Joven mezcals are bottled fresh from the still, free from the obscuring affects of barrel aging. They therefore serve as the truest gauge of a distiller's degree of craftsmanship and the creative style of the distillery. Alone in the glass you can easily assess all of its characteristics. And when skillfully crafted, joven mezcals are thoroughly engaging. This is particularly true about Montelobos Mezcal Joven 100% Agave Espadin.
Recently introduced in the United States, the ultra-premium mezcal is made at Casa Montelobos (NOM 0156X) situated in the Oaxacan highlands of the Sierra Madres. It is collaboration between agave expert Dr. Iván Saldaña and Don Abel Lopez, a fifth generation mezcalero and agave grower. Montelobos is distilled from organic agave espadín, which after harvesting, are brought to the distillery and slowly roasted over a wood fire in a stone-lined pit. Once the agaves have cooled, they are crushed and the extracted juice is transferred to vats where is allowed to ferment naturally using ambient yeast. The fermented juice—referred to as mosto—is distilled in a traditional, copper pot still and bottled at 43.2% alcohol (86.4 proof).
Montelobos Joven is a sophisticated mezcal that aficionados and novices alike will find enticing. The crystal clear spirit has a velvety textured, medium-weight body and a brilliant bouquet of roasted peppers, anise, green banana, fresh pineapple and baked agave. The intensity of the aromatics is remarkable. Its initial entry is warm and peppery as it gradually expands bathing the palate with an array of spicy, herbal and slightly smoky flavors. The lingering finish is dry and peppery.
This is a joven mezcal that deserves to be savored slowly and at room temperature. Make sure you afford its nose plenty of time in the glass to fully open and come to the forefront. Your patience will be well rewarded. To be fair, the brand is also sensational featured in a cocktail or mixed drink.
Its universal appeal makes Montelobos an ideal mezcal to introduce newcomers to the category. They'll become fans for life.