Ed Draves Samples… Mezcal Real Matlatl


Ed Draves and Dave Miller on site at Don Tacho, Fabrica de Mezcal in Matatlan, Oaxaca

It was our pleasure recently to host Ed Draves, the Buffalo Mezcalero, in Oaxaca.  Ed is the man responsible for all of our “official” mezcal tastings here at Dave Miller’s Mexico.  We spent a lot of time in Matatlan sampling some of the many mezcals available in that area.  Here are Ed’s thoughts on what he called 3 three very special mezcals that we tried on site with Joel Santiago from Real Matlatl.

Brand… Real Matlatl

Category… Olla de Barros

Origin… Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca

Tasting Notes… Little cinnamon and spice on the nose with tropical fruit… sweetness is evident upon entry and it shows a desirable “petrolly” character of an aged Riesling in the mouth (a very sophisticated layering of fruit and mineral). This has a lot going on… finishes with spice, and mineral. The similarity to a fine well aged Riesling from Alsace is amazing.

Maguey Rating… 4 magueys

Availability… US and Mexico

Cost… $90.00 – $105.00 USD


Brand… Real Matlatl

Category… Tobalá 96 Proof

Origin… Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca

Tasting Notes… Clear color, full nose of mint… unfolds into pine tar and forest, it’s powerful and inviting with a subtle berry note underneath. Salty, citrus (lemon/lime) notes in the mouth, full bodied with a tangy clean finish containing tobacco notes. The flavors predominate and there is no alcohol burn even with the high proof.

Maguey Rating… 4 magueys

Availability… US and Mexico

Cost… $100.00 – $150.00 USD


Brand… Real Matlatl

Category… Cerrudo 96 Proof

Origin… Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca

Tasting Notes… Some nice clarity in the glass, containing a subtle nose of black licorice… has a little bit of heat there… a very inviting, full mouth feel that is crisp with a strong anise flavor. There is some orange zest through the mineral laden medium length finish – very dry. Enjoy this over ice or with a splash of water. Incredible stuff, tasted 3 times with consistent results.

Maguey Rating… 4.5 magueys

Availability… US and Mexico

Cost… $150.00 – $175.00 USD


Explaining our ratings…

Here’s where we start. We love mezcal, but more importantly, we love artisanal mezcal. The type that is hand made, following the centuries old traditions handed from one generation to the next.

We only review small batch mezcal so if you are expecting to read about mezcals that come from some 10,000 liter vat, you won’t find them here. We don’t believe that they truly represent the heart and soul of the truly magical mezcals that are produced in Oaxaca and other places around the great country of Mexico.

We rate everything on a scale of 1 to 5 magueys.

If we write it up, it’s good and will be guaranteed at least 1 maguey. 3 magueys is top notch and the cherished 5 maguey rating is reserved for the really special stuff. If you are fortunate to have a mezcal that gets 5 magueys, consider yourself blessed, because it is a top of the mountain spirit, in the same class as a fine French wine or a treasured single malt Scotch.

Finally, not all of the mezcals we review are available in the US. This reflects the view of Ulises Torrentera of In Situ Mezcaleria, and many mezcaleros, that to truly appreciate mezcal, sooner or later you need to visit us in Oaxaca.

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