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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006
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    Mescal (Mezcal) vs Tequila, Opinions Wanted

    Read a Pacult article in Wine Enthusiast about the differences in these two spirits. His description enticed me to go out and buy some and at the same time reject his assertion that Mescal should get more respect.
    1. Describes tastes of burning rubber and creosote (MMMMM!!!)
    2. Singe distilled in Mexican towns with little or no regulation. (HMMMM?)
    3. Variety of cactus used, such that just about anything can be included.
    4. Worm in the bottle is fairly common. (Drinks and Appetizers?)

    Anybody want to chime in on why I should or shouldn't spend some of my bourbon cash on Mescal?

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: Mescal (Mezcal) vs Tequila, Opinions Wanted

    I'm not sure why you should spend your money on Mezcal, but I think we can get together this winter when I'm home and figure out if you should. I have a bottle of Tobala that has been in my collection for quite a while and think it would make a good start for a tasting.

    Anybody else wanna get in on this?

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Mescal (Mezcal) vs Tequila, Opinions Wanted

    IMO, tequila is VASTLY better than mezcal. Here is a passage from a particular tequila site (IMO the best on the web)

    "Technically, tequila is a type of mezcal, but mezcals are not tequilas.

    There are 136 species of agave in Mexico, of which the blue agave - agave tequilana weber azul - is the only one allowed for use in tequila production. Several different species of agave are allowed for use in mezcal, including a rare wild species, tobala. Other agave plants are used for the production of various regional drinks like sotol, raicilla, bacanora and pulque. Agave has been cultivated on this continent for at least 9,000 years.

    No Mexican alcoholic drink is made from cactus. However, cactus is used in some fruit drinks, salads and other food items."

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
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    Re: Mescal (Mezcal) vs Tequila, Opinions Wanted

    I'll second the notion that tequila is far superior. We go to Puerto Vallarta every spring and generally try the local mescal......raicilla. I use it to marinate chicken and shrimp. Occasionally I'll take a shot with a little ice in it. It is usually very hot with alcohol but does have an interesting aftertaste....perhaps a spicier finish than tequila. Buy a good tequila instead Ed.

    Randy

  5. #5
    Guru
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    Re: Mescal (Mezcal) vs Tequila, Opinions Wanted

    I will have to disagree. I must tell you though, that I'm not an authority on Tequila or Mezcal, but I like what I like. I happen to like Cusano Rojo Mescal. It has a finish like butterscotch. There are some Tequilas that I like, but I like this stuff better.
    Bourbon Jose

  6. #6

    Re: Mescal (Mezcal) vs Tequila, Opinions Wanted

    For whatever it's worth, we have a Mexican customer who searches our area high and low (generally without success) for what he calls 'mezcalito', a variety of mezcal apparently quite popular in his part of Mexico, at least, and which he claims is better than typical mezcal.
    And, just like real Mexicans snicker at Americans' taste for 'legal' tequila -- Jose Cuervo, Margaritaville, et al, which are NOT 100% agave -- this fellow also chuckles at the worm in the mezcal bottles. Only in America!

  7. #7
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
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    Houston, TX
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    Re: Mescal (Mezcal) vs Tequila, Opinions Wanted

    The Website for the Beverage Tasting Institute has a good article explaining differences in types of Tequila and Mezcal.

    BTI - Tequila

    Also click on the Recommended Products - Mezcal for some top notch selections.

  8. #8
    Enthusiast
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    Oct 2004
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    Toronto, Canada
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    Re: Mescal (Mezcal) vs Tequila, Opinions Wanted

    Hi Pepcycle:

    To give you an answer to your question, I think the thing to do it to offer how Mezcal is different from Tequila, and from there you can come to an informed decision. Briefly, Mezcal has a smokey taste that comes partly from the method of cooking the agaves, and partly from the fact that mescal uses many varieties of agave (Tequila uses one - the blue agave).

    Another thing is that Mezcal has historically been drunk by the indiginous native mexicans not the whites. It is not generally made for export, and is less seldom aged unlike tequila which is frequently aged for even a bit of time. Tequilas aged for 2-3 yrs are common, but mescals aged for the same time frame are rare. In short, Mezcal is rarely as "polished" as Tequila. I wouldn't say Tequila is "better", just different. And Tequila is marketed to people with more money. Del Maguay makes some single village Mezcals that I found to be unbelievably good.

    For whatever it's worth, we have a Mexican customer who searches our area high and low (generally without success) for what he calls 'mezcalito', a variety of mezcal apparently quite popular in his part of Mexico, at least, and which he claims is better than typical mezcal.
    And, just like real Mexicans snicker at Americans' taste for 'legal' tequila -- Jose Cuervo, Margaritaville, et al, which are NOT 100% agave -- this fellow also chuckles at the worm in the mezcal bottles. Only in America!
    I believe Mezcalito is a brand of mezcal as opposed to a type of Mescal. Still I've had it, and at a similar price, I think it beats Dos Gusanos or other bar brands. Everything else this mexican guy says I agree with. Serious mescals (rare) don't have the larvae in the bottle, and 100% agave is a good - but not the only - barometer of quality for Tequila.

    Hope even a bit of this helps.

  9. #9
    Guru
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    Re: Mescal (Mezcal) vs Tequila, Opinions Wanted

    Evening Frodo,

    Excellent post. My knowledge of these whiskies is limited. I lived a year in Texas in 1971 while posted there by the Army and my intoduction to these expressions was by guys who by heritage and tastes prefered the Mezcals. My recollection is I liked the Mezcal more than Tequila. It just seemed to have more depth and was smokey rather than sweet. Of course the stuff my friends poured in their homes was unlabeled but the differences were noticable.

    Regards,
    Squire

  10. #10
    Enthusiast
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    Oct 2004
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    Re: Mescal (Mezcal) vs Tequila, Opinions Wanted

    Sorry folks - made a mistake about Mezcalito. I've had Mezcalero , made by the same company that makes Dos Gusanos. That's the one I find smoother than Dos Gusanos, or Gusano Rojo. Mezcalito I've never heard of, and I don't pretent to know a ton about mezcal so it might very well exist.

 

 

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