El Rey Zapoteco Joven Mezcal (750ml) (Elsewhere $50) SKU #1165041

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Tasting Notes

One of the oldest mezcal producers in the town of Santiago Matatlán in Oaxaca, El Rey Zapoteco was founded by Don Serafín Hernandez Blas in 1960 and is now run by the second generation of the Hernandez family. The Joven is gently smoky and full of complex citrus oil and fresh fruit notes.

Staff Reviews

  • Jackson Lee
    By: Jackson Lee
    K&L Staff Member
    Driving out of Oaxaca City on the International Highway, rows of agave plants butt up against towing mountains that line the narrow two-way highway. El Rey Zapoteca’s palenque imposes on the foreground and is unmistakable, clean, and inviting; easy for the curious and inquiring to pull over to the side of the road and enjoy learning about Mexico’s biggest craft spirit. While the group I was with declined the opportunity to explore the palenque, I was finally able to try a mezcal from one of the bigger mezcal producers (still producing under the “Traditional” designation under NOM-70) here at K&L. <br><br>Carefully approaching the rim of the glass with my nose, I get pepperoncini, spearmint, vanilla, overripe peach and raspberries, a little hot (thus the guarded approach), and low smoke. On the palate a mellow, soft texture greets your tongue, gently depositing flavors of sweet caramelized agave and smoked ham deli slices. Towards the end I get an awakening heat, which lays way to a tingling sensation on the tip of the tongue. A nice mineral brininess backs up the finish, leaving you with a dry texture and a flavor reminiscent of sweet rainwater.
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    K&L Staff Member
    The perfect place to begin to explore mezcal. This mezcal has an easy going nature to it. There is tons of fruit on the nose, citrus, pineapple, apples. The smoke shows up on the palate, but is easy going. There is a piquant nip to the finish that shows off the spicier side of agave and the 90 proof. It's tremendous value in a category that is overrun with expensive bottlings.


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