Tepeztate Rey Campero Joven Mezcal
Rey Campero means "King of the Countryside" in Spanish. It's a gentle reign in this kingdom, one with a commitment to local sustainability. For each maguey harvested for their spirits, others are planted. This mezcal is made from wild tepextate matured an impressive 15-18 years at harvest. After roasting and crushing by mule-pulled tahona, it's fermented with wild yeast under open air. It is then double-distilled in alembic stills.
Here's the softer side of tepextate, with bursts of purple flowers, orange peel and pomegranate greeting the nose and palate. The back of the throat gets just a tease from jalapeño pepper and a sprinkle of black pepper, which are normally the dominant flavors of this species of agave, taking more of a back seat here. Sweet pipe-tobacco-smoke cuts in at the end and shines throughout following everyone into the long finish.