Feeling adventurous in 2020? Take flavor to the next level with our glorious, 53 gallon mezcal barrels imported exclusively to Northeast Barrel Company from more than 50 different family-owned palenques (mezcal distilleries) across various regions of Mexico.
Forget about mezcal barrels typically aged with agave Espadin. Impress your taste buds with these rare mezcal barrels authentically aged with many uncommon agave varieties resulting in truly unique and memorable flavors certain to make your product stand out.
What is Mezcal?
Just a decade ago, few Americans had ever heard of mezcal, a Mexican spirit with an intense, roasted, smoky flavor rooted in ancient Aztec rituals and treasured as a drink of the gods. Today, you can call it the hot new trend in bartending though it’s hundreds of years old. Many could argue that there is no alcoholic beverage as rich in character, taste, tradition, culture, process complexity, and history as mezcal. It distinctly offers artisanal production, an authenticity narrative, and exotic, niche flavors.
Mezcal is the first distillate of the Americas and by far the most complex plant to be made into alcohol. At 40-55% alcohol per volume, it’s delicious to sip yet mysteriously leaves you without a hangover (well, most of the time anyway). But that’s only scratching the surface of what makes 100% agave distillates truly remarkable.
How is Mezcal Made?
When the agave plants have matured, mezcaleros (mezcal farmers) harvest the agave by hand, hacking away their woody leaves with a machete to reach the heart of the plant, or piña. Once it's excavated, the process is repeated over a hundred times, just to gather enough piñas for a single batch of mezcal.
To make mezcal, distillers dig a big pit, light a large fire, heat rocks over it, and then layer a hundred or more piñas over the rocks and cover it all with soil. The agave is slowly roasted in this earthen oven anywhere from a couple days to a week. This is the crucial step that gives mezcal its signature smoky flavor.
Key Difference Between Mezcal & Tequila
Production of mezcal and tequila occurs in different states in Mexico. Tequila is mainly produced in Jalisco, while mezcal is mainly produced in Oaxaca. However, both have limited production in respective surrounding regions, and a few regions produce both tequila and mezcal.
By law, Tequila can only be made with the blue agave plant. Mezcal is not permitted to be made with blue agave but rather it can be made with more than 30 different types of the agave plant, though the majority are made with Agave Espadin (accounting for about 90% of production).
Though Tequila and Mezcal are both produced from agave plants, their differing production methods result in different flavors. For example, Mezcals typically have a smoky flavor due to their unique roasting process. Some Mezcals also tend to taste sweeter and richer than tequila.