Review – Ven A Mi Reposado Mescal
Ven A Mi Mezcal represents the first in a line of Mezcal brands produced by the Milagrito company. Having harvested the pina from the Agave of somewhere between 7-10yrs of age, they are roasted over hot stones in a pit covered with earth for a ‘couple’ of days. The roasted pina’s are chopped into smaller pieces and ground to extract the liquid using a horse-powered stone mill. The liquid is then poured into wooden vats with some added water for the fermentation process to start, resulting in a mildly alcoholic product called tepache. The tepache is then double-distilled in a wood-fired copper still before finally being aged in white oak for several months.
Nose: Relatively soft and slightly floral in character, this is a sophisticated Mezcal for sure. The oak influence combines well with a soft smoke skin to the dying embers of a camping fire. This is not a big-hitting smoky Mezcal at all and it is all the better for it.
Neat: The delightful thing about this Mezcal is that it delivers bagfuls of flavour as would be expected in this spirit, but with a lightness of touch to compete with the finest of any category. Light smoke tickles the palate, whilst plenty of herbal and caremelised notes ensure that this Mezcal will appeal to fans of many other spirit categories. A twist of lemon is apparent in the mid-palate, as is a dash of spiced fruit. This is a very approachable Mezcal but one that retains all the characteristic agave flavours to do the category proud.
Mixing: Mezcal as a category can be tricky to mix with on account of the often full-bodied flavour profile and heady smoke element. Ven A Mi does things differently, and the combination of barrel-ageing to mellow and the delicate smoking makes it an excellent choice for cocktail use; in fact it proves to be a versatile alternative to other spirits in a range of drinks. The floral notes for example work well in the Aviation in place of gin, the vegetal notes reminiscent of an Agricole Rhum prove to be a hit in a Ti Punch, and of course it makes an excellent substitute for Tequila in a broad range of drinks such as Margarita. This Mezcal’s subtle smoke notes mean that it doesn’t quite achieve the desired effect in many cocktails which use the Mezcal only as a rinse for aromatic effect. This is no hardship as it also means that it is versatile in many more situations. Perhaps my favourite however is the Mexican Firing Squad in which the combination of Ven A Mi, lime juice, agave nectar, pomegranate molasses and bitters (I like to use grapefruit) is just sublime.
Signature Cocktail – Cosmo Mezcal
2oz Ven A Mi Reposado Mezcal, 1oz Cointreau, 0.5oz Sugar Syrup, 0.5oz Lemon Juice, 2oz Blueberry Juice
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled Martini glass.
Ven A Mi Mezcal is a full-flavoured but lightly smoked and immensely approachable Mezcal. The barrel-ageing has integrated the flavours beautifully and has not detracted from the unique characteristics that makes Mezcal such a fascinating category of spirits. With a mix of caramel, floral, vegetal and herbal notes this is a complex and smooth spirit that begs to be experimented with.
Ven A Mi Mezcal is 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.