Labelling & Tasting
Understanding the label
Labels of marketable products bear the following obligatory information (also see TYPES & QUALITIES):
1. The product name „Mezcal“.
2. Designation of a „Tipo I“ with the phrase „100% Agave“. A „Tipo II“ (mixto, i.e. containing up to 20% of foreign sugars) bears no special indication.
3. Designation of the category Joven, Reposado and Añejo or Añejado respectively.
4. Registered trademark.
5. Fill quantity.
6. Alcohol strength in volume percentage at 20 degrees Celsius with „% Alc. Vol“.
7. Name and address of the producer or brand owner with tax number and individual NOM-designation.
8. Name, address and tax number of bottler, if applicable.
9. The remark „Hecho en México“
10. The remark “Envasado de Orígen” or “Envasado en México”.
11. The COMERCAM-Logo
The group „Mezcales tradicionales de los Pueplos de México“ demands further information on a Mezcal Tradicional:
13. Name of the master distiller (maestro mezcalero)
14. Location of production
15. Used species of agave
16. Kind and date of processing
17. Number of produced bottles and individual bottle number.
18. Logo of „Mezcales tradicionales de los Pueplos de México” (when the product complies with their requirements).
Tasting & Drinking
Mezcal shouldn't be consumed like a shot. Like other premium spirits it needs to be relished out of a glass which allows for the air to make contact with the beverage in order to develop its full flavor, like Armagnac, Cognac, or Grappa glasses. First impressions are of smoke and earth, obtained by the cooking of the agaves, followed by caramel and fresh greens and, depending on the kind of agaves used, various others like citrus fruits, mint, vanilla, marzipan, fig, honey, cinnamon, mango and many more flavors.
Everybody may decide for him/herself if he/she likes aged Mezcales, but surely there are fine tones lost in favour of the stronger flavours from the barrel. In any case strange gimmicks like insects and the like should be avoided. Worms and larva belong on a plate, not into a bottle! This is also true for other strong-tasting side orders like sal de gusano, sangrita, peanuts, lime and others, because they adulterate the original flavors. A glass of water and some bread is recommended here.