Tasting Notes for Los Danzantes Anejo Mezcal
Aroma: Herbal, mocha coffee and cacao nose with brazil nutty oak and faint wafts of smoke.
Taste: Sweet delicately smoked palate with great balance between oak influence and vegetal agave.
Finish: Dark chocolate and cedar wood finish with lingering delicately oaky smoke.
Made from semi-wild espadin agave harvested in the central valley of Oaxaca, the añejo is made from the same base as the joven. Production is entirely traditional, and very limited for the añejo version at only 350-400 bottles/year. Aged for 16-24 months in new French oak from Nevers and Limousin, and American white oak barrels. Beautifully mature, with plenty of rich flavour and a very long finish. Highly recommended for people who like to sip on good mezcal, as that is most certainly what this is.
In 1997, when identical twins Jaimé and Gustavo Muñoz wanted Mezcal for their five restaurants, including the well-known Los Danzantes in the city of Oaxaca, they purchased a small distillery housed in a traditional mud brick building. Working with Héctor Vázquez Abarca as both Master Distiller and production manager, and Karina Abad Rojas, a trained lab chemist, the team kickstarted the Mezcal renaissance and continue to push the limits of how mezcal is perceived and drank.
The team exclusively uses agave Espadín for their Mezcal production and once the agave are harvested (by hand), they are delivered to the distillery where they are cut, one by one, into smaller pieces and roasted in a below-ground fire pit, using mesquite for fuel. After roasting for three days, the agaves are crushed and juiced using a traditional stone mill pulled by a horse (called Sansón and who also loves to eat maguey apparently ), and then the milled solids and juice are transferred to open-top 300-gallon pine fermentation vats. Fermented with natural yeast for one to two weeks, the juices and solids are then double distilled in direct gas fired copper pot stills with the second distillation in a 300 litre Portuguese made copper pot still.
It takes 14 pounds of agave to craft 1 bottle of mezcal and only 100 litres a day are produced, that’s only 3000 litres per year. The Blanco is released almost immediately, while the Reposado is aged in French Nevers oak casks for 9-12 months, and the very limited Añejo for 18-24 months. At Los Danzantes, they aren't really fans of the aging since it makes the spirit taste too similar to any other aged spirit where the wood character can dominate, but they acknowledge it's a good way to introduce mezcal to new drinkers so we can expect to see more aged expressions in future.
Producer Los Danzantes Distillery Style 100% Espadín Reposado Mezcal Age A total of 16 to 24 months with 70% of the time spent in American white oak barrels and the remaining 30% in French white oak casks. Volume 75cl ABV 46%