Award-winning, family-owned distillery, William Grant & Sons, teamed with fifth-generation mezcalero, Don Abel Lopez, and agave spirits expert, Dr. Iván Saldaña, to bring us Montelobos Mezcal.
This artisanal mezcal is distilled with 100% organic agave grown in Montelobos, Oaxaca. The mature piñas are harvested and brought to a conical pit, or palenque, where they are roasted for nearly a week with wood and volcanic river stones. The cooked piñas are then ground into a mash (apparently by a mule named Rambo) and mixed with water where it sits in pine vats and ferments before being twice distilled and bottled.
The thing I really like about Montelobos is that, while it does not lack mezcal's characteristic smokiness, the smoke is not overwhelming and other aromas and flavors come though beautifully. Vanilla, chili, even fruit and (my all-time favorite descriptor) leather are all distinguishable. It's a really lovely mezcal to relax with, sip and enjoy.
Of course, it's also good in cocktails. To inspire the mixologist in you, here are the delicious cocktails featuring Montelobos Mezcal we got to try:
El Diablo (Montelobos Mezcal, ginger syrup, créme de cassis, lime juice, Tapatío, and ginger beer) not pictured
Oaxacan Negroni (Montelobos Mezcal, Campari, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, orange slice)
Poblano Escobar (Montelobos Mezcal, Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curaçao, cumin, muddled poblano chili, and fresh pineapple, lime, agave)
Lost Luggage in Oaxaca by Gaston Martinez (Montelobos mezcal, muddled pineapple and chipotle, honey, yuzu juice, chocolate mole bitters, and ginger foam)
Conquistador by Brad Robinson (Montelobos Mezcal, beet and cucumber juice, ginger syrup, and grapefruit)
El Diablo, Oaxacan Negroni, and Poblano Escobar are signature drinks at Las Perlas, so head downtown to try them out.
Montelobos is still pretty new, so check with your favorite bar or liquor outlet to see if they carry it or ask them to order it.