Friday, November 14, 2014

Gracias a Dios Mezcal Espadin Joven 45% Abv.

This mezcal is produced in the Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca region of Mexico - a.k.a. the "World Capital of Mezcal" - by master mezcalero, Oscar Hernández Santiago. The factory or palenque plants thousands of agave seeds which will eventually germinate and grow 8 to 10 years before they can be harvested to produce mezcal. The palenque produces roughly 3500 litres of mezcal per month. This mezcal is made from organically certified 8 year old  Espadin maguey. Gracias a Dios is one of the few mezcal brands which is Fair Trade and organically certified. Typical of most mezcales, the mature maguey is cut in halves and slowly roasted for days in a covered underground. rock-lined, wood-fired pit. Then the cooked agave is crushed with wooden mallets and a large stone tahona pulled by a donkey. The resulting crushed agave pulp and juice is placed in open oak vats where it is left to ferment for 3-15 days (depending on the conditions). The fermented juice is then distilled two times to desired proof with one of the palenque's small copper pot stills. This mezcal is definitely a handmade and a traditional product.

Appearance: crystal clear, medium slow legs that cling to my Riedel glass. Aroma: roasted agave, spice, herbal, pear, and scorched earthiness. Flavour: roasted agave, that smoked earthiness, semi-sweet honey, spicy arbol chile pepper?, pear again?, oily and lots of minerality; a full attack on the palate with that slight numbing sensation. Nice indeed. Finish: medium duration, peaty (scorched earthiness), hot pepper fade. This mezcal is nicely balanced with intense flavours that keeps one guessing. It is very pleasing mezcal. 

I really dig the label design on the bottle. Guessing the name, Gracias a Dios, is taken from the Zapotec saying, "Quish Dios" - meaning "Thanks to God". Seek out a bottle to add to your collection. You won't be disappointed. RECOMMENDED 

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