Our Tobalá on BBC good food’s best mezcal list

By Mike Gerrard – Drinks writer

Overall rating: 4.5/5

In a nutshell: A premium, well-rounded mezcal made from the prized tobalá agave, with a high ABV and complex flavour notes.

Full review of Gente de Mezcal tobalá

The tobalá agave is known for producing quality mezcals, but as it only grows at high altitudes and takes eight times as many plants to make mezcal as it does more common agaves, maestro mezcaleros – the mezcal distillers – are careful not to over-harvest them.

Aureliano Hernández, a fifth-generation maestro, is the man responsible for this tobalá mezcal from Gente de Mezcal. It was produced in San Baltazar de Guevila in Oaxaca, with only 1,200 litres being made.

The 100% tobalá agave spirit is clear in colour as it is joven (young or unaged). On the nose it has a definite smokiness about it, but that’s balanced by a creamy vanilla sweetness, with perhaps a hint of mint and other herbs. There’s also a scent of straw and earthiness, even meatiness.

On the palate, this tobalá joven is less smoky but still creamy, with herbal notes and a chocolatey richness. It’s a well-rounded taste with a very gentle after-taste, belying the fact that it’s a strong 46% ABV.

The perfect pour

Gente de Mezcal recommend drinking their tobalá neat, paired with a mole sauce or richly-spiced food from the Yucatan.

Read the review on the BBC Good Food site