The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2016

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Page 52 of 100

52  /  the tasting panel  / november 2016 52 /  the tasting panel / november 2016 CLASE AZUL: THE ARTISTRY OF MEZCAL PRODUCTION, INSIDE & OUT W hile there is excitement about Mezcal Clase Azul's arrival, it is a debut years in the making—and with a taste well worth the wait. Cenizo agave, which grows wild in the state of Durango, Mexico, is at the heart of the newest edition to the Clase Azul family. This special varietal of agave takes 12 to 15 years to mature before it blooms and can be harvested. During the plant's maturation period, Durango's extreme climate, the rich minerals of its soil and the source of natural springs in the area contribute to this mezcal's special flavor profile. The mezcal is crafted through a generations-old palenque (pro- duction house) distillery process involving the slow underground roasting of the agave hearts. This method produces certain chemi- cal reactions when sugars and proteins are combined, resulting in sweet notes of peanut, brown sugar, and honey. Firewood Cenizo agave, agave, which which grows wild in the state state of of Durango, Durango, Mexico, is at the the heart heart of of the the newest edition edition to to the the family family of Clase Azul Mezcal. Mezcal. 52  /  the tasting panel  / november 2016 1 4 by Elyse Glickman / photos courtesy of Clase Azul TEQUILA

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