We’ve had a bit of a wait, but finally, Casamigos Mezcal is now available in Australia.
Originally launched in the USA back in April, the brand’s Mezcal has been described as “balanced and elegant”, offering notes of tamarind, pomegranate, banana and mango.
Now the brand name Casamigos will probably seem familiar, as it was founded with Tequila by George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman in 2013 and gained a lot more attention last year when it was sold to Diageo in a deal worth up to US$1 billion.
Following the deal, Diageo confirmed that the founders of Casamigos will have “continued involvement and active participation” in the future of the brand.
And the latest offing his their Joven (unaged) Mezcal, Made in Santiago Matatlán and crafted from 100% espadin agaves and bottled at 40% abv.
“There’s nothing like it on the market,” said Clooney. “We’ve created a Mezcal that is as good as our Tequila. Casamigos Mezcal is uniquely smooth, easy to drink and smoked to perfection.”
While Tequila is gaining traction in the Australian market, Mezcal is still relatively unknown. And while the two Mexican spirits are both made from agave, that’s where the similarities end.
What is the difference between Tequila & Mezcal?
While Tequila is a type of Mezcal, not all Mezcal is Tequila. In the same way that Bourbon is a type of Whiskey but not all whiskey is Bourbon, Mezcal is the umbrella term for any agave-based liquor.
Tequila is region specific and must be made from only blue agave, whereas Mezcal can be made from more than 30 varieties of agave. Both Tequila and Mezcal are made from the harvested core of the agave plant, otherwise known as the “piña,” but how they are distilled is very different.
While Tequila is typically produced by steaming the agave inside industrial ovens before being distilled two or three times in copper pots. Mezcal, on the other hand, is cooked inside earthen pits that are lined with lava rocks and filled with wood and charcoal before being distilled in clay pots.
Mezcal traditionally has a unique, smoky flavour that makes it fairly easy to distinguish from Tequila. It also tends to taste sweeter, or richer, then Tequila. And hopefully, with such famous parents, Casamigos Mezcal will pave the way for the spirit to be embraced down under.
What makes Casamigos Mezcal special?
It’s not just the celebrity aspect to Casamigos that makes its Mezcal stand out. The Mezcal is extremely smooth for an unaged spirit, lacking the burn and overpowering bitter or smoky notes that are often associated with the spirit.
There are fragrant herbal notes and aromas (mint, oregano, and thyme) layered with fruit (tamarind and mango) leading to delicate tones of smoke, hints of liquorice and mineral nuances that result in a long silky finish.
The smoothness of their Mezcal could be due to the traditional processes that the company have insisted remain in its production. The piñas are split and laid to cook for four to six days in six-tonne earthen pits lined with volcanic rocks heated by an oak wood fire.
Once cooked, the piñas are cooled for 24 hours before the crushing process begins. Depending on the season, the mezcal ferments for two to eight days before being distilled twice in copper pot stills. It is then allowed to stabilise for 30 days before mountain spring water is added.
Gerber added: “I think people will love our mezcal as much as we do. We have proven to never settle for anything but the best and are extremely proud of what our family in Oaxaca have created. The fact that their tradition has continued over four generations shows their dedication to perfection, and we are extremely proud to add this to our Casamigos family.”
Even the bottles have a traditional feel, as each one is handcrafted using a unique process ensuring no two bottles will ever be the same.
They say that Mezcal is a true expression of Mexico’s soul. There’s even a saying that goes “Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también.” Translated that reads “for everything bad, Mezcal; for everything good, the same.”
The Casamigos team have confirmed that there will be more Mezcal expressions to come.
Casamigos Mezcal is available through danmurphys.com.au nationally for AUD$89.90