25 May Exploring Bruxo Mezcal at Tacoteca Mezcal Mondays
What do you know about Mezcal? Perhaps you think of it as similar to tequila but with strong smoky flavors? That’s what I had thought. But, after a Mezcal Monday night led by Gia St.George at Tacoteca in Santa Monica, I learned that Mezcal is a ritual drink that was created to take care of your soul. It is used to heal the body, celebrate life and death and to enjoy the pleasures of life. And, that smokey flavor comes from overcooking the agave.
On the Mezcal Monday night that I attended, I was introduced to Bruxo Mezcal, where I met Brand Ambassador Irais Monroy. Bruxo is prononced “brew-hoh” and is a play on the word “Brujo”, which is synonymous with a wizard, sorcerer or shaman. By changing the “j” to an “x”, there is a connection to Mexico in the name. Bruxo Mezcal is known for “bringing to earth the complexity of agave flavors, the magic and the heritage of the master Mezcaleros and the “wizards” and “witches”, the Mezcal makers”, Irais explained, but it is also known as the mezcal that changed my mind about the category.
Bruxo Mezcal is 100% artisanal. There are four expressions, all made in Oaxaca. But, each expression is made by a different Master Mezcalero in a different community in Mexico. Each Master has his own technique and several types of agaves are used, including wild agave, but they all use the conical pittype oven, copper stills, and (often) two distillations.The bottles are labeled Bruxo 1, Bruxo 2, Bruxo 3 and Bruxo 4. On that back of each bottle is the lot number and the total number of bottles produced. As you taste through the four expressions of Bruxo Mezcal, you may find your favorite style and can then just walk into a bar and ask for it by number.
NO. 1: Espadin (40% ABV / 80 proof)
Espadin is a type of agave. This mezcal is elegant and soft with floral, cinnamon and cloves notes. There is a hint of smoke on the palate but not on the nose.
NO. 2 Pechuga (46% ABV / 92 proof)
Pechuga is a blend of two agaves – espadin and barril. The Master Mezcalero uses the part of the agave that looks like the breast (pechuga in Spanish), hence the name. The agave mascerates for 3-5 weeks. It has a deeper color than the other expressions but it isn’t aged. No. 2 has sweet herbal, citrus, fennel and peppermint notes. It is layered and both sweet and salty. By far, this is the showiest of the four expressions.
NO 3. Barril (46% ABV / 92 proof)
Barril is wild agave that takes 15-20 years to grow. It is richer and more complex with more spice but less smokey than No. 1. There are hints of nutmeg, buttermilk and flinty mineral.
NO. 4 Ensamble (46% ABV / 92 proof)
Ensamble is a blend of 3 agaves. The Espadin adds floral and pineapple notes, the Barril gives it a flinty mineral core and the Cuishe adds delicate green herbal notes.
Bruxo Mezcal will make you rethink mezcal. They are about passion and a way of living and the different blends provide a total journey for the palate. Personally, I have been converted.
Want to learn more about Mexcal? Head to Tacoteca the first Monday of each month for Mezcal Mondays. Each month Gia will highlight a different mezcal brand with discounted tasting flights. And, in addition to Gia, the brand ambassador will be there to discuss the flavor profiles.