Salty, Savory, Sensational! Refrescador Oaxacan Mezcal
This batch produced by Ranulfo and his son, is made up of 20 harvested and capón Espadin agaves and 25 capón Madrecuixe. After resting the freshly harvested maguey in the sun for over a week, the piñas were pit roasted with local mesquite wood for four days. The unearthed maguey was set to rest for eight more days before being crushed by a massive ox-drawn stone mill. Dry fermented for 2 days, followed by an additional 10 days of wet fermentation, it was then distilled using a copper refrescador still. 4 separate distillations were made, with cuts taken from perla-rich “cordón” liquid from the tails which he calls shishe or colas.
Full details on this batch can be found over at NETA.
On the first whiff of this mezcal, I immediately recognized a paprika/spiced buttered popcorn scent. There’s a savory salted meats note and a slight olive brininess to it. Wood notes like an old cedar chest and musty old blankets. An astringency note in the alcohols that I can’t quite place. It’s similar to a yeasty sourdough but more earth like mushrooms. Finally a very faint but tart raspberry scent.
The savory and spicy flavors carry over on the palate. Adobo and toasted corn tortillas. Roasted sweet corn. Tobacco. Herb infused butter over steak and potatoes. Woodsy notes are here as well. Rendered fat and mushroom risotto. It’s like a savory meal on the palate that’s perfectly seasoned.
The agave freshness cuts through the savory notes on the finish. It’s bright and and lifts the spirit on the back end. There’s a slight bitterness from dried teas and hay. A bit of a grilled and slightly burnt, lemon and parmesan encrusted asparagus. Also, the metals come out and specifically are like warm copper pennies.
Overall this is a fantastic mezcal and considering the batch size, I would certainly purchase a bottle or two. The savoriness is incredibly pleasant and distinct. The bitter tea and tobacco really help balance things out a bit on the palate. Most notably, the mouthfeel is rich and encourages you to let the mezcal rest on your palate before sipping. Definitely a must buy!