The house mezcal from the QuiQuiRiQui range. Produced in the village of Santiago Matatlan by third generation producer Carlos Mendes Blass in the family palenque. Although every batch is slightly different, it always kicks off with caramel and spice with hints of peaty smoke and a peppery green finish. QuiQuiRiQui means Cock-a-doodle-do and was the first UK-owned mezcal brand. Launched in 2011, it certainly woke up people’s taste buds and carved out a market for mezcal in the UK.
Nose: Caramelised agave, peat and baking spice.
Taste: Earthy peppers and stewed fruit.
Finish: Smoke and vanilla with hints of milk chocolate.
Overall: A spot on representation of a Oaxacan espadin mezcal is.
When it comes to mezcal, QuiQuiRiQui is unbeatable on quality for your pound. It is an excellent benchmark for espadin in mezcal tastings and extremely versatile, being incorporated into many classic and contemporary cocktails.
If the person you’re buying for is a fan of the QuiQuiRiQui, you could also try Montelobos or Bruxo No1.
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 añejo 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.
Mendes Blas Palenque by maestro mezcalero Carlos Mendes Blas.
ABOUT THE DISTILLERY
The mezcal is made by a single family and each batch is made to order. QuiQuiRiQui celebrates the family who makes this mezcal, so they never blend their product with other mezcals or lower the abv under 45 to make bigger batches.
ABOUT THE LIQUID
QuiQuiRiQui Espadin is made from locally harvested agave plants around 6-9 years old. The pinas are roasted in fire pits, crushed using a tahona then fermented outside in oak vats using natural airborne yeasts. After which distillation takes place in small alembic copper stills before being blended and bottled at 45% abv with no ageing.