Mezcal Tasting with agave expert, Ricardo, from World Famous Hotel Esencia in Mexico

Mezcal, is a little known and much misunderstood spirit from Mexico. While Mezcal comes from the same Agave plant used in making its cousin, tequila, it is a much a more flavorful, engaging, and complex spirit! Mezcal traces its ancestry to the smoky and spiritual side of Mexican life, made explicitly for celebrations like funerals and weddings!

My wife, Emily, and I met Ricardo Robles Flores during our recent honeymoon at Hotel Esencia, an exclusive, secluded, and romantic boutique beach resort.  Hotel Esencia is located about an hour south of Cancun, in an area called Quintana Roo.   Ricardo held a Mezcal tasting for us, which Emily immediately thought would make a great addition to Diversions. Emily and I hope you will enjoy the ride!

Part 1: An Introduction to Mezcal – Truly Spirit – ual!

Hotel Esencia –


Part 2: Differences between Mezcal and Tequila

Part 3: Tasting #1: Mezcal Vago

Mezcal Vago is an “ancestral” mezcal, which means it is made in the ancient method using clay pots for distillation.  So, you combine the underground roasting method of the agave heart of the espadin varietal, typical of mezcal, and the distillation in clay pots.  The result is a smoky upfront taste on the tongue, followed by a lingering earthy finish that is smooth, pleasant, and thought-provoking!  But you will probably only find Mezcal Vago when you are in Mexico at a very high-end restaurant.  Worth the trip to Mexico and Hotel Esencia alone!

Part 4: Tasting #2: La Herencia de Sanchez

La Herencia de Sanchez is also an “ancestral” mezcal, but while it is boiling in the clay pots, the master distiller adds quail breasts stuffed with indigenous fruits where it is cooked.  The result is a less smoky upfront taste that is more mellow than Mezcal Vago but with a more pronounced alcoholic “warmth” as it goes down.  This is an exceptionally complex tasting.

Part 5:  Tasting #3: Mezcal MarcaNegra & Conclusion:

Luck for you, MarcaNegra can be found in the USA.  This is a 96 proof mezcal that you immediately know when it hits your lips.  However, this mezcal is a blend of two types of agave and has a very floral finish and is less smoky than the previous two.  The result is also a complex and pleasant taste profile that is extremely enjoyable.   One last plug for Hotel Esencia – look it up and come visit.