Review: Espadín Mezcal from Corte Vetusto

It’s always a pleasure to taste something new. Still more so when the chap behind it decides to bring a bottle to the house and tell you all about it. Even more of a pleasure to tell you that it’s really, really good.

Corte Vetusto offer a range of three hand-crafted mezcals, made by fourth generation mezcalero Juan Carlos Gonzalez Diaz. Espadín is the “entry level” bottle, if you will. But even so, it still retails from £58.95 (at The Whisky Exchange), which may seem at first glance to be a bit steep. But here’s what you get for your money: a double-distilled, bright, agave forward (that will be the espadín bit) drink that stands out from its peers by its being less smoked than your average mezcal.

This means that the creamy agave flavour sings through.

As David Shepherd, the man behind Corte Vesusto, explained it to me, it helps to think of the smoke in mezcal as something akin to the oak in chardonnay. It is something you can really over do. As a relative newcomer to mezcal, this hadn’t occurred to me before. But a mouthful of this brings home the point. There’s a clarity of flavour here I hadn’t expected, with a strange leafy-meatiness which seems to be distinctly of the agave. With green, herbaceous notes mid-mouth and a lingering spicy, almost cinnamon-bark finish, this is superior stuff.