It’s been quite a while, since this actually happened. And the way I participated doesn’t make any sense.
I had nothing in my agenda on April 30th yet. And since I like Mezcal, but don’t want to buy too many bottles of it, a masterclass seemed like the ideal way to go. So, the night got blocked, samples were ordered and I was looking forward to it!
Then some friends asked to go camping the week after and that seemed like a good idea. We got enthusiastic about that camping trip, and the epic level of beers had during that short holiday. Enthusiastic in a way that we decided to extend things to a full week.
Without checking the agenda, of course.
Of course, we’re in a civilized country so, even though I had now double booked the Friday night, I would just bring my samples along and stream the masterclass. Wifi on campgrounds and all.
Then we found out there is no Wifi on the campground. And when we arrived there, we found that 4G coverage was of a level that you might be able to receive a whatsapp message. You might. If you don’t walk more than 10 meters away from our spot.
As you might imagine, there was no mezcal masterclass to be had at the time. Luckily things were recorded and I could follow along at a later moment, but that does take some joy out of it. No interaction, whatsoever.
Del Maguey Vida, 42%
Very aromatic, smoke, burnt sugar, some green notes of agave or cactus. There’s some rich fruity notes of grilled pineapple.
The palate is gentle and rich. There’s still that green, planty notes, and the smoke starts coming through. There’s a whiff of salinity, grilled pineapple, apple.
The finish is again rich, but still bright. It’s full, with fruit, green notes and some smoke.
I had it years ago, and I should have had it more. It’s very solid, and as an entry level drink, the bar is set quite high!
Del Maguey Chichicapa, 48%
Somewhat lighter than the Vida, with more green notes. But the green notes are a bit more ripe, a bit more sugary. Also some stewed granny smith apple, soft pears, a whiff of smoke. Olives, and some olive oil and some ashy notes, maybe?
Quite syrupy on the arrival, but light. Aromatic floral notes, some sugary notes. It gets drier after a while, and a bit more smoky and ashy. Gets a bit more plant-green like after a longer time. More cactus and agave like.
The finish is slightly more typical for Mezcal. Green, smoky, fruity, but mostly plants and flowers.
Rey Campero Cuishe, 48.3%
A bit darker with hints of dark chocolate and mole. Still slightly smoke, but with cocoa powder, some spicy chili like notes. Maybe some refried beans. A bit of chalkiness.
Some burnt lemon or grapefruit peels, with the oil from them as well. Again, some cocoa powder, dark chocolate, espresso. Also some vegetal notes, and dryness.
The finish brings more of the vegetal notes and tones down the other darker notes I had earlier. It’s still not overly light, but also not as heavy as on the palate
With this one I had the idea the rest was having something else than I was having. There were such different notes it was ridiculous.
Baltazar Cruz Tobala, 48.5%
Slightly chalky with lots of agave notes. Some smoke, some lemon and lime notes, some salinity.
The palate is, again, slightly sugary, syrupy. Slightly dry with notes of agave, lemon balm, chili pepper, some wine gums and boiled candy too.
The palate is more crisp with hints of lemon, apples, flowers and grass. Quite long and it gets some notes of wine gums.
Wild Jabali, Del Maguey, 45%
Big flavors, although it’s hard to pin down. There’s a weird conflict between floral and green flavors, and rich almost chocolatey flavors.
The palate is very smooth, and rich yet dry. The dryness is very vegetal and floral, the sweetness brings quite some fruit and a different side of floral. It’s lighter than the nose, but still has some mole notes.
The finish goes even more dry, and more straight forward agave. Lots of floral and plant notes. Lots of agave and a whiff of smoke as in all of them. Quite a long finish.
Onofre Ortiz, Ensamble Cinco Magueyes, 48%
This mezcal is a blend of different species of agave: Bicuishe, Espadin, Madrecuishe, Mexicano, Tepeztate.
Strangely grainy, almost whisky like. Pound cake, with a whiff of green plants, cactus, agave, smoke. The salinity of previous ones is here too, but it is slightly brothy, somehow.
On the palate is gets insanely fruity with apricots, strawberries, sweet apple, pear, pineapple. A mineral thing too, some clay, or slate. It’s still quite heavy, but in a different way than before. Not chocolatey or something, but the minerality works really well.
The finish carries on down the line, a heavy way of fruity. Not overripe, but berries and apricots, apples and pears.
Iberico, Del Maguey, 49%
The meaty salinity is ridiculous in this one. I have no idea how to describe this. It’s like a meat-distillate. Strangely, I’m getting some stewed red fruits too. Wild boar with cranberry sauce? In a drink? Aniseed, nuts, fruits. Ridiculous.
The palate is surprisingly biting, with the meat and salt kick in a different way. There’s fruit and spices too. The ham is surprisingly recognizable, and that’s just weird. Fruity, spicy, meaty, plant like.
The finish starts with lots of lemon, lemon balm, but again the meatiness.
I have no idea what to do with this. It is insanely tasty, but it’s just so weird…
In review, then!
Timon has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Mezcal, and that is quite noticeable. All in a good way, since the tasting was absolutely never dull or boring, and there still was a lot of information to digest.
I already wanted to visit Palenque in Gent, and now I want to do so more than before. I also want to try more mezcals again, and might be doing a bottle-share in the near future. That Iberico thing, though. It’s very, very tasty, but it’s so weird. I never drank ham before!
In short, this was an awesome tasting and I’ll make sure to keep my eyes open for follow-ups