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Drinks, Night life

Tequila to wake the living … mezcal to wake the dead!

Jul 5, 2019, Author: Hello Joburg

Artisanally-produced Montelobos is an unaged mezcal Joven crafted from carefully cultivated, organic agave espadín (the most common agave type for mezcal) that are slow-roasted and small batch-distilled to achieve a perfect balance of sweetness, wood and subtle smoke.  

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Where tequila is light, sweet and delicate, mezcal is big, smoky-sweet, chewy and delicious – think cooked apples and pears, brown sugar and sweet potato overlaid with rich, meaty, smoky bacon flavours. Both mezcal and tequila are made using agave plants, but tequila is an un-smoky spirit very different from its ancient father, mezcal. Tequila is made only from the blue agave and produced in much larger volumes in mechanised autoclaves where the agave hearts are cooked using pressurised steam produced in petrol boilers. There’s no fire pit involved and the fibres from the steam-cooked agave are separated from the juices at the beginning, producing a very different flavour to mezcal.

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Montelobos is as balanced and approachable (for beginners) as it is many-layered and complex (for connoisseurs), capturing what renowned agave-derived spirits expert, Iván Saldaña, calls the “mosaic of balance and complexity of the agave plant”. Mezcal is a category celebrated for its artisanal craft and authenticity and Montelobos brings together Oaxaca’s leading craftsman with Mexico’s foremost agave expert to set new standards resulting a perfectly-balanced, complex mezcal that allows all the notes of agave espadín to shine through characteristic mezcal smokiness. 

Available from Norman Goodfellows and Makro at a recommended retail price of R599 per bottle. 

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Tasting notes:

Nose: Anise, banana, pineapple, green agave, asparagus and smoke 

Taste: Roasted agave, vanilla, peppers, firewood and wilderness 

Finish: Refined with mild, balanced smoke 

Perfect serve: Neat with a slice of orange dusted with red chilli salt

Try your hand at a Montelbos cocktail 

Montelobos Oaxacan 

Ingredients: 

50ml Montelobos Mezcal 

25ml apricot puree 

12.5ml agave syrup 

2 dashes of aromatic bitters 

25ml lime juice 

5 mint leaves 

Method: 

Shake all ingredients up with ice. 

Strain over crushed ice into a julep cup and garnish with candied apricots and a sprig of mint. 

Montelobos Spice 

Ingredients: 

50ml Montelobos Mezcal 

25ml agave syrup 

25ml pressed lime juice 

Method: 

Shake and serve short with a paprika and salt rim. 

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