One of my favorite spirits of all time, although oddly my first review so far, is mezcal. Tequila’s smokey cousin, which also can have a much funkier flavor, but in a very good way. Much more complex in flavor than tequila, and the Alipus Santa Ana Del Rio is a great example of a good mezcal. Mezcal can be intimidating to some, but once you train your tongue to get the taste of it, tequila will just not be good enough anymore.
Alipus is not a true distillery, rather they source all of their mezcals from small, independent producers and market them throughout the world. The Santa Ana Del Rio is made in the state of Oaxaca, as most mezcal is, in the city of Santa Ana Del Rio. This distiller makes an average of 800 liters per month using Espadin agave and is double distilled in copper pot stills. Grown at high elevations (around 1000 meters) in the small city with a population of under 400 people, this is a great example of a well balanced mezcal.
On the nose there is a lot of agave and a noticeable but not overpowering amount of smoke. Actually a bit of sweetness in this and a bit of a floral, fresh rain forest scent as well.
The taste on this one is very interesting, and well balanced for a mezcal. The first thing you notice is the smoke that is so characteristic of a mezcal, but there is a lot of sweetness in there as well. The floral and earthy flavor from the nose comes out strong in this one as well, with a distinct woody finish. This is surprisingly smooth for a 47.6% ABV, unaged spirit, and speaking of woody, it also has that strong tannin flavor that reminds me of some very bold wines I have had, I am talking chew on a piece of bark tannin. Overall a great tasting spirit and a perfect example of what makes mezcal what it is, just awesome.