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El Rey Zapoteco Tobala Tasting Notes



Slight hint of menthol.


Fruity and sweet with a candy nature to it that’s amazingly soft and rich and puts a smile on your face. Very distinctive for a tobala.

Method / Background Notes

One of the older family owned brands in the business dating back to 1960, a completely different era in the mezcal world, Rey Zapoteco seems to have threaded the needle and come out the other side as an artisanal brand which cultivates its own agave and has a stand out product to show for it. Every expression in this line is marked by a very light hand: The mezcals have low viscosity and are very expressive telling you a continuous story of the maestro’s distilling philosophy.

The wild tobala in this bottle were harvested just short of their Quinceañeras but I get the sense that age is only part of the equation here because the flavors are so distinctive and different for a tobala that I’ll guess that the Hernandez family is once again the distinctive force behind the flavors here. They seem to recognize whatever makes a particular harvest unique and exalt it at the palenque.

One of the tobala from El Rey Zapoteco. Photo by Marlene Lange

Max co-founded Mezcalistas with Susan way back in 2012. Before that he was a journalist at Salon.com and The San Francisco Chronicle.

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