New Bottles: 1800 Tequila
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New Booze: Mezcalero Mezcal

This one is only available in California- sorry, rest of world!

Mezcalero mezcal Craft Distillers, the Ukiah-based marketing group that makes Germain-Robin brandy and helps market other brands they believe in, has been importing Los Danzantes mezcal for a few years now, after Ron Cooper of Del Maguey introduced G-R's Ansley Coale to some artisan distillers in Mexico. They're now bringing in a new mezcal called Mezcalero- a whopping 168 bottles of it for sale in California only.

Mezcalero is made in San Juan del Rio in the Mexican state of Oaxaca and distilled by Joel Antonio Cruz. As you may know, all tequila is a subset of mezcal, made from one type of agave/maguey (Blue Weber). Much mezcal that is not tequila is made in Oaxaca and Chihuahua and it is made from espadin agave/maguey. Mezcalero, on the other hand, is made from a blend of wild harvested tobala and tepeztate agave.

Mezcalero has that smoky glue aroma associated with mezcal (from roasting the agaves in a smoky pit rather than baking it in steam ovens as in tequila), but with an equally powerful very bright, sweet, overripe  green olive aspect to the nose as well. On the palate there's an amazing citrus burst that quickly dissipates into a sweet nothingness but the fire and smoke you expect from mezcal is absent, leaving a pleasant charred touch on the tongue while a creamy orange green pepper and jalapeno flavor lingers. I'd never have guessed it's 45.6% ABV. 

I can't claim to be any sort of expert on mezcal, but I can tell you this one is gooood.