Ilegal is named so, in honour of its founder, John Rexer’s early excursions to Mexico to buy mezcal from farmers and then smuggle it back up over the border to drink with his friends in the States. As hauling mezcal over the border became tiresome, combined with the realisation that there may be a market for the spirit outside of Mexico, John Rexer decided to go legit and launched Ilegal.
Nose: Sweet ripe agave and honey.
Taste: Vegetal eucalyptus with hints of caramel.
Finish: Lightly smoked peppers.
Overall: Very light on the smoke with plenty of agave sweetness.
Ilegal Joven is the perfect starting point for those new to mezcal, especially if they aren’t necessarily fond of the intense smokey character usually associated with the category.
If the person you’re buying for is a fan of the Ilegal Joven, you could also try Mezcal Meteoro or Bruxo No.1.
The literal translation of Mezcal is ‘oven-cooked agave’, the only real difference between Mezcal and Tequila is that Mezcal is not regulated to the 5 states, like Tequila is. It is predominantly made in the southern state of Oaxaca and unlike Tequila it can be made from ANY type of agave plant native to Mexico, but NOT blue. It is categorized from Blanco, through to Extra Anejo in the same way Tequila is and has grown massively in popularity recently. The production and ageing, all the way through to the bottling is generally the same as tequila.
ABOUT THE LIQUID
Ilegal mezcal is an artisanal mezcal produced in small batches, each bottle is hand-corked, labelled, and numbered. The fourth-generation mezcaleros who craft Ilegal use only perfectly ripe Espadin agave, double distilled in Oaxaca, Mexico.