When most people taste mezcal, the immediate response is “it’s smoky”, and that would certainly be correct. Some more than others, but smoky nevertheless. But as you get into mezcal, and spend more time with it, you start to find that there is a lot more subtlety and complexity beneath that smoky front. With the help of my friend Ivan Saldana, we are going to get in deeper.
As an aside, there is a saying in the mezcal world that goes…”mezcal is an acquired taste, but a taste worth acquiring.” I believe this is primarily said because of the smokiness. But interestingly, I am finding that this seems to be less and less accurate. I have introduced mezcal to MANY people, and really, it is only about 1 or 2 people out of every 10 that don’t like it on the first sip. So I don’t know if palates are changing and people have become more accustomed to unique spirits, but I increasingly find that most people like mezcal right out of the gate. (more…)