The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2015

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Page 88 of 136

R ussia has vodka, Japan has saké and Scotland has, well, Scotch. And while Mexico may be known for its tequila, there's another spirit whose flavor pro- file and versatility is threatening to take tequila's crown: mezcal. A smoky and complex liquor, mezcal is made from maguey, an agave plant found only in Mexico. As the market for mezcal outside of Mexico grows, there has not yet been a standout brand that represents the careful crafting of the spirit and embraces the storied history; that is, until Tres Papalote. Handcrafted from the wild cupreata agave plant, found only in Guerrero, Mexico, Tres Papalote aims to bring artisanal quality to the mezcal market. Once the agave is harvested, the piña, or the heart of the plant, is roasted in a fire pit. The distillation process takes about a week, and is overseen by the Maestro Mezcalero, then the spirit is fermented in barrels, and distilled again. The result? A carefully made, high-quality, great tasting mezcal. On hand to mix up some great cocktails is Tres Papalote's Mixologist Ambassdor Yusef Austin. His enthusiasm for the spirit is apparent in the way he waxes poetic about Tres Papalote: "I love the fact that it is wild-harvested . . . there is something to be said about foraging plants and herbs; it is mysterious and goes back to the earth and mankind. What differentiates it from other mezcals is the light smokiness, smooth finish and nice citrus notes. It has a very distinc- tive earthiness to it that I haven't tasted in other mezcals. And of course the artful bottle . . . very tribal and in your face." Although Austin enjoys it simple, on the rocks with a slice of orange and spicy salt, he also recommends using Tres Papalote with fresh tropical juices, hot peppers or strawberries. But it's not only a great product and an expert mix- ologist that Tres Papalote has in their pocket: their Brand Ambassador is none other than Cheech Marin, the actor and writer who rose to fame as half of the comedic duo Cheech and Chong. "I have been a fan of mezcal for many years," 88  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2015 AGAVE SPIRITS PHOTO COURTESY OF TRES PAPALOTE Where There's Smoke, There's Mezcal TRES PAPALOTE USHERS IN A NEW ERA FOR MEXICO'S COOLEST SPIRIT by Jesse Hom-Dawson

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