Oro de Oaxaca
Distillery: Licorera Qaxaquena Oro de Oaxaca
Intensely smoky on the nose and the palate, Oro de Oaxaca is one of the biggest mezcals around. If you're into the smoke thing, you're going to love this stuff -- it'll knock you down like you're firing up a pipe.
Beneath the smoke, there's a bit of fire -- some alcoholic heat, a touch of sweetness, and green pepper notes. Pleasant overall, really, with that smoke laced throughout.
Oro de Oaxaca is light gold in color but it doesn't indicate (nor can I discern) how long it's been aged, if at all (that is, whether caramel color plays a large role here). I wouldn't guess it spends long in barrels -- maybe a few months. What wood is here is washed out by the smokiness, anyway.
Oh, and about that little bag of chile: It's salt, ground chile pepper, and ground-up roasted maguey worms. Hey, hey -- come back. It's not that gross. The flavor is actually pretty good, salty/spicy just as you'd expect, and not too hot nor too wormy. There are no instructions included for its consumption, but I presume it's a substitute for the salt in the traditional salt-booze-lime shot combo. If you're the kind of guy that pounds his tequila/mezcal, well, you could do worse than having a little ground-up worm in your salt. That's protein, folks.