描述 mezcal as 龙舌兰酒“烟熏”是对世界上最多样化的酒种之一的过分简化. While both are distilled Mexican beverages made from agave plants, 除此之外,他们之间的相似之处被使他们与众不同的因素远远超过了.

Where 龙舌兰酒 is produced in the state of Jalisco using only Blue Weber agave, mezcal production spans nine states 和 utilizes dozens of agave varieties. 虽然龙舌兰酒的陈酿是龙舌兰酒生产的一个重要组成部分,而且常常与品质等同起来,但在梅斯卡尔酒中,陈酿是事后才想到的,最好的酿酒师大多不喜欢龙舌兰酒.

Mezcal’s rich diversity makes it attractive to spirits aficionados, 但同样的因素也为那些探索这一领域的人设置了很高的进入门槛, 和 who may be hesitant to invest in that first bottle. 伸出援助之手, VinePair采访了一系列喜欢梅斯卡尔的行业专家,以了解墨西哥“其他”龙舌兰酒的一切.

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The professionals we consulted included Susan Coss, a mezcal educator 和 co-founder of the popular blog Mezcalistas; Scott Rosenbaum, a spirits educator 和 strategist for importer-distributor T. 爱德华的葡萄酒; 和 Taylor Samuels 和 Shad Kvetko, co-owners of Dallas’s first mezcaleria, 拉斯维加斯的阿尔玛工作.

梅斯卡尔酒是如何酿造的?

在成熟, 龙舌兰能产生菊粉, a chain of fructose molecules that cannot be directly converted to alcohol. Instead, the plants must first be roasted. This typically (but not always) happens in pit or stone ovens, adding the drink’s signature smoky notes. The hearts are then pressed to release a runoff juice, 哪种是用环境酵母发酵的, 最后蒸馏.

Mezcal类别

There are three legally defined mezcal categories, as set out by the Consejo Regulador del Mezcal (CRM): Mezcal, Mezcal Artesanal,Mezcal祖先. 每一类都规定了酿酒商可以使用的方法和设备.

Mezcal is the most industrial of the three, allowing high-tech equipment such as autoclaves 和 diffusers (for roasting), 不锈钢发酵容器, 连续柱式蒸馏器. 在光谱的另一端, 麦斯卡尔祖先的生产仅限于传统的和更初级的过程. 烘烤只在坑式烤箱中进行, 发酵可以在一系列容器中进行,包括木制容器, 挖空的石头或树干, 和动物皮. Forget fancy copper or stainless-steel stills, Mezcal祖先 distillation exclusively uses clay pots fueled by fire.

在实践中,只有少数商业梅斯卡尔生产商建立了梅斯卡尔祖先. Rosenbaum warns against the assumption that, just because the st和ards are much stricter, this category is in some way superior to the other two. 他表示,不同的级别纯粹是区分风格,而不是质量.

In other 词: There are good 和 bad examples to be found in every category.

美斯卡尔产自哪里?

The CRM currently allows mezcal production in nine different states: Oaxaca, 杜兰戈州, 普埃布拉, 格雷罗州, 米却肯州, 萨卡特卡斯, 圣路易斯波多西, 塔毛利帕斯, 和瓜. Upwards of 90 percent of the bottles exported to the U.S. come from Oaxaca, with 杜兰戈州 placing a very distant second place behind it. 在那之后,剩下的7个州贡献了约1%的梅斯卡尔出口总额.

Types of Agave Used in Mezcal Production

Before exploring the different agave varieties used in mezcal production, m6米乐下载苹果所有的专家都强调了同样的一点:制作方法比龙舌兰所用的品种更重要.

两个生产商, 例如, 使用完全相同的品种,但最终在他们的梅斯卡尔口味完全不同,因为他们处理原料的方式. 其他影响最终风味的因素还包括进行发酵的环境酵母和龙舌兰植物生长的条件, 从土壤类型到海拔高度. Much like wine, the beauty of mezcal is the spirit’s ability to express terroir.

下一个, m6米乐下载苹果还需要讨论物种和变种之间的区别——这是梅斯卡尔类别中一个非常令人困惑的方面.

The agave genus contains some 200 species, of which 40 to 50 can be used for mezcal production (per CRM regulations). 每个单独的物种可能另外包含许多不同的龙舌兰品种, 哪些基因非常相似, 但不完全相同.

These varieties are often referred to using non-scientific common names, 这就增加了更多的复杂性. 在某些情况下, one variety may have a range of different common names across the country, 而在其他, 不同的州可以使用相同的名称,但指的是不同的品种. 在这篇文章中, m6米乐下载苹果列出了最常见的物种,并列出了该物种的主要品种.

物种: 龙舌兰Angustifolia
品种: Espadin

Often described as the “workhorse” variety, Espadin accounts for somewhere between 80 和 90 percent of mezcal production. Espadin比其他品种的纤维更少,所以烤后更容易分解. 它也有一个相对较高的菊粉含量,使有效的酒精生产. 生产者青睐Espadin的另一个原因是它易于栽培,而且它成熟所需的时间相对较短(6 - 8年).

经常喝龙舌兰酒的人可能会注意到,从Espadin生产的梅斯卡尔(mezcal)中也有类似的情况. 这不是巧合:龙舌兰, 更广为人知的名字是蓝韦伯龙舌兰, is another variety of the 龙舌兰Angustifolia species.

While some may be tempted to favor other, 罕见的品种, each of the industry pros we spoke to warned against writing off Espadin, 或者觉得它不那么刺激. 罗森鲍姆说,他尝过的一些“绝对最好”的梅斯卡尔(mezcals)就是用这个品种做的, 而科斯则将其描述为表达生长环境的完美龙舌兰.

物种: 龙舌兰Potatorum
品种: Tobala

发现于墨西哥南部的瓦哈卡, 普埃布拉, 格雷罗州, 和米却肯州, Tobala是一种难以置信的稀有品种,它不能无性繁殖(不像许多其他品种可以有性繁殖和无性繁殖). Instead, it relies on bats 和 birds to spread its seed. Tobala需要10到15年才能成熟,并产生低产量的piñas菊粉含量低. 由于这个原因,它生产的朴实的果味梅斯卡尔通常非常昂贵.

物种: 龙舌兰Karwinskii
品种: Cuishe, Baicuishe, Madre Cuishe, Barril, Tobaziche, Verde

Most commonly found in Oaxaca 和 普埃布拉, the 龙舌兰Karwinskii species contains a number of important varieties, 其中最著名的也许是托巴兹切. Often harvested wild rather than cultivated, Karwinskii varieties are visually distinct, 厚, 像棒球棒一样的心脏需要10多年才能发育成熟. Karwinskii mezcals often contain herbal, mineral-rich flavor profiles. Kvetko形容它们有一种“白垩”质地,类似于高可可含量的巧克力棒.

物种: 龙舌兰美国
品种: Arroqueno

另一个罕见的品种, Arroqueno是一种视觉上令人惊叹的龙舌兰,它的叶子宽可达10英尺. In addition to its rarity, Arroqueno takes up to 25 years to reach maturity. It produces floral mezcals, with prominent “green” notes.

物种: 龙舌兰Marmorata
品种: Tepeztate

当它成熟时, Tepeztate sprouts striking yellow flowers at the tip of its quijotes (stems), but it can take as long as 25 years before this happens. 最常见于墨西哥南部, 格雷罗州和瓦哈卡州, this variety produces intensely flavored, 辣mezcals.

物种: 龙舌兰Durangensis
品种: Cenizo

西尼佐龙舌兰是杜兰戈地区最常用的龙舌兰. It also appears in Jalisco, 普埃布拉, 和米却肯州. Cenizo grows at high altitudes — up to 8,500 feet — in cold, dry conditions. 用这种品种制作的梅斯卡尔的风味特征因其生长的地区而有显著差异.

老化Mezcal

Unlike 龙舌兰酒, aging is not an important aspect of mezcal production. Mezcal production has traditionally taken place in rural communities, 和 the cost of barrels is prohibitively expensive. 但即使是现在, when production is much more commercially focused than before, 大多数梅斯卡尔酒的爱好者认为,桶的老化只会降低这种酒展示风土的能力.

这话说了,还是一样 Joven Reposado,Anejo 在龙舌兰酒生产中发现的分类也存在于梅斯卡尔类别中. The aging periods required for each style are identical to 龙舌兰酒, 和 some larger-scale mezcal producers offer Reposado 和 Anejo expressions. They remain the exception rather than the rule, however.

另一种更常见的老化形式是,酒在释放前存放在玻璃容器中. 被称为 Madurado en Vidrio这个术语适用于任何以这种方式储存超过12个月的梅斯卡尔酒. 传统上, this type of aging took place underground, 但CRM现在允许它发生在仓库或存储设施中,这些地方的光线变化最小, 温度, 和湿度.

玻璃老化允许缓慢氧化,而不会像在桶中那样蒸发. 这种技术还可以让酒慢慢醇化,而不会添加任何橡木的味道.

其他Mezcal风格

Mezcal de Pechuga

Pechuga是一种特殊风格的梅斯卡尔酒,传统上是为特殊的庆祝活动而制作的. 一个味, 再蒸馏版本的烈酒, 它的名字来源于在第二次蒸馏过程中把鸡或火鸡胸脯放入蒸馏器的做法. (Pechuga在西班牙语中的意思是乳房.)

当蒸汽穿过肉的时候, 就挂在沸腾的梅斯卡尔酒上面, 它赋予了浓郁的精神, 朴实的味道. 传统上,人们还会在沸腾的白酒中加入一系列其他调味成分, 包括水果, 蔬菜, 和香料.

如今,对于pechuga可以或不可以包含什么,并没有严格的规定. 著名厨师José Andrés曾与Del Maguey合作制作伊比利亚火腿佩胡加, while vegan examples 和 mole poblano-infused versions are also available.

As pechuga recipes were traditionally h和ed down through family generations, Rosenbaum points out this style should be thought of as a “special,但不一定是“最好的”,"一种梅斯卡尔酒. Pechuga was never intended to be sold or commercialized, 他说, though pricey versions are now available.