Here’s the latest from Ed Draves, our resident Buffalonian and taster/reviewer of all of our mezcals.
Brand… Mezcal Olla Zapoteca
Category… Tobalá… 50% Alcohol
Origin… Mitla, Oaxaca
Tasting Notes… From Alejandro Gonzales, this mezcal is incredibly sweet and has a nice powerful and floral nose (brought visions of Springtime in my garden) rising from the glass to meet me. Very flavorful with a prevailing finish of smoke and no alcohol burn on the long finish. Although I’d enjoy this regardless, I would highly recommend paring this (over and above it’s “Maguey rating”) with a great cigar.
Maguey Rating… 3.5 magueys
Availability… Not available in the US… only in Mitla, Oaxaca, on the left as you enter the town before you get to the fork in the road. He makes it right there.
Cost… $30.00 – $35.00 USD – a great value for mezcal tobalá.
Explaining our ratings…
Here’s where we start. We love mezcal, but more importantly, we love artisanal mezcal. The type that and hand made, following the centuries old traditions passed down 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 fortunate, 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.