Last night I headed down to Callooh Callay in Shoreditch, for some UK EXCLUSIVE Ilegal Mezcal tasting.
What is Ilegal Mezcal? Well it’s not Tequila, but think along those lines. I was excited to try it and discover what all the fuss was about.
We scuttled into the back room of Callooh Callay (through the wardrobe) and took our seats.
In front of us we had two large wine glasses filled with Mezcal. I took a quick sniff, it smelt very strong! Exciting times!
We then got introduced to Declan who talked us through the history of Mezcal and its origins from the Agave plant. Then onto the story of the Cafe No Se bar, where John Rexer began smuggling artisanal mezcal from Oaxaca, Mexico to Antigua, Guatemala in 2004. The bar has various rules, the “two shot rule” and “all the women must be loose” were two. We discovered that Mezcal was mainly drunk straight from the bottle and with beer.
Anyways onto the tasting, the important part. We were going to be trying three different types tonight, the Ilegal Roven, Ilgeal Repsado and Ilegal Añejo.
First up was the Roven. It had a smoky, burnt out smell. We were told to smell it from different angles as apparently it has different smells from where you smell it, which truly was correct. There was also a spicy note in there. As soon as I took a sip it felt like my mouth was on fire! But the more sips I took the more my mouth got accustomed to it. The Roven is unaged, so has the strongest taste I’d say.
Second up was the Repsado, this was my favourite of the three. It was much lighter and smoother in taste and didn’t have such a smoky smell or taste that the Roven had. It also had paprika notes which we managed to suss out! I could imagine having this as a shot or in a cocktail and not burning my mouth off!
Lastly we were poured the Añejo, which is aged the most in North American oak barrels for up to 18 months. It had more of that smoky flavour, but when drinking it more, it had an easier to swallow taste than the Roven.
It was great to experience Mezcal and find out a little more. At present it is available in a few countries mainly being the US and should hopefully be available in the UK in the next five months. If you like Tequila this is definitely worth a try!
The tasting was part of Callooh Callay’s monthly Tuesday tasting sessions. Roll on the next!
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