Quiquiriqui Cacao Pechuga, Mezcal

Housekeeping note: I did not post the usual Thursday recipe yesterday. For a change, I didn’t have the post ready to go a week prior, and the days leading up to Thanksgiving got a bit too full for me to get around to it. I’ll post that recipe on Saturday instead. Here, on schedule, however, is this week’s third booze post: the final post in my mini-run of mezcal reviews.

The first two were both Del Maguey releases: the Tobala on Monday and the Wild Tepextate on Wednesday. I liked both but the Tobala more than the other. Today’s offering is not not from Del Maguey but from an outfit named Quiquiriqui. This is a brand based in the UK that apparently works directly with producers in Oaxaca—though looking at their website, it’s hard to tell if they work with separate producers or just one family. Their range includes a number of pechugas: one made with mole (a la the Cinco Sentidos I reviewed earlier this year), one made with coffee, and this one which deploys cacao. I’m not sure how exactly this is done: are cacao beans hung over the still during the third distillation a la the traditional chicken or turkey? Are the cacao beans in addition to chicken/turkey or a replacement? If you know one way or the other, please write in below. Anyway, let’s see what it’s like.

QQRQ Cacao Pechuga (47%; Batch/Bottle: Q4-22 203 -672; from a bottle split)

Nose: Lime and ham brine overlaid with darker, almost rubbery aromas that I assume come from the cacao. A fair bit of vegetal bitterness on the second sniff. The rubbery note dissipates after a minute or two but the vegetal bitterness lingers. With more time floral notes emerge. More savoury with a few drops of water but there’s also a chemical note: new vinyl upholstery.

Palate: Not much sign of the cacao here, to be honest, and it’s not as bright or fruity as either of the Del Magueys. A good drinking strength but the texture is a bit too thin. Some bitterness here too—more char than vegetal. With time there’s more of the lime. Let’s see what water does for it. It brings out more smoke and some sweetness and some anise.

Finish: Long. Spicier here with black pepper; the bitter notes have the last word. More lime here too with time. As on the palate with water.

Comments: This didn’t do a whole lot for me, and I barely registered the cacao as cacao. It may be that the bottle my sample came from had been open for a while but there wasn’t much depth to this on either the nose or palate. Well, this was not the strongest end to the week but I did enjoy tasting another round of mezcals. I’ll continue to look for opportunities for mezcal bottle splits.

Rating: 82 points.



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