This is silky-smooth and ready to drink now. Very Highly Recommended (96-98).
Editors' note: To close 2011, Palate Press: The online wine magazine will be featuring some of our top stories from the past year. Our second piece comes from Paul Mabray, Chief Strategy Officer of VinTank: Digital Think Tank for the Wine Industry, highlighting the most promising mobile wine apps by category.
One thing is certain about Natalie MacLean: she can sure spin a yarn. Unquenchable, the latest book by this popular Canadian author with a keen sense of self-promotion and a remarkable level of energy, is full of entertaining stories.
A huge leap up, this was a fine sipping liquor, one that would fare well against fine whiskeys and bourbons. The color was darker, not quite bourbon, more like rye, from three years in a blend of French and American oak. The nose was incredibly soft, like butterscotch and leather. On the palate there was smoke, burnt butter, toasty wood, and a flavor captured by the description "the browned, but not quite blackened, part of a toasted marshmallow." The finish was very long, lingering and changing, adding white pepper and lavender. It was absolutely silky smooth, without the hint of a bite. Very highly recommended.
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.
The color was clear. It was surprisingly aromatic on the nose, with leather, toasted coconut, and an impressive amount of herbs, particularly sage and marjoram, coming through, not at all overwhelmed by the alcohol. Flavors were very different from the nose. There was no hiding the agave as the base flavor, with plenty of smoke, but it also had loads of butterscotch and white pepper. It was very smooth, with no harsh alcohol burn, and a pleasant slightly thick mouth feel. Highly recommended.