I was recently sent three samples of Illegal (that’s the brand name: pronounced “eeh-lay-gal”) Mezcal by the United States importer, Frederick Wildman and Sons, Ltd. My last experience with mezcal was many years ago, and it involved fraternity brothers, a worm, and empty spots in my memory. These bore no relationship at all to that barely-remembered potion. These new handcrafted mezcals were aromatic, herbal, complex, even floral. Three different bottles were sent and tasted: a joven (“young”), a resposado (“rested”), and an anejo (“aged”).
WHO: Illegal Mezcal
WHAT: Mezcal, from agave
WHERE: Oaxaca, Tlacolula, Mexico,
With more age and obvious effects of six month aging in American oak, this mezcal showed a light butterscotch tint. On the nose, it offered similar flavors to the joven. On the palate, it was more complex and floral. It opened with the same background agave and smoke, butterscotch and leather, but added very high notes of lavender and white pepper. The alcohol bite was surprisingly sharper than the younger joven. Recommended.
HOW MUCH: $75 (Media sample)