Lets be honest, I love mezcal. Not the shitty gringo tourist stuff with the worm sitting in the bottom of it mezcal, the real stuff. Smoky, sometimes a little hot, and full of interesting flavors, good mezcal can be reminiscent of Islay single malts. You either love them or you hate them. I love mezcal so much I’m actually taking a Master Mezcalier course in Portland on Feb 20th. I’m not going to get into the difference between tequilas and mezcals, just understand that these are all distillates of the agave plant and that mezcal hails from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. Anyway, given the sheer volume of spirits that I’ve tasted and my travels around the world studying distilled spirits, it isn’t often that I have one of those HOLY SHIT! moments, but HOLY SHIT!
Zignum Reposado mezcal absolutely changed what my perception of mezcal could be. This moved what I considered a minor and relatively exotic spirits category into consideration as one of the great spirits in the world. At about $28 bucks a bottle,Zignum reposado is one of the most affordable and well made spirits I’ve ever had, period.
Zignum Reposado mezcal does 6 months “resting” in oak barrels before being bottled at 40% abv. The bottle is nice enough to look at, but just looking at it gives no clue to what is inside. The nose offers notes of caramel, vanilla and coconut cake. Its similar to bourbon, but with an exotic undertone. But when Zignum reposado hits the palate, thats when it really shines. There is a definite smoke note, but instead of being the front note like so many mezcals, Zignum’s smoke harmonizes with the other flavor notes in this mezcal. Coconut, vanilla, brown sugar and roasted agave notes abound. This is a delicious and well balanced spirit, plain and simple. The finish is long and complex, and overall this spirit is reminiscent of the best cognacs and single malt whiskies in the world in that it is so harmonious and well put together. Zignum Reposado mezcal is truly one of the great spirits of the world and one of the most interesting things I’ve tasted in a long time.