Mezcal's New Monolith
Queue the classic "Also Sprach Zarathustra" theme from Strauss, and get out your 2001: A Space Odyssey DVDs because we've got a new monolith on the shelf. Tequila Clase Azul, the company that brings you the beautiful painted porcelain bottles of Jalisco's finest spirit has branched out into mezcal. Not even Oaxacan mezcal, mind you, but mezcal from the Mexican state of Durango. This isn't contracted juice either; they purchased part of the actual production and registered their own NOM number (D291G). It took them two years to get this project up and running, which shows you how serious some of the bigger brands are getting about mezcal right now. There's a serious hunger for high-end hooch from south of the border.
Not only is this mezcal strikingly different in appearance and origin, it's also made from a type of wild agave I had never heard of previously: cenizo; one of the species native to Durango. The result is quite wonderful. I wasn't sure what to expect from this product whatsoever, and I was a little nervous when tasting it (because I would have to be honest with the supplier), but I found it quite pleasing. At 44% it's delicate, round, and soft, but full of smoke, salt, and potent roasted agave punch. Whether it's worth $200+ to you is the real question, but there's no denying its physical beauty.
Is it good? Yes, very good. And I've never seen a bottle of booze made from graphite with such panache. You're a fucking baller if you walk into a party with this. Wild agave mezcal in a crazy black monolith? Why not!