Agave Angst

The world of agave spirits is becoming much like the world of television: the quality keeps getting better and every day there's something new to discover. There's so much good TV right now that I find myself wondering when I'll have time to watch it all, and that doesn't even count internet programming! When am I going to find the time for Peaky Blinders on Netflix or Transparent on Amazon? It's making my skin itch! Along the same line, it seems like every day I'm hearing about a new mezcal or a new tequila, or how everyone's expecting the agave spirits business to be the next big boom. I'm getting samples in the mail, phone calls from vendors all over the country, and emails from producers in Mexico asking if K&L would be interested in supporting their brand. It's so exciting!

However, much like my dilemma with television, there's only so much time and so much bandwidth I can devote to tequila and mezcal. It's not that I don't want to expand the department and start romping through Oaxaca in search of the next big thing; it's that I don't know how much new agave information our customers can handle (or have time for). While I set my mind to figuring out the answer to that equation, here's one new mezcal that you absolutely cannot miss. The partnership between California's Craft Spirits and Oaxaca's Los Danzantes is the Breaking Bad of the agave spirits world: every episode is so good you can't help but wait in angst for the next one. The Mezcalero series has been—for me—the top prize in the mezcal world year after year, and Batch No. 10 continues that level of quality with a remarkably suave spirit.

Distilled by Rodolfo Juan Juarez from Sierra Negra agave, the Mezcalero 10 is the most graceful iteration of the series to date and the most accessible. It begins with a potent dash of tangy, roasted agave flavor before slowly melting into a delicate, stunningly soft palate of baking spices and sweet fruit with a faint whisper of smoke. I don't know much about Sierra Negra agave, but from what I was told by the folks at Craft Spirits it's known for making the most suave of all mezcales. If that's what it's known for, then this is a textbook example because this mezcal is smooth as silk without sacrificing flavor or intensity.

Of course, you might be reading this and thinking to yourself: "David, this all sounds quite interesting, but who has time for all the whisky you bring in, let alone fancy mezcales from the rural backwoods of Mexico?" I wouldn't blame you for thinking such a thing. Perhaps you shouldn't read more about the Mezcalero series if that's the case because—let me tell you—once you sit down and start watching, you'll be hooked. Cancel your weekend plans and order a pizza.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll