Review: Tres Papalote Mezcal

Tres Papalote is a new joven (silver) mezcal, crafted from wild Cupreata agave harvested in Guerrero, Mexico, and chatted up by celebrity spokesman Cheech Marin. (Marin even chose the image for the label, we’re told.) Two other expressions of Tres Papalote, “Normal” and “Botanical,” are also available but are not reviewed here.

This is a bold mezcal, huge with smoke right from the start, a far cry from the “starter mezcals” we’ve seen a lot of lately. The nose offers intense wood smoke, heavy lemon juice (with grilled peel), plus notes of petrol. The palate is just as powerful, melding that wood smoke with burnt sugar, some roasted apple, and hints of green banana and papaya on the finish.

Throughout it all, the smoke, rolling and penetrating, never lets up. It’s readily detectable when you crack open the bottle, and it endures for a long while after you’ve finished a glass of the stuff. That all unfortunately comes at the expense of complexity, however.

That said, mezcal fans asking cual es mas macho need look no further. Cheech knows.

92 proof.

B / $49 / papalotemezcal.com

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