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El Silencio Mezcal
About El Silencio Mezcal
While mezcal might not be ubiquitous like tequila, I’ve recently been noticing a larger selection of bottles in a variety of stores. And if you’re looking for an introduction to this uniquely flavored spirit, El Silencio Mezcal could be a good option.
Mezcal is the name for spirits produced in Mexico using agave plants. This might sound oddly similar to tequila, but that’s because tequila is technically a type of mezcal. However, tequila is only made from blue agave while mezcal can use one of fifty different agave plants. El Silencio uses the heart (piñas) of espadín agave plants which are then roasted to produce a distinct smokey flavor.
Casa Silencio distillery and luxury resort have sustainably produced El Silencio since 2007 in the Valley of Xaaga in Oaxaca, Mexico. Piñas from the 16 acres of espadín agave fields are roasted over volcanic rocks for up six days, then crushed by a solar powered stone wheel. The crushed agave then ferments in open fermentation vats before being distilled in copper stills.
❖ Spirit: Mezcal De Espadin Joven
❖ Distillery: Casa Silencio
❖ ABV: 43%
❖ Moderate Price
My Tasting Notes
❖ Color: Clear
❖ Nose: smoke, rubber, agave, vanilla
❖ Taste: sweeter than the nose suggests, vanilla, slight pepper, agave, rubber, smoke
❖ Finish: long, smokey agave
2 oz Orange Juice
2 oz Champagne
1 oz Mezcal
❖ Add ingredients to a champagne flute and gently stir to combine
❖ Garnish with an orange peal and Maraschino cherry
Other mezcal cocktails I’ve tried were variations on classic tequila cocktails, so I wanted to try a something a little different. While still a classic cocktail variation, this mimosa variant interested me because I wasn’t sure how the smokiness would work with the other ingredients. I found this recipe on the Casa Silencio website.
I love the balance of this cocktail, and it’s a fun variation on a Mimosa. The smoke notes from El Silencio mix well with the tart sweetness of the orange juice, and the dry carbonation from the sparkling wine is refreshing. I used cheap sparkling wine, but the lack of complexity let the smoke stand out.
While I have a few reservations about El Silencio Mezcal, it’s still a solid introduction to mezcal and a decent cocktail spirit. The flavor isn’t too complex, so it won’t be my go-to sipping mezcal, but the smoke, agave and vanilla are still well balanced. This gives you a feel for what mezcal is all about and also works well in cocktails. I really enjoyed the smoke notes in the Silencio Mimosa and all the other cocktails I’ve tried.
The main thing keeping me from giving it a higher score is the price. I see El Silencio for $35-40 in my area, which is a decent price for a smaller operation. I just wish it was a little bit more affordable since it really shines as a mixing spirit.
I also want to highlight how nice the bottle looks in person. I love the mix of classic and modern design in the label and there’s a cool embossed logo on the back of the bottle. I also appreciate the sustainability of the distillery and their commitment to making mezcal in a traditional way. I also did take a look at the resort they have attached to the distillery, but it’s way out of my price range.
As always, drink responsibly.