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Madre Mezcal Artesanal Ensamble Flask
About Madre Mezcal Artesanal Ensamble Flask
Madre Mezcal Artesanal Ensamble Flask is the smaller bottle version of Madre Ensamble – an artisanal mezcal produced by the brand Madre Mezcal. Founded by U.S.-based duo Tony Farfalla and Stefan Wigand, Madre partners with local families in Oaxaca with generations of Mezcal experience.
According to the founders, Madre was first brought to the U.S. as a bootleg version in plastic bottles. Now a fully fledged company, Madre works with three main families based in Matlatan, Miahuatlan, and San Dionisio to produce the different expressions of handmade mezcal.
This particular expression of Mezcal Ensamble is a blend using Espadin and Cuishe agave, created by the family of Jose Garcia Morales in San Dionisio. The agave is hand harvested and cooked in a traditional earth pit, before being crushed with a traditional tahona. It is then fermented with wild yeast, and distilled in a copper pot still. As a joven mezcal, it is not aged.
❖ ABV: 45%
❖ Distillery: NOM-O191X
❖ Aging: none
❖ Price Point: low price
My Tasting notes
The nose notes of this mezcal were smooth and fruity on the finish. The aroma was complex and hard to pin down. There were slight spice notes in the background – perhaps cinnamon.
I took my first sip, and it had quite a bit of heat with a bright, tingling quality. The head feel almost made me dizzy. Each sip was sweet in the front, with a strong bite that morphed into a bitter vegetal flavor over time. On my third sip, I detected a sweet, familiar flavor that disappeared so fast it was like an episode of déjà vu. I tried and failed to identify it over the next few sips, though it had a marshmallow and fruity quality almost like bubble gum.
Although I didn’t detect any smokiness initially, I did notice that a strong smoky quality came out later that night, after the bottle had had a chance to breathe for several hours. I thought this was very interesting.
For my cocktail, I was feeling inspired to create a drink with guava juice, since the aroma and flavor of guava brings back lots of memories of summers spent in Mexico. I don’t often see cocktail recipes centered around this fruit, and I thought it would be a really fun way to complement the mezcal flavors. Hope you enjoy!
Sueño de Guayaba
2 oz mezcal
2 oz Jumex guava nectar
1/4 oz lime juice
1/2 oz cinnamon syrup
garnish the rim with a fresh guava slice
Add the ingredients to a shaker with ice, and shake until chilled
Strain the mixture into a glass with 1 or 2 medium to large ice cubes
garnish the rim with a fresh guava slice
I was extremely impressed with this Madre Mezcal inside of a cocktail. My first sip made me immediately gasp. I feel that the drink recipe was immediately elevated compared to the test run I had done with a different mezcal. Against mixers, a strong fruity bubblegum note came out, alongside the subtle vegetal and cinnamon notes. If you’re able to find fresh guava in your area, I strongly recommend including the garnish. I found that the aroma of the guava slice really added a lot to the experience.
Overall, I think that Madre Mezcal Artesanal Ensamble Flask is a truly special mezcal. The flavors really took me on a journey – both when sipped and inside a cocktail. I was blown away! This bottle gets an easy 5 stars, and I highly recommend it to folks looking for a good mezcal joven. Just make sure to sip it slowly, because that 90 proof is no joke!
I also really appreciate that the founders work with local family producers as part of a true collaboration. I was skeptical when I first saw that the co-owners are not Mexican or Chicano, but after researching them, it’s clear that they “get it”, and use the company to help support communities of Oaxaca.
My only regret is going for the super cute 200ml novelty flask instead of a full size bottle, because I’m already out of Madre! I can’t wait to try out the other mezcal expressions that they have available.
As always, drink responsibly.