Mezcal Koch Espadin
Mezcal Koch Espadin is produced at the Hacienda del Jaral de Berrio. The Hacienda is located in the historic borough of San Felipe Torres Mochas, Guanajuato with origins that date back to the late 16th century. According to bibliographic data and historical stock inventories, production of mezcal at the site can be dated to 1764 when it was then known as aguardiente criollo del Jaral.
The Mezcal Koch Espadin produced at the Hacienda is made not from Blue Weber agave, but instead from the maguey species Salmiana (Salmiana Otto Ex Salm SSP Crassispina Trel Gentry). Salmiana is large maguey (agave) with shades of green that grows twice as large as typical agaves. This maguey varietal has grown naturally in the Guanajuato mezcal region of Mexico for centuries.
After harvesting the Maguey, they are steamed for three days in a Conic stone oven. After cooking the remaining juices are extracted under a Tahona Wheel. The juices leftover from the cooking process and the juices extracted using the Tohono are mixed together to ferment in open-top type inox tanks. The fermented juice is then double distilled in copper stills. All of the mezcals produced by Journal de Berrio are made using the same methods and are bottled at the main compound of the Hacienda.
Mezcal Koch Espadin is bottled with no aging and is classified (according to the company website) as a Joven spirit (see here for information about Mescal Categories and Classifications). Depending upon which market the spirit is destined for, the spirit may be bottled between 36 and 40 % (my sample was bottled at 36 %) alcohol by volume.
Mezcal Koch Espadin In the Bottle
the bottle the Journal de Barrio is sold in the labeling on the bottle. The new regulations for Mezcal spirits are introduced just last year so some of this confusion may be due to the mescal company adapting its old label to fit the new labeling regime or this may be a bottle that is more than a year old. This means that can easily forgive the fact that the bottle does not indicate (as the website does) that this is a Joven spirit.
the larger issue with the label is that have a very hard time reading the embossing which blends into the bottle. As you can see, the fact that this product is Mezcal and not Tequila is not obvious. As well, the added labels on the foot and shoulders of the bottle are just as hard to read due to the fonts being too small and the metallic blue font blending into the silver background. The only thing that is clear is that this is a 100 % Agave Spirit.
(In fact, the person who brought this bottle to a recent Tequila Tasting I hosted thought that they had brought a Blanco Tequila.)
Mezcal Koch Espadin In the Glass
The Mezcal Koch Espadin spirit is colorless and when tilt the glass and give it a slow swirl see medium-sized droplets forming at the crest. These droplets fall as very slender legs back down to the spirit below. The breezes above the glass bring me light aromas of agave tainted with cucumber. There is also a light spiciness which reminds me of cilantro and coriander.
When the glass is given some time to breathe, the lightly vegetal agave notes become more distinctive. The breezes bring impressions of mushy banana, grilled pineapple, and a growing impression of white pepper and cilantro. Although the impressions were distinctive, it would also be true to say that the overall effect is mild.
Mezcal Koch Espadin Flavor
A very light sweetness comes forward followed by an agave spiciness which as it is on the nose carries impressions of cilantro and coriander as well as white pepper. This spiciness is only mildly aggressive allowing one to taste the light vegetal flavor of the Mezcal Koch Espadin which carries a flavor that is reminiscent of cucumber and baked squash. Hints of pineapple-like flavors can be found as well. it would be fair to describe this flavor as Mezcal-lite as the vegetal flavor of the maguey and its agave spiciness are held well in check.
decide to mix a few cocktails and began with a mixed drink with similar construction to a Toreador. Basically, a Toreador is a Picador or Margarita style serving that substitutes Apricot Brandy for Orange Curacao in the serving. The mixed drink is delicious as the Apricot brandy and lemon juice work wonderfully with this.
Mezcal Koch Espadin seems to tick all the right boxes.
Mezcal Koch Espadin goes down relatively smoothly with a cilantro-like spiciness swatting gently at the throat after the swallow. Bits of menthol appear as does a light flavor of vanilla. The exit is short and crisp.
Last thought about Mezcal Koch Espadin
Koch Espadin is made with 100% farm-grown agave Espadin in San Baltazar. This mezcal is made by mezcalero Pedro Hernandez. It has sweet, fruity tones and a light taste of coconut mixed with herbs and spices. Koch has another Espadin produced in Rio de Ejutla by Lucio Bautista.
Pair it with a great Cigar from our wide selection, Cuban or New World!