Mezcal 2013
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Best Mezcal - 2013

 

The Fifty Best Mezcal Tasting of 2013

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 11 mezcals with 17 pre-qualified judges. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the mezcals were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. The reposados and añejos were tasted after the blancos (joven). Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded based on a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no bronze medals awarded for this tasting.

The tasting notes which follow are summaries of the judging panels’ opinions. The region of origin in Mexico and agave species are identified for each mezcal. Only one mezcal contained a worm (con gusano).

 

Here are the final results:



La Fogata



DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

La Fogata
Añejo

Region: Oaxaca

Nose:Honey, vanilla, caramel, light floral, orange, citrus, spices, herbs, oregano, rosemary, light leather, oaky, cedar, wood, smoky. Palate: Figs, roasted walnuts, creamy vanilla, sweet cream, buttery, honey, caramel, cola notes, berries, papaya, toasty, nutty, black coffee, fine sherry, smoky, earthy, spicy, fennel, even heat, smooth, perfect. Finish: Toffee, coffee, minty, moderately sweet, wood, smoky, smooth, clean, light, long.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Benesin
Añejo

Region: San Juan del Rio, Oaxaca
Agave Species: Espadín

Nose: Brown sugar, cocoa, toffee, butter, caramel, cinnamon, pineapple, papaya, clementines, slightly vegetal, floral, anise, amaretto, rosemary, sundried tomato. Palate: Cashew, walnut, peanut butter, pecan pie, fig, dates, caramelized pear, cream soda, butter, nougat, coffee, hot roasted sweet pepper, olives, dried herb, rosemary, licorice, mint, chewy, viscous, smooth, rich, delicious. Finish: Nutty, toasted, spicy, moderately sweet, smoky, crisp, smooth, lingering.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Benesin Añejo



Benesin Joven



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Benesin
Blanco

Region: San Juan del Rio, Oaxaca
Agave Species: Espadín

Nose: Very light, honey, light cola, plantain, anise, vegetative, green olive, sandalwood, smoky. Palate: Vanilla, hints of caramel, nougat, tofu, walnuts, apples, papaya, tropical fruits, dried fruits, fig, herbal, anise, thyme, peppercorn, subtle smokiness midpalate. Finish: Praline, hot butter, light toasty notes, slightly sweet, peppery, spicy, wood, dry, crisp, clean, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Jaral de Berrio
Joven

Region: San Felipe Torres Mochas, Guanajuato
Agave Species: Salmiana

Nose: Soft, creamy, cream soda, floral notes, light papaya, berries, dried fruit, fresh cut grass, asparagus, smoky. Palate: Light grape soda, cola, plum, apple, pear, citrus, creamy, honey, caramel, toffee, licorice, anise, pistachio, herbal, tobacco, smooth, soft. Finish: Dates, figs, herbaceous, soft, smooth, gentle, late pepper, short.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Jaral de Berrio



Los Amantes Reposado



Los Amantes
Reposado

Region: Oaxaca

Nose: Buttercream, buttermilk, vanilla, apple pie, praline, banana, honey, sweet, spearmint, green olives, peppercorn, agave. Palate: Sweet grapefruit, cantaloupe, orange peel, lemon meringue pie, sweet cream, buttery, honey, caramel, agave, bison grass, anise, tarragon, earthy agave, earth, wood. Finish: Oaky, honey, molasses, spicy, herbal, off-smoke, clean, crisp, nice, smooth, rich, lingering.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Alipús
Joven, San Andrés

Region: San Andrés, Oaxaca
Agave Species: Espadín

Nose: Cucumber, romaine lettuce, green leafy vegetables, vegetal, grassy, agave, light citrus, tropical & floral notes, banana, sweet cream, caramel, praline, anise. Palate: Prune, plum, praline, dried herbs, green grass, mint, anise, subtle licorice, lavender, spice, peppercorn, pepper, wet stone, tobacco, agave, soft. Finish: Dried figs, nougat, caramel, sandalwood, cinnamon, earthy, smoky, hot pepper, spicy, crisp, rich, long.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Alipús Joven San Andres



Unión Uno Joven



Unión
Uno Joven

Region: San Baltazar, Oaxaca
Agave Species: Blend of Espadín, Cirial & Barril

Nose: Tropical fruit, banana, cream soda, herbal, licorice, pepper, wood notes, smoky. Palate: Smoke up front, sweet, creamy vanilla, toffee, honeycomb, sweet cream, papaya & pear mid palate, sweet corn, vegetal, agave, fennel, heavily herbaceous, tart, floral, peppercorns, hot pepper, tobacco, light toast, sandalwood, leather, wood, smoky. Finish: Fresh tobacco, almost sweet, light toast, anise, wood, light spice, crisp, smooth, excellent, medium.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Alacrán
Joven

Region: San Dionisio, Oaxaca
Agave Species: Espadín

Nose: Toffee, buttercream, butter, cream soda, vanilla, nougat, hints of bubblegum, green tea, banana with cream, floral, grassy, plantains, agave, licorice. Palate: Fig, apple, raisin, cashew, walnut, sweet cream, butter, butter pecan ice cream, creamy, caramel, buckwheat honey, pink peppercorn, roasted pepper, earthy agave, cedar, heavy tanin, smoky, full, soft. Finish: Tropical flowers, berries, creamy notes, pepper, anise, tobacco, smoky, white char, leather, smooth, crisp, clean, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Alacrán Joven



Wild Shot



Wild Shot
Silver

Region: San Luis Potosí
Agave Species: Maguey Salmiana

Nose: Butterscotch, vanilla, toffee, caramel, nougat, cream soda, citrus, pecan, nutty, earthy, agave. Palate: Hazelnut, vanilla, sweet cream, buttery, coffee beans, pear, fig, peppercorn, bell pepper, hot pepper, tart, minty, allspice, anise, grassy, agave, sweet tobacco, smoky, sandalwood, leather, coats palate, dry, gentle. Finish: Dried herbs, butter, moderately sweet, cinnamon, peppercorn, spicy, oaky notes, Islay scotch smoke, crisp, smooth, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS:

San Juan del Rio
Joven Organic

Region: San Juan del Rio, Oaxaca
Agave Species: Espadín

Nose: Peach, pineapple, papaya, melon, plums, burnt orange peel, citrus, vanilla, caramel, minty, slightly earthy, smoky. Palate: Citrus up front, pear, papaya, dried fruit, cinnamon, fennel, spice, spicy pepper, peppercorn, mineral, minty, briny, wet stone, tangy, smoky. Finish: Fresh pineapple notes, bright citrus, sweet cream, fresh cut grass, smoky, light, soft, smooth, clean, dry, lingering.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



San Juan del Rio Joven Organic



Los Amantes Joven



Los Amantes
Joven

Region: Oaxaca
Agave Species: Tobalá & Espadín

Nose: Green grape, watermelon, citrus, poached apple vanilla, sherbet, dates, agave, floral, nutmeg, herbs, minty, spearmint, charred white oak. Palate: Creamy, caramel, sweet cream, vanilla, papaya, pineapple, dried fruit, roasted peppers, spicy plantain, slightly vegetal, anise, fennel, sun-dried tomato, coffee, tobacco, hints of hickory smoke, minerality, smooth. Finish: Papaya, berries, green olives, fruity herbal, pepper, smoky, smooth, silky, very clean, lingering.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

 

 

 

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Comments or questions welcome, please e-mail to: editor@thefiftybest.com

 

 

Comments and Suggestions:

 
Fri. February 15, 2013 7:25 PM - by: Donna
The best Mezcal I have ever drank is Wild Shot; It is great if u put it in the freezer. And used as a mixed drink also. It goes down smooth!!!
 
 


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