simply evaluate one yr to a different if you happen to’re so inclined.)

To exhibit all of this, I tasted by way of 4 expressions of Del Maguey with Pelczer by way of Zoom, and my ideas on all 4 bottlings comply with. Let’s kick issues off with the normal mezcal-sipping toast of Stigibeu! (A kind of thanks to the earth.) To which one should ultimately reply: Bakeen! (Let’s drink!)

All: NOM 014X.

Del Maguey Vida Mezcal – Espadin agave, made within the village of San Luis Del Rio. The commonest (and most cost-effective) Del Maguey expression and the one you’ll generally see utilized in cocktails. There’s a purpose for that: That is actually fruity, and virtually rum-like at instances, with a grilled pineapple aroma evident. One of many smokier expressions from Del Maguey, the palate retains each smoke and fruit within the dialog, the mezcal turning into minty and natural because it develops. Once more, extra pineapple on the clear however candy end. 84 proof. B+ / $35 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Del Maguey Las Milpas Mezcal – Espadin agave, made within the village of Las Milpas. A wildly completely different model, kicking off with popcorn aromas, virtually burnt, on a palate that’s rustic and very earthy. Barely candy in any respect. Rustic and very earthy, it’s not a smoky mezcal however somewhat a closely roasted one, evoking scorched vegetation, onion tops, and roasted meat. Brooding and chewy on the end, like a Sunday stew. 92 proof. B+ / $55

Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal – Certainly one of Miller’s unique bottlings, created from espadin from the village of Chichicapa; it’s nonetheless in the marketplace as we speak. It is a balanced and rightfully beloved mezcal, vivid on the nostril with citrus, white pepper, and a soothing be aware of freshly baked bread. Gently grainy on the palate, these bready notes shortly give strategy to extra citrus, a delicate layer of baking spice, and an enveloping, sesame-sweet end, with solely the slightest trace of smoke alongside the way in which. Chichicapa is hard to place down, and stands as one of many prime bottlings of the Del Maguey line, approachable by novices but totally gratifying by execs. 96 proof. A / $75 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Del Maguey 100% Tobala Mezcal – This was the primary non-espadin mezcal from Del Maguey, created from wild tobala agave by a producer whose identify and placement was saved nameless for years to guard his agave secure from poachers, therefore the varietal-centric identify. Now that’s lastly been revealed, and a label change is within the works. In the meantime, this unique mezcal is instantly mushroomy, savory, and wealthy, evoking the Las Milpas bottling to some extent. Issues brighten up on the extra rounded palate, showcasing apple and pear notes, some herbs, and a lightweight floral contact. That mushroomy, umami-laced character lingers all through, complementing a posh and sultry mezcal properly. 90 proof. A- / $125 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Del Maguey Vida Mezcal




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