If you happen to be in Copenhagen right now, you happen to be in a very good place for Mezcal! Since 2012 when we got the first mezcal in to the country it has gone pretty fast. Unfortunately not the same for this blog. But a lot has happened the last few years. As this blog has been decreasing in activity, Scandinavian Agave Project (link below) has found it’s roots in Copenhagen. Recently we (The Barking Dog) opened a liquor store & tasting room(Shoppen), in the same area as the bar. This has become the head quarters for Scandinavian Agave Project. It also offers the most interesting selection of mezcal in Denmark. The tasting room is being used to spread the love for agave spirits, but more important than that to let people now what is going on in the world of agave right now. It is a very fragile business and it is important that we (preachers of mezcal) know who we are supporting and what they stand for. There is no reason not to support producers that think about the future of agave, and do something about it. With such a great demand for artisanal mezcal it is even more important that we know what our producers are up to, how do they treat waste from production? Are they replanting agaves for the future? And are they getting paid what they are supposed? If you do not have the possibility of visiting the producers themselves, at least demand to get all the information from your local mezcal dealer. We still have the power in he mezcal world, but how long will it be before major companies bring out the big guns?
Viva Mezcal! Salud!
Amigos y Amigas,
For a long time now i have lost the faith a little bit in the world of agave. for some reason I had a feeling that everything was working against my beliefs and that the industry was turning evil. For that reason I have been particularly active on this blog. The inspiration have been on a record low and all my energy I have spent at The Barking Dog. Which is fair enough, I expected it to be a lot of work opening a bar, but not to drown in it, but luckily I escaped just as my nose was going under the surface. I felt that I got stuck again, not sure where this leads me, what my role in all of this was, it even got to the point where I could spend a whole day without having a little Mezcal. Mental I know. I felt it was time to leave. Last time I was on holidays was in Mexico two and a half years ago and with all the hard work this industry brings with it, newly acquired knowledge taught me that it is needed more often than that. So the last three weeks I have spent on the beach with my girlfriend and a lot of Mezcal. Drinking Mezcal on the beach many days in a row made it much easier for me to put things in to perspective, and I came back a more relaxed man than before.
Upon my arrival back home a little bird had told me there was a surprise or two waiting for me in the bar and for the first time in a long while I was actually truly excited about trying a new product, butterflies in the belly kind of feeling, you know what I mean. The main attraction was the latest addition to the Ocho portfolio, but there was also a new Mezcal on the Danish market, Illegal. I have heard and read a lot about this, but never gotten around to try it sober, which is the first thing I will do after finishing this post. The basic range of Don Fulano is now available and Herencia Mexicana is if not right now in the basement of Juuls, it will be very soon. So much more about this later. The thing I have missed in Tequila lately is the power of the agave when it is un diluted. My favourite Tequilas have always been from the more traditional distilleries, and now I know why. They do not dilute the Tequila after distillation. It gives the Tequila a completely different character and power in flavour. Almost like the alcohol disappears and what is exposed is purely the flavour of the Tequila. However after drinking a lot of Mezcal which is usually at a higher abv, it is a little bit hard to go back to the 40% Tequilas. The become almost too delicate. Then I found Don Fulano 50% which has much more power in its flavour, richer notes of cooked agave, wild green plants and dusty roads. Before that the only one I knew was Herradura Blanco 46% which was far better that the export strength. And now the christmas present of the year, Ocho Anejo Cask Strength. Aged 18 months and 24 days and served at 54.4% abv this goddess of Anejo Tequilas explodes in your mouth and gives you the full expression of the agaves. This time from Rancho Los Corrales. This fills me with new hope and belief that the true agave industry will survive. The Tequila boom will most likely explode at some point and sales and promotion will go down. But we will see more and more aficionados within the category of agave.
This blog post was sponsored by a decent sized Del Maguey Minero. Salud!
It has again been a long time ago since I wrote something on my own blog. Been feeling a lot like that lately, I do so much for others and completely forget to have some own time, gather my thoughts in to something productive. We all have our ups and downs though, nothing strange. Something that is a bit strange though, is that I don’t really drink a lot of Tequila lately. For some reason it doesn’t seem to appeal to me the way it did a few years ago.
A few years ago I also just got back from Mexico, and I can really feel that I am lacking inspiration. It is hard to keep up to date with a ever-changing tequila industry from such a distance. All I see lately I pretty girls wearing next to nothing, representing yet another Tequila brand. How am I supposed to take that seriously? Or the story of a mythical donkey shining up in the mountain miles away, potentially carrying the best Tequila in the world, IN THE WORLD. I thought that taste was something personal and that it is quit big-headed to claim anything to be the best in the world. Somehow it feels easier to believe that though, than Barbie charmingly pouring tasters for a group of horny men.
On top of that Tequila keep changing distilleries, change owners and differ dramatically in taste from batch to batch. How am I supposed to believe anything that is happening in this industry now? When I can’t go there and see for myself? Can producers/owners not see that this is only confusing a huge market of potential new Tequila lovers? One week this Tequila is great, next week it is shit, third week different owner, fourth week a different distillery and back to being premium quality? Excuse my french, but WTF! is going on? It seems to be only about money, owners of a brand that one day are the proudest Mexicans in the world, next day change face and say something completely different. You are selling your national heritage to huge American companies, who will turn it into a 10 year goldmine and then what? Then its the salt and lemon all over again and the struggle continues.
Last time this happened, the producers were serious and could not understand why people would drink very well produced Tequila with salt and lemon, quality went up and people slowly learnt. But then what happened? Producers saw an opportunity to make a quick buck by lowering quality a bit and selling on the name they made for themselves, and after a while aficionados had enough. Come on who can honestly say that Don Julio is a great Tequila now days? even just a couple of years ago the juice was amazing! now it almost screaming for salt and lemon.
Of course there are much worse examples, but no need to drop them all. This is after all my opinion. It all just seems like such a mess right now I’m not sure where to turn. I still have a few brands I can trust, but for how long? When is enough not enough? I can’t come as a chock to you that when massive corporations get involved it is all about maximizing profit, they don’t care about the production as long as people buy it, and people will buy if the marketing is done correctly. Simple as.
Luckily for me I have amazing Mezcal around me at the moment, but I just keep thinking if I should start getting worried when I drink Mezcal, or suggest it to my guests, that if I drink too much it will get too popular and I won’t be able to get the good stuff any more? I think we shall all together stop supporting the commercial brands and do our best to get the real deal! It is the only fair thing for guest in our bars, friends and family. It is not very hard to demand better quality from our distributors, many a times they just need a kick in the butt and a bit of help.
Now I will pour myself some Los Abuelos Blanco, Lot 3. Because I can. Salud!