The true Mexican spirit

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Viva Mexico, viva Agave, viva Mezcal!

Forget the worm, forget all that “Tequila’s smoky cousin” crap. Real Mezcal is smoky but infinitely more complex with flavors that span fruity, mineral, vegetal, and more. The best Mezcals reflect their maker’s distinct philosophies and the terroir that produced them - in cooperation with our friends from Mezcalistas, we have selected some really distinct bottles to get you started - and they’re guaranteed to get all those silly ideas about worms, smoke, and Mexican stereotypes out of your head because these are true sippers to rival any spirit in the world. 
Mezcal can be made from a variety of agaves, at least more than 20, but the majority of Mezcal is made from one type of agave, the noble Espadín, aka Agave angustifolia. Espadín means sword in Spanish and the name is used advisedly because those Espadín agaves used to make this Mezcal, they look exactly like a plant with a ton of swords protruding from them. 
Espadín is the most sustainably cultivated agave now grown in Mexico because it grows well in a variety of conditions and is ready for harvest faster than any others. That means that you can drink it with a pretty safe conscience. That and the fact that we have selected exceptionally sustainably produced Mezcals for your tasting pleasure. Many mezcaleros prefer to use Espadín, because they know it’s sustainably farmed and because it’s such a fun raw material to work with: They get to coax the nuances of terroir from the plant just like a fine wine. Remember that famous line from “Sideways”? “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving, I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!” May we remind you that the humble Merlot grape is the heart of Bordeaux wines? 
We have selected this three Espadín Mezcal exactly because they are so distinct and express the diverse distilling philosophies of their maestros mezcaleros, the master distillers who made them and will give you the full spectrum tasting experience. One of these Mezcals, the Vago Elote is an expression of two incredible Oaxacan traditions, corn and Mezcal, because it has dried corn infused into the Mezcal between distillations. All three are expressions of the incredible diversity of Mezcal in general so definitely sip and compare them. 
If you want to taste these Mezcals like they do in Oaxaca then cut an orange into fine slices and dust it with some salt. You can sip a Mezcal then suck on the salty, sweet, citrus, umami of that orange / sal de gusano mix and really stimulate your taste buds! 
Enjoy your tasting, we’ll be there with you in spirit! Remember the famous saying about Mezcal “Para todo mal, Mezcal, y para todo bien, tambien.” And if you really want atmosphere play Lila Downs’ “La Cumbia del Mole!” 

Smartass corner
1) Did you know that when you harvest an agave plant you kill it? Yes, that’s right, the Espadíns that went into these bottles were raised for a minimum of six years, most of them closer to ten years, and then killed when they were harvested. Now their replacements are growing in the fields of Oaxaca. 

2) In Oaxaca Mezcal is usually accompanied by orange slices and sal de gusano which translates as worm salt. It’s a mixture of dried up worms (actually a moth larvae but do you really care?), chiles, and salt. It’s the perfect mix of salty, sweet, acid, savory, and spice - a great pairing for your Mezcal. 

3) That worm in the bottle - it’s just a marketing gimmick. Really, someone created it after the Second World War to market Mezcal and it took off a way to test the mettle of spring breakers ever after. It has no hallucinogenic effects, it just changes the flavor of the Mezcal bottle, making it more savory and woody. A few people still add worms and other insects to Mezcal bottles because it’s become a tradition of its own but most Mezcal makers don’t because they want to preserve the full flavor of the Mezcal. 

4) The Vago Elote in this box is very similar to a pechuga. That word literally translates as “breast” because traditionally you suspend a turkey or chicken breast over the third distillation. The Elote only has roasted corn added so it’s technically vegan. Pechugas don’t have to include meat. Some include local herbs, fruits, grassses, and spices. But frequently they do include meat, everything from rabbits, to deer, to iguanas. Whatever is local and in season works best!

5) While Mezcal is produced across Mexico most of the Mezcal we see is produced in the state of Oaxaca. And, over 70% of Mezcal is made from the Espadín agave even if more than 20 agave types are used to make Mezcal. 

6) Did you know that the Mescalero Band of Apaches in New Mexico has that name because they cultivated the agave, also known as the mescal plant locally? Recent archeological findings show that this tribe grew huge fields of agave plants and used them for food. 

7) In Mexico the words maguey and agave are synonymous, different words for the same plant. But maguey is a word derived from native languages while Agave was the name of Cadmus’s daughter in Ancient Greek mythology. 

8) The Espadín agaves have that name not only because they look like protruding swords. The plant is just as dangerous as their metal counterparts - when cut, they bleed a sap that causes rashes in humans! Which is to say, that nice agave that you see harvested for your excellent Mezcal is nice to drink only!

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Flavor Spiral™

About The Flavor Spiral

The Flavor Spiral™ is a quick, clear and visually-appealing way to look at the drink's flavor DNA.

It's tasting notes reinvented. The Flavor Spiral™ is a unique and revolutionary way of describing flavors. It was developed by Flaviar tasting panel, industry experts, and You, our dear Flaviar community member.

Your favourite drinks like never before. It could easily be an art form, but that's a conversation for another day.

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Ratings & Reviews
Member Reviews and Ratings of Mezcalistas
Perfect tasting box for a Mezcal newbie. So much variety. I prefer Alipus - love the fruitiness of it.
If you really want to taste nuance between distillers, this is a fun tasting!
All three are delicious and very smooth/drinkable in their own unique ways. I’m a sucker for smoke so Alipus is my personal favorite.
An excellent introduction to a type of spirit new to me. Overall, I wouldn't put "smoky" as the top characteristic; each is distinct and original. Notes on each: Rey Campero -- Neat: Aroma-light floral notes; Flavor-black pepper. with a little water: Aroma-mild smokiness; The flavor diminishes to almost nothing Alipus -- Neat: Aroma-vanilla and overripe banana; flavor lemon & lime followed by black pepper with a little water: Aroma vanilla; flavor still some lemon and lime but less black pepper Mezcal Vago -- Neat: Aroma- new leather and some banana; flavor-new shoe leather or new leather furniture with a little water:Aroma and flavor MORE leathery Overall my favorite is Alipus. For real lovers of leather, Mezcal Vago would be the first choice.
The mezcal was delicious, and we enjoyed the samples very much. What was disappointed about was the jocular, douchebag-ness of the comments on the blind tastings stickers. "Strip it off and slap it on her..." Come on, what's with the wannabe frat boy jackassery? For a company that presents itself as knowledgeable and respectable purveyors of fine spirits, these overtly sexual, misogynistic, and toxic statements are equal parts disappointing and offensive. Do better. Liquor has nothing to do with libido.
So far the best Mezcal is the ilegal anejo none of these tasted anything similar. Nota fan.
Each one was pretty harsh. Heavy aftertaste. If you like smoky, then you’ll enjoy this set. Not for me. Some better than others. But all closer to unpleasant than I expected
Very smoky and harsh. I wasn’t a fan of any of them.
Amazing Mix.
I wasn’t that familiar with mezcals so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to give some a try. The wife and I were not fans, so the tasters were a great way to check it out.
I love Mezcal, and 2/3 of these are awesome. They each have a very unique flavor, but one is much more boozy and kind of has hints of cleaning chemicals. That one might work in cocktails though.
Excellent options. Loved 2/3 of what was given but the selection and education provided warrants a 10/10.
Smoky and sharp. Fun, but prefer tequila.
Good mix of mezcal. Each had a different taste profile, some of which I enjoyed
As someone new to mezcal, it was great. I ended up buying a bottle of Vago.
Wasn’t a fan of mezcal. Love tequila but this wasn’t to my liking. I’m glad the samples are part of club membership to avoid a whole bottle of something you don’t like.
I love mescals and these three were all good for sipping. They each had a different profile, from spicy to smooth to sweet and nutty, all with the wonderful signature smile
I’m a pretty big fan of mezcal and the box didn’t disappoint. Didn’t love one of them, but the other two were great!
Great set of mezcal! I had never tried this before, and it really impressed me. The flavor profile was much more pronounced than I was used to with tequila, which I appreciated.
I have never tried mezcal before. I was first shocked by the flavor thinking it more similar to tequila as they're both made from agave. However, I quite enjoy them now. They're very complex spirits that remind me so much of scotch. I recommend this to anyone who likes complex flavor profiles and some smokiness.
Interesting change from regular tequila. I enjoyed all three of them.
This tequila smelled bad right when we opened it. Then it tasted worse than it smelled. Horrible horrible horrible. I ended up pouring them out.
Good spectrum of flavors
I’m not used to these types of Tequila....I didn’t finish it.
Two of three were very good. The odd one out was terrible!
Did not like will stick with hornitos silver
The worst tasting liquor I have ever tasted and wasted my free sample on that.
It is an outstanding sampling of rich & delicate Mezcals.
So awful!
I hated the smokey flavors, I thought they would be subtle but they are not. I did not enjoy this I regret using it for my tasting credit.
Mezcal isn't a tequila, it is made from a different type of agave and is definitely not for everyone. Keep an eye out for a more subtle mezcal and you may like it more.
Mezcal isn't a tequila, it is made from a different type of agave and is definitely not for everyone. Keep an eye out for a more subtle mezcal and you may like it more.
Mezcal isn't a tequila, it is made from a different type of agave and is definitely not for everyone. Keep an eye out for a more subtle mezcal and you may like it more.
Definitely worth keeping an eye out for! Smokey flavors
Good flavors.
A really nice variety of mezcals. Gave us a few new things to keep an eye out for!
Worth trying but not for me.
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