Made with espadin and madrecuishe (aka cuishe) agave, Madre Mezcal was formerly billed as an ensamble, but now carries the identities of both of its primary agave varieties on its label.
The Oaxaca-made product shows promise right away. Initially rather sweet on the nose, with notes of overripe fruit, it finds balance in its smoky savoriness, with elements of salty roasted pork and some engaging maritime notes. Big and immersive on the tongue, the mezcal reveals complex layers of smoky, peppery barbecued meats, along with a chewy, sultry fruit note — again balancing its sweet and savory elements with aplomb. The finish feels perhaps a bit overripe, with some greenness around the edges that leads to a touch of astringency on the fade-out, but that’s a fairly minor complaint against a product that is otherwise a stellar example of a punchier style of mezcal.