What are the differences between Mezcal and Tequila?

 

Facts to know about Mezcal

  1. Mezcal is ANY agave based spirit native to Mexico.
  2. Tequila can only be Blue Agave.  Mezcal can be made from over 30 – 50 different varieties some of which only grow wild.  
  3. Only 8 Mexican States are certified Mezcal producers although it can technically come from anywhere in Mexico.
  4. Oaxaca is the leading producer and Espadin is the leading variety found there.
  5. How is Mezcal made?  The aristian production method is slow roasting the agave penas (the heart of agave that grows underground) by burying them in volcanic pits.  Tequila penas are roasted or steamed in ovens.
  6. By Law – Mezcal must be made from 80–100% agave plants.
  7. Aging of Mezcal is similar to that of Tequila.  The penas are typically 7- 9yrs old and weigh 60-100 lbs.

 

Facts to know about Tequila

  1. Is a distilled spirit that can be made in 5 Mexican States
  2. Jalisco is the home state to the town Tequila.
  3. ALL spirits called Tequila –must be distilled from Blue Weber Agavso only one variety. Maturity of plants for harvest is 6-12 years before harvesting.
  4. Only the Pena is used for distillation while weighing 60-100 pds
  5. 100lbs of agave = 1cs of Tequila
  6. Tequila must be a minimum of 51% agave.  Premium Tequila is 100% Blue Agave,
  7. Aging must be in oak and bottled at 70-100 proof.

 

Tequila and Mezcal Aging Categories

  1. Blanco – Plata – Silver: Aged less than 2 months
  2. Reposado = “Rested” Aged 2 – 12 months 
  3. Anejo = “Old” Aged 1 – 3 years
  4. Extra Anejo = “Extra Old” Aged 3+ years

 

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