Review – Siete Misterios Mezcal
Siete Misterios produce a range of Mezcales, each one distilled from a single variety of agave. The agave are harvested at between 7-9 years of age, the outer leaves removed, and the hearts (pinas) roasted in a pit over a wood fire. The pinas sit on river stones and then are topped with Maguey leaves and earth to seal everything in. After approximately 72hrs the pinas are removed and ground using a horse-drawn mill and a series of hammer-like contraptions. Fermentation takes place next in wooden vats for between 2-3 days before being distilled in copper and clay stills.
Nose: The first thing that strikes you is that this Mezcal smells a lot more like a Tequila than most Mezcal’s do. This is not solely due to the very subtle smoke influence, but also because it is somewhat sweeter in profile as well. Plenty of citrus makes this a very fresh-smelling Mezcal. There is plenty of complexity courtesy of notes of fudge ice cream, petrol, and a whiff of clove.
Neat: This is a pretty salty Mezcal and certainly a lot less sweet than the nose suggests. A full mouthfeel with oily notes brings the still-subtle smoke to the fore, particularly towards the finish. Overall this feels like the lighter of the two spirits, but the subtlety it brings to the palate makes it a very approachable Mezcal for those who might otherwise be put off by the very characteristic profile of the category.
Nose: This is a much creamier offering, whilst flinty, chalky notes hint at an earthier profile as well. The faintest hint of rose and pear liqueur are an unusual addition to the mix, and like it’s Espadin-based sibling, the smoke is delicate in its contribution.
Neat: The smoke is immediately much more apparent on the palate than the nose, although relatively fleetingly so as the finish is more spicy and bitter than sweet smoke. Baked clay, spiced pears and agave give a feeling of sweetness to this Mezcal which is extraorinarily rounded with plenty of caramel, vanilla and almost a hint of oak, although this has not been aged.
Mixing: Neither of these Mezcales are the smoky monsters that are often associated with the category, but this is no weakness. In fact, it makes them much more versatile and there is plenty else going on in the flavour department. With the Espadin being the lighter of the two, it does benefit from a more delicate touch and the addition of liberal amounts of citrus in drinks such as the Mezcal Margarita are just a bit too much. This is not to say that you should avoid citrus altogether; taking the place of gin in the Last Word for example,the improved balance of sweet and sour brings out the herbal elements of the Mezcal to bring an extra dimension an already excellent drink. Equally the Espadin is beautiful with tonic, highlighting floral and vegetal flavours. Together, these drinks are enough to make you ditch the gin bottle. The Barril by contrast deliver wonderful notes of chocolate and grapefruit as it dilutes in a cocktail. Taking the place of rum in the Mulata Daiquiri, it is fantastically deeply flavoured. This savoury element combined with the sour grapefruit makes it work exceptionally well in sweeter cocktails such as an Oaxaca Old Fashioned. Perhaps the biggest strength of these two Mezcales is that they are both flavoursome but sufficiently flexible so as to work in a range of cocktails. There are few cocktails made with white spirits that aren’t worth a go with these Mezcales in place of the usual spirit.
Siete Misterios Mezcales offer a fascinating insight into the effect of different Maguey on the final spirit. Although both sufficiently different to warrant exploration together, they both sit at the lighter end of the flavour profile, making them versatile and forgiving cocktail ingredients.
Siete Misterios Mezcales are available to buy from Master of Malt.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.