Sunday, 16 August 2015

Marca Negra Espadin Mezcal

A Tasty Dram Whisky Blog tasting notes

The worm's out the bottle!

Mezcal is one of the drinks that I had been eager to try for a while. Receiving Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison's book Distilled and reading some stuff on the smoky Mexican spirit by a few avid whisky bloggers only tickled my curiousity even more.

After a shout on Twitter and a few DM's with Sjoerd from Maltfascination, we split a bottle of Marca Negra's Espadin mezcal.

So, what excactly is mezcal? It's a Mexican spirit closely related to tequila. In fact, all tequila is mezcal however it is more strictly regulated. Only blue agave can be used for tequila and it has to be produced in the region of Jalisco. Mezcal production is concentrated in the southern Oaxaca region and can be made from all sorts of agave. Espadin agave is one of the most commonly used species.


Identity Card Marca Negra Espadin Mezcal

Marca Negra Espadin Mezcal
  • Mezcal Marca Negra
  • 100% agave Espadin 
  • San Luis Del Rio, Oaxaca (Mexico)
  • 51,3% ABV
  • Batch MJ18-14| Bottle 911/1500


Tasting notes

Colour: This is a white spirit or blanco made from 100% agave. The spirit has an oily touch and it almost sticks to the glass.

Nose: Fresh herbs with lots of sweet and sour notes. A fair dose of smokiness, lemons, vanilla and grapefruit. Wet peppercorns tossed on a barbecue. Wood glue and avocado. Sugar cane juice mixed with mint and eucalyptus. Some sort of green herbal soap but in a pleasant way. Fennel and cumin seeds. A dash of water gives it a hint of wood stain.

Taste: A peppery syrup infused with sweet smoke and lime juice. Sugar cane and lots of fruity citrus flavours. Pink grapefruit and agave syrup. Sweet glasswort.

Finish: A dry herbal touch with smoky punch and a warm afterglow. A pretty long finish.

Mezcal Marca Negra Espadin
A nicely designed label and bottle, no fancy insects inside, +50% ABV.
What's not to like about this smoky mezcal?


Price: Between €55 and €75. Shop and google wisely.

Mezcal is far from an easy drink. My first sips were rather 'hmmm' then 'wow!'. But once you get the knack of it, it is a superb alternative to a smoky whisky. Be patient and try it a few times before making a judgement (Sound advice for all things edible or drinkable by the way).

I marked this bottle as a permanent addition to the booze cabinet. It's also a perfect base for an Oaxaca Old Fashioned.

Thanks for luring me into mezcal and the bottle share, Sjoerd!

Marca Negra Espadin


Source: Distilled by Neil Ridley & Joel Harrison
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