Well I did promise I’d be cracking through my 109 tasting notes from TWE’s recent whisky show, but collating them has taken longer than hoped. In the meantime, the mezcal madness continues with five stragglers I subjected my whisky friends to after Glen Scotia’s Open Day last May [blog].
Peloton de la Muerte  Ob. Espadin agave 41% WF83
There’s a story, of course, if you care for it: MoM.
- N: A sweaty, pongy, Ardbeg-y style mezcal with descriptors that include petrol & oil, burned sweetcorn relish, grated beetroot & carrots [root veg], tarragon and sauerkraut.
- T: Rather Caol Ila-esque now, this time with smoked petrol and [Euthymol=Kingfisher] herbal toothpaste.
- F: Not a great deal of action aside from a gentile dry/toasted, sweet vegetal action and vanilla-d agave.
- C: A fairly polite/neat, well delivered, well-rounded package.
Scores 83 points
La Venenosa Raicilla Sierra Occidental de Jalisco  Maximiliana agave Ob. 42% MR4/5
WF: ‘Raicilla,.. In a way, it’s to mezcal what moonshine is to bourbon’.
This is made from Maximiliana agave grown 1500m above sea level, fermented by wild yeasts [clairins styley] and once distilled in a small hybrid wooden still.
- N: Initially all I get is petrol, vanilla and plastic-y<Coco Lopez Pina Colada [blog]. Honing in, I pick out a large dollop of hollandaise sauce/fresh mayonnaise with lemon grass and Thai green curry/sweetcorn/sweet chilli relish [nailed it] – all really putrid however. In fact the more I hone in, the more ghastly it becomes.
- T: Oh, this is totally weird & unpleasant. Lemon juice and baby sick combos were noted.
- F: Fermented fruit juice & ice-cream.
- C: We are all repulsed and all decline a second/third sip, except for the Kiwi’s that is. A corrupt sample or an extremely left-field spirit?
Los Danzantes Joven  Ob. Espadin agave 43% WF80
- N: A much lighter style than the others here today, with notes of gin, cement, sharp sand, thin engine oil, slightly leaking batteries and drying tobacco leaves, as well as a more atmospheric note of a decorators aisle in the trade section of a DIY store.
- T: More leaking batteries and more herbal gin botanicals including orris [Nick], and angelica.
- F: Finishes lightly/neatly with toasted herbs & seeds and non-pickled gherkins.
- C: Moderate.
Scores 80 points
Alipus San Juan  Ob. 47.8% WF87
- N: This is similar to the La Venenosa, without being so offensive. Vegetal vanilla speaks firmly, alongside sweaty>Swarfega, vinegar and petrol.
- T: Strangely, all I noted was an array of almond flavours. Probably me chatting again.
- F: A hollandaise sauce finish with creosote and hints of popadoms.
- C: Ardbeg-y with a relaxed bolshy side.
Scores 82 points
Alipus Joven  Ob. 100% agave Lot: SBG006/15 [btl #0888/1480] 47.4%
Whilst I’m here, here are my notes from another Alipus I tried a week beforehand.
- N: There’s all sorts from this very particular & intriguing nose. I pick out old man stuff that includes toe nail crud [yep], a whiff of Nitromors, a few drops of creasote, a few more drops of coal tar shampoo over the smallest scoop of vanilla ice cream and plenty of sweet herbal aniseed-y notes.
- T: A firm arrival that brings cactal herbal, the medical bandages, one little spearmint leaf, more coal tar and burning coke [blog]. This swims competently.
- F: Notes from the nose live on, alongside a smoky Laphroaig, Ardbeg & Caol Ila ‘ensamble’, concluding with gentle, warming aniseed and only a suggestion of Cognac.
- C: I’ve really fallen out of love with smoky Islay malts in the last few years, though Ardmore and Springbank continue to inspire. It’s ironic then that on the eve of my journey to the Islay Festival, I should enjoy a new found interest for smoky spirits, born from Mezcal!
Scores 86 points
Marca Negra Ensamble  Ob. Espadin, Bicuishe & Madrecuishe agave 48.1% WF85
- N: Toasted-dry minted peas and peaches with mild sweaty Thai vibes.
- T: Though it doesn’t taste the strongest abv-wise, it delivers a big & balanced creosote-y, oily, vegetal savoury mouthful.
- F: Continues to form with additions that include sweet cider vinegar and green peppercorns [The Foz].
- C: I’m liking this big number.
Scores 84 points
Will the mezcal madness ever end? Very nearly.