The vast majority of mezcals on the market are distilled from the Espadin agave. This new release from Caballeros Inc. Scorpion Mezcal is something different, a varietal produced from wild Tobalá agaves—the unabashed king of agaves in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
To appreciate how rare and spectacular of an achievement this mezcal is, brand owner and Master Distiller Doug French spent 15 years climbing steep mountain slopes in an effort to collect seeds from mature Tobalá agaves. He carefully germinated the seeds, and after years of painstaking work, he had thousands of plants on his estate—this despite conventional wisdom that Tobalá agaves are only able to grow in the wild.
Award-winning Scorpion Mezcal Estate Grown Tobalá Añejo Mezcal is proof that conventional wisdom is occasionally wrong. The artisanal mezcal is handcrafted in the village of San Agustín de Las Juntas in Oaxaca, Mexico [NOM 019X]. After harvesting, the estate-grown agaves are steam baked in brick ovens, crushed and then fermented in small stainless steel vats. Fermentation is precipitated by natural airborne yeast, a process that takes up to several weeks. The fermented mash is distilled twice; the second distillation occurs in a small, copper pot still. It is bottled at 40% alcohol (80 proof).
Scorpion Añejo is aged for 3 1/2 years in French Limousin oak barrels. The amber/gold mezcal has a velvety, medium-weight body and an enticing nose of baking spices, citrus zest, vanilla, floral and fresh fruit aromas with light spicy notes. Its captivating aromatics alone make this mezcal an unabashed triumph. The entry raises nary a shred of unwanted heat in the mouth, another much appreciated mark of quality. The palate is a broad-based affair of caramel, dill, fruit, spice and toffee. The lingering finish is smooth and delicious. Be fully prepared to be wowed.
The unaged Scorpion Mezcal Estate Grown Tobalá Mezcal Silver is bottled at 40% alcohol (80 proof) directly from the still. It has crystalline clarity, a silky lightweight body and a wafting herbal, vegetal and fresh fruit bouquet. Like the añejo, the mezcal's entry is impressively smooth and gentle. The palate is slightly smoky with notes of anise, dried herbs and light spice. The finish is long and satisfying.
It must be a heady feeling creating something that previously didn't exist. Just ask mezcal pioneer Doug French.