Different types of agave and mezcals
Rather you are an avid drinker, or just begging to get into the drinking game, You may or may not have heard of mezcal but with the rising popularity of mezcal spirits we had to investigate. We asked Rosaluna, a pioneer in the mezcal industry why the such popularity in mezcals, and they accredited the younger generation saying that “because the younger generation is willing to try new things, we have seen a huge spike in mezcal sales”
As you might have seen at your local restaurants, there have been many restaurants incorporating mezcals on their menu. And even some bars who are mezcal only and serve craft mezcal cocktails.
What are the different types of agave?
- Espadin- This is going to be your most common agave. It is responsible for about 90% of the mezcal production. You might taste it and think ”this tastes familiar for some reason.“ Well then you are probably thinking tequila since it is the genetic grandfather of blue agave which is made for tequila
- Tepeztate- The rarest of mezcals, you probably wont have easy access to this. As the agave plant to this mezcal takes about 30 years to grow and mature. If you are lucky
- Papago- Papagos are native to South American deserts. These fruits grow underground like mushrooms and ripen after 2 years. When ripe they are used as a sweetener Papagos are made from the same species as Tepatepec.Papagos are grown in the wild
- Arroqueno- This agave is the latin name meaning agave americano. Often having a spicey, bitter, chocolate note, Arroquenos are usually made from the same species as Tepeztepec.
- Tobala-Know as the”king of mezcals“ Tobala is grown in the wild and is known to be fruity and complex. It is also kind of pricey compared to other mezcals.
So now that we know about the different agaves let’s dive into what are the different mezcals that you can try. Remember it’s always good to start off small don’t go for the overly expensive stuff until you know for sure that you like mezcals.
- Type I: This is the indication that the mezcal is made with 100% agave as the base. If the label does not say type I make sure it says 100% to ensure that it is a type I mezcal.
- Type II: All mezcals are required to be made with no less than 80% agave. Type II agaves are made with the required 80% agave and with another fermenting agent like pure cane sugar. These often have a different taste and hide some of flavors that agave has to offer.
- Reposado- This mezcal has been aged in wooden barrels for about 2 to 8 months.
- White- is a clear spirit that has been aged for about 2 months.
- Anejo- Has to be aged a minium of one year but usually has been aged for two to three years.
- Dorado- Similar to a white mezcal just some coloring has been added
- Joven- This is going to be a young mezcal that has been aged only a couple months.
We hope that this has been helpful in identifying the different types of mezcal as always we highly recommend going out with some friends and trying different mezcals. You can even have a mezcal tasty party at your home. Just invite some friends over to get some mezcals, some mixers, some music and let the good times roll. Remember it is always a good idea to keep an open mind when trying mezcals for the first time. As some people are not into the smoky flavor. You can find mezcals that have a faint smoky taste to a very bold smoky taste. We recommend pairing your mezcal party with a taco party. Have fun and drink responsibly!