Xicaru Mezcal Añejo
It’s Tequila Thursday, but Mezcal works. Hope I don’t disrupt too many palates, but I think you will enjoy this one.
Xicaru Añejo is made with traditional methods from 100% Maguey espadin. It rests for a minimum of one year in medium-toasted, used American oak barrels and is finished to 86 proof. Used barrels are employed to prevent over-aging, and the higher proof helps to maintain the essential characteristics of mezcal.
A couple of points to make on Mezcal…
- The agave plant is part of the Agavaceae family, which has almost 200 subspecies. The mezcal agave has very large, thick leaves with points at the ends. When it is mature, it forms a “piña” or heart in the center from which juice is extracted to convert into mezcal. It takes between seven and fifteen years for the plant to mature, depending on the species and whether it is cultivated or wild. Agave fields are a common sight in the semi-desert areas of Oaxaca state and other parts of Mexico.
- Mezcal is made from over 30 agave species, varieties, and subvarieties, in contrast with tequila, which is made only with blue agave. Of many agave species that can be used to make mezcal, seven are particularly notable. There is no exhaustive list, as the regulations allow any agaves, provided that they are not used as the primary material in other governmental Denominations of Origin. Most commonly used is espadín, the predominant agave in Oaxaca. The next most important are arroqueño, cirial, barril, mexicano and cincoañero.
- Production is a little complicated. but pretty cool. If you get a chance to see the process in action, take it! More on production – Mezcal – Wikipedia
- Preparation: None to taste and learn.
- Glass: Glencairn first, then try in a double old fashioned glass. It’s interesting how different it is.
- Cocktail Potential: Oodles, but our Mezcal Old Fashioned with JJ’s Single Barrel Maple Syrup is delicious.
- Availability: Yes. This is a new product for us. JJ’s VIP Price – $44.79/bottle
Tom’s Tasting Note: After our tequila tasting a few weeks ago, I dove into trying other mezcals with different agave and production variations. It’s crazy how different each one is, and primarily because of where it comes from. Notes of vanilla and oak contribute a new aroma, flavor and sweetness that delicately balance with the smoke and maguey.