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Mezcal

I am considering buying a bottle of Mezcal; both from a curiosity standpoint, and from a cocktail standpoint. Which is a good functional bottle to pick up? I will likely have to order it, since NC and SC do not seem to have such things available. I'd prefer not to go overboard with the cost, but since I imagine that I won't be going through it too fast; I could probably handle a small splurge.

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  1. NC has Monte Alban but it's pretty awful.

    My favorite reasonably priced mezcal is Sombra, which you can get from drinkupNY.com for $34. Their shipping is also pretty reasonable, and they have good prices on quite a few other things - when I place on order there I always have lots of whiittling down to do.

    1. I really like Sombra too as well as Del Maguey Vida for mixing. Fidencio has a quality mezcal at that price point, but it is much softer and less smokey (i.e.: it is useless in recipes that call for a barspoon of mezcal to add some smoke and strong flavors as an accent to a drink).

      http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/

      5 Replies
      1. re: yarm

        Fidencio actually has two different mezcals at that price point - the Sin Humo (in the frosted bottle), which is cooked in an autoclave and has no smoke; and the Clasico, which has the more standard smoky profile. I would guess you have had the sin humo, as the Clasico is reasonably smoky, though not as much as Sombra.

        1. re: ncyankee101

          What do you think of Fidencio Clasico? I just bought a bottle a few days ago as it was marked down at a local liquor store ($20 off!) and I loved it. Is it considered to be a good quality mezcal?

          Another mezcal I can buy locally at a similar price point is Jaral de Berrio. Is it of comparable quality?

          1. re: anewton

            The Fidencio is quite decent for the price point (I paid around $30). I like Sombra a little better as it has a somewhat more robust flavor with a little more fruit, but they are pretty comparable.

            I've never heard of the Jaral de Berrio.

            1. re: ncyankee101

              Thanks! Good to know I can get decent Mezcal where I live. I'll let you know how the Jaral de Berrio stacks up.

        2. Third vote for the Sombra.

          1. It would sound like I am going to go with a bottle of Sombra. Though I suppose if I like it, I will go back for something a bit pricier. Many thanks for the help. Will report back with results.

            1. I have several varieties of Del Maguey including their (infamous?) Pechuga. My personal preference for them is straight and not in a cocktail.

              I also have a bottle of Los Danzantes reposado that I also like quite a bit. I've not seen Los Danzantes in the U.S. but I suspect if you looked hard enough you could find it. Nicely smokey, rounded, not harsh.

              4 Replies
              1. re: DiningDiva

                Hitime wines in Cali has the entire LD line (under the los nahuales name), j $59 r $71 a $100.

                A friend of mine stumbled across a few bottles of the repo last year in the Atlanta area for $40 and sold me one.

                1. re: ncyankee101

                  And how have you liked it? I partial to it as a nice sipping mezcal.

                  I live about half an hour (with traffic) from the Mexican border in San Diego, and visit Tijuana often. There are several shops I stop in from time to time to pick up a bottle of either mezcal or tequila that isnn't imported into the U.S. Most of them have a few open bottles of various mezcals and tequilas open for sampling. It's a really great way to experience a new distiller without having to invest in the whole bottle :-)

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    I like the Los Danzantes, but to be honest find I actually prefer the more crisp clean taste of the unaged Sombra. I have also tried a small sample of a very highly regarded joven Mezcal, Pierde almas dobadaan, and it was excellent though I haven't brought myself to part with $70+ to get a bottle.

                    I guess this goes along with my general preference for blanco Tequilas. I just find I usually prefer agave taste by itself without the wood. I have however found a couple very well-done aged Tequilas I really like, Casa Noble anejo and Don Celso repo, but for the most part find I like blancos the best when I have tasted entire lineups of a single brand. On the other hand, most of the rrepos and anejos I have tried have been inexpensive brands - the highly regarded ones tend to be expensive, such as Fortaleza, T1 and Crotalo. I need to try Siete Leguas, it's not very pricey and I love the blanco.

                    I do have two unopened bottles that are supposed to be excellent, I just never seem to be in the mood to open them - Casa Noble single barrel repo, and Don Pilar Anejo. I also just ordered several bottles of a well-regarded anejo that Hitime is closing out for $20, El Tequileno 50th anniversary anejo.

                    I have a bottle of Don julio 1942 and I don't love it as everyone else seems to, I just find it too mild in flavor and a little hot in the finish. I do like their repo quite a bit, but haven't tried the rest of the line.

                    1. re: ncyankee101

                      I really learned to drink reposados in Mexico where there are just so many different ones to try. And then living so close to the border makes it easy to pick up interesting bottles. There's a liquor store in Tijuana that specializes in tequila (well, actually there are several). They have over 600 different bottles of tequila, mezcal, sotol, and the owner can tell you about each one, from the super cheap stuff, up to the bottles selling for $500+

                      I just finished a bottle of Tres Toños reposado. I liked it quite a bit but thought the finish was a bit light/thin. I had a bottle of Mi Tierra (boutique distiller in Jalisco) that was fantastic. It's a very nice, well balanced reposado with smokey overtones, kind of like the best of tequila married with the best of mezcal...and all for under $15 USD

                      My favorite resposado for sipping purposes is Herradura Double Barrel, which is about $50 at BevMo here in CA. Its a small batch, fairly refined resposado with a pretty good depth of flavor.

              2. Finally convinced my local liquor store to pick up Sombra. Beautiful smokey agave flavor. And the glass in the bottle is lovely.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Nocturnalbill

                  Glad to hear you like it, I grabbed a couple backups last time I ordered from drinkupNY.com and have three bottles at this time.

                  1. re: ncyankee101

                    Luckily enough, there's a few more. I'm thinking a back up and an extra, considering trying a coffee or chicory infusion.

                2. Acquaintance in Mexico says this stuff is pretty good. Personally, I'm enamored of the bottle. It is beaded in the Huichol style and pretty striking in my opinion

                   
                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    And you probably drive a red car...:)

                  2. Ran across a label I'd never seen before, Alipus at Twin in San Antonio ~$39. Glad I came home and did a little web research instead of random pick from their 4 varieties. Went with the San Juan after reading this thread http://www.blueagaveforum.com/forum/i... in Blue agave forum. Been a few years since I'd tasted most of the DM line, so not going to compare vs "gold standard". Pleasant, and affordable, will most likely make me return to sample a couple others.