One of my favorite conversations with people who love mezcal is asking them for their 5 Mezcals Everyone has to Experience. It always stimulates discussion and I get lots of good insight not only into some great mezcals, but how people think.
I’ll never forget my time upstairs at La Olla Restaurant in Oaxaca when I asked Chef Pilar Cabrera that question.
We sat there a few minutes as she thought about it and then she asked her bartender to bring over a couple of bottles. We started to taste them as she explained their flavor profiles. After about 45 minutes, and three more live samples, I had her list, and had experienced it with her.
Today, as we close out 2018, I want to give you another list.
The 5 most recommended mezcals on Dave Miller’s Mexico, all from industry insiders, chefs, maestro mezcaleros, and various aficionados. Maybe you have all of them, maybe not, but without a doubt, all of these mezcals should have a prominent place in your personal collections.
So here they are, in no particular order.
Rey Campero… the Jabali. This has consistently been on people’s list since I first posed this question to Erick Rodriguez way back in 2013. If there’s a rock star in the mezcal world, this might be it.
Koch… their Espadin. Year in and year out this wonderfully clean crisp espadin gets high marks. It’s also one of my personal favorites.
Marca Negra… the Espadin. These guys had a cool bottle before folks figured out that bottles could be a marketing bonanza. But don’t be fooled, this mezcal, with a strong ABV of 50% is a clear winner.
El Rey Zapoteco… the Espadin. A totally under valued mezcal, this is one of the best and is a favorite of many of their competitors in the market. Next time you’re in Matatlán, make it point to get a bottle.
Real Matlatl… the Cerrudo. Hands down, the experts love this mezcal. It ain’t cheap, but it’s well worth having in your collection.
And in the honorable mention category…
Wahaka Mezcal… Although no single mezcal received sufficient love to make our specific list, Wahaka garnered enough total overall praise to merit recognition. The bottom line on Wahaka is this… all of Alberto Morales’ mezcals have been recommended over the years.
Mezcal Almamezcalera… From Erick Rodriguez, his line falls in the category of Wahaka. Because he has such excellence across a variety of mezcals, reviewers couldn’t pick just one, choosing instead to say, just get some of Erick’s offerings.
So there you have it. If you’re having a party tonight and want to make a real splash, pick up one or two of these mezcals and you’ll be richly rewarded.
Happy New Year. From the Dave Miller’s Family, I hope 2018 was a wonderful year and that 2019 will be even better for you and yours!