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Del Maguey Pechuga Single Village Mezcal (700ml)
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- ABV 49%
Anyone who's tried knows that proper Mezcal is hard to find. If not for Del Maguey’s super-rare (and correspondingly expensive) single village Mezcals, most Australians would have given up the search. They have stimulated the re-emergence of an entire category, both in Australia, though more so the States where they were recently inducted into F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal Hall of Fame. Only 16 other producers have been included to date. Such is the quality on offer here.
These heirloom spirits of the Zapotecs vary in taste as much as wines, and flavour wise, there’s virtually nothing like them in the world. Their only natural counterpart is smoky Islay whisky (not surpisingly, Japan is one of mezcal's biggest export markets). Indeed, the relationship between mezcal and tequila has been equated to that of Islay malts vs the rest of the whisky world – exotic, assertive, smoky, briny even ‘industrial’ at times – that’s real mezcal.
If you're feeling adventurous, this is a terrific opportunity to get your hands on two of Del Maguey's most authentic, super premium offerings at dramatically reduced prices - the Tobala and Pechuga.
Sitting at one extreme of countrified traditions, Pechuga Mezcals are typically produced in tiny amounts, and usually reserved for personal consumption. Del Maguey's is made by redistilling about 100 litres of a finished mezcal with a mix of wild in-season fruits, including apples, plums, red plantain bananas, along with a handful of almonds and uncooked white rice. A "pechuga" (a skinless chicken breast) is suspended over the percolating distillation, letting the steam cook it through over 24 hours. The vapour passes over the pechuga and condenses into a crystal clear liquid. The belief here is that the chicken interacts with and balances the overall flavour profile. Expect aromas of basil, lemon, ocean, and fruit and an almost scotch-like flavour and smoky taste. And yes, in addition, it's salty, very soft, and tastes a wee bit like chicken!Tasting note: Crystal clear. The powerful briney / grassy / sappy / smokey bouquet makes for a wonderfully complex sniff with aeration drawing out latex balloon / rubber tyre / boot polish / damp cigar ash, brine and pickle. Five minutes in the glass adds a smoked meat edge - Ham rind? Tea smoked chicken? Soft, oily entry intensifies to a medium to full bodied, dryish profile with suggestions of pinepapple pudding, beeswax, bbq hot-rock followed by a creamy, dried grass, brine, paprika and smoked meat finish. A deluge of diverse and exotic flavours that seemingly never ends. Classic. 49% Alc./Vol.