The world of mezcal is a vast and dizzying one, especially when one gets down to the technical and historical aspects of the spirit born of Mexico’s agave plant. Mezcal Amarás does an amazing job of capturing the heart and heritage of the great “Maestros Mezcaleros” among the offering in its growing portfolio.
I may have said it via this column in times past, but I wasn’t exactly a big fan of mezcal until around a year ago. I didn’t quite understand that the essence of smoke in the spirit was part of the experience. Once I was able to seek out other flavors in the spirit, I found that it stayed with me and enhanced my appreciation at the same time.
Today, I’m all about mezcal and I can’t get enough of Mezcal Amarás. Keep in mind that I’m no expert as it relates to this particular adult beverage and the point of Spirit.Ed is not only to share what we’ve learned but also earn together with our readers. I’m happy to report that Mezcal Amarás lives up to its promise to deliver artisanal mezcals to the public.
I began my journey by sampling the brand’s Espadín Joven expression. On the nose, lots of sweet citruses and a slight floral note. On the sip, pleasantly smooth and the signature smoke was muted just so which lent to a sweeter than expected finish that wasn’t unpleasant at all. I could drink this all day on a relaxing weekend.
Cupreata Joven was next in my trip through Mexico via Amarás and I can honestly say I’ve never had anything like this before. On the nose, hints of herbs and spices showed up in the warming but balanced sip and lent to a spicy kick in the finish that lingered. I actually stared into my glass when I was done, wondering what kinds of wonders I could create with this stuff.
Because I’m a fan of aged and finished spirits, I ended the sampling with the Espadín Reposado expression. As is the case with most Reposado or “rested” mezcals, this offering is finished in used bourbon barrels and new American oak and French oak barrels. What this does is give depth to the juice, tones down the smoke, but brings a ton of even balance to the taste. It’s dangerously smooth and at 80 proof, definitely best on its own although it most certainly would work in a cocktail.
For those wondering, because I certainly did before I learned on my own, espadín is an agave planet largely used for much of the mezcal on the market similar to how the blue agave plant is primarily used for tequila. Cupreata agave is found in the Mexican states of Michoacan and Guerrero, the latter of where Amarás bottles their expression.
We were lucky to have global brand ambassador Othón Canales Albarrán answer some questions about the product and how best to enjoy a fine mezcal.
“The best way to approach mezcal for the [first] time is through a Mezcal Verde cocktail,” Albarrán shared. “Get familiarized with the herbal and subtle smoky notes from our mezcal and then try our Espadin Joven, which in my opinion has the perfect balance for a Mezcal. You are able to identify the caramel from the cooked agave, and the herbal notes from the agave plant, plus the smoke is subtle but beautifully balanced.”
We followed up and asked Albarrán that considering those who don’t enjoy the spirit straight up if serving it on the rocks will help boost the experience.
“Yes, preferably one big rock to avoid too much dilution and to the right temperature faster,” Albarrán replied. “When we serve our mezcal on the rocks the slow chilling process softens the alcohol content but the flavors and aromas will be intact.”
Lastly, because this is Spirit.Ed and we love a cocktail, we asked Albarrán for a suggestion, which is the Bloody Sky cocktail. The recipe is below.
Mezcal Verde 1.5oz
Hibiscus concentrate 1.5oz
Cranberry juice 3oz
Orange slice for garnish
Put everything on a shaker, add ice, shake well and pour over fresh ice with simple strain.
We didn’t have the Verde on hand, or else I would’ve made one of these bad boys right away! Seriously, if you’re a mezcal skeptic, this brand might be able to change your mind.
To find out more about Mezcal Amarás, click here. (The site is optimized for both English and Spanish)
As always, sip safely and surely.
Photo: D.L. Chandler