This has been a week not just of mezcal reviews but of reviews of unusual mezcals. Wednesday’s Weller cask-finished Chichicapa from Del Maguey followed on the heels of Monday’s Del Maguey release that saw the pechuga process tweaked with the use of Iberico ham. I liked that one a lot more than the bourbon finish. That might be good news for this one which is in the general style of the Iberico but ups the pechuga madness by featuring not ham or chicken or turkey breast in the final distillation but full on mole poblano. This is not a Del Maguey release but from an outfit named Cinco Sentidos. Their website indicates that they release mezcals made by small-scale producers. I have no idea if this mole poblano release is representative or a wild variation on their usual line-up. Well, I love a good mole poblano but I can’t say I’ve ever wished I could drink a mole poblano-flavoured spirit. But perhaps the mole won’t come through here as strongly as the Iberico did in the Del Maguey. Only one way to find out. But however it goes, for my next round of mezcal reviews—whenever those might end up being posted; I have no further mezcal samples on hand—I think I am going to go for more regulation releases. Recommendations for any such will be very welcome in the comments below.
Cinco Sentidos, Pechuga de Mole Poblano (48.2%; from a bottle split)
Nose: Okay, this smells like mole poblano. In fact it’s making me hungry just smelling it: there’s stewed chicken/turkey breast, there’s chocolate and there’s a big earthy, spicy note. What it doesn’t smell much like at first is any other mezcal I’ve had, including other pechugas. As it sits, lime and salt begin to emerge along with some greener notes but it’s the mole that’s still in the ascendancy. A few drops of water and it gets meatier still, if such a thing is possible
Palate: Okay, it’s much more obviously mezcal here with more of the bitter green notes and the lime, turning sweeter and more savoury as I swallow. Rich texture and not much of an alcohol bite. More savoury with water here too and it’s also more rooty and herbal now (gentian, sage, oregano) .
Finish: Long. The mole resurfaces here but there’s also more smoke now the more quintessentially mezcal notes linger as well. As on the palate with water.
Comments: Well, this is a trip. It’s kind of cool to drink a clear liquid that smells and tastes like mole but I’m not sure, frankly, that I’d want a full bottle of this. It doesn’t really hit very many mezcal notes for me—in many ways it’s like a savoury eau de vie in the European style with bitter roots and herbs. A fun one-off but not much more, in my opinion.
Rating: 82 points.