While Susan is knocking around Oaxaca I’ve been left in the cold and wet San Francisco to fend for myself. Fortunately our friends Scarlet and Grover of tastetequila.com just returned from a trip to Oaxaca bearing mezcal. Over dinner last night we sampled their selection of a Real Minero Cuishe and two finds from a tiny palenque outside of Minas.
As expected the Real Minero Cuishe was fantastic, well balanced and complex. Real Minero’s mezcals have really impressed both Susan andI so we’re anxiously awaiting their entry into the American market. In the interim I know that Susan has already been tasting through their selections in Oaxaca so look forward to further reporting from her on that front.
Scarlet and Grover identified the palenquero as a certain Don Felix and described his operation just like the many roadside distillers you find across Oaxaca, a little house next to a shack containing a small clay still with the roasting pit off to the side. Take a look at our photos from a similar operation, Palenque Roaguia, outside of Hierve el Agua to get a sense for what these places look like. They were fortunate enough to try some mezcal straight from the still and noted that Don Felix keeps a wider cut from the heads and tails than they’re used to seeing in the world of tequila. You could definitely taste Don Felix’s touch in the Arroqueno and Martineno, he has a nice touch, both were sweet with that minerality associated with clay stills. Fantastic expressions of the silvestres and terroir.