Our Grand Tasting will feature a number of special tastings including the small and rare producers tasting and more to be announced. We’re happy to announce the next in the series, Ken Taylor’s look at The Unsung Espadin. Just remember, only the Mezcal Lover’s ticket gets you into these special tastings so definitely get your ticket today! Here’s Ken’s description of his tasting:

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Unsung Espadín

The unsung espadín is such a common mezcal that it often gets knocked as boring, pedestrian, overly smoky, and samey from one to the next. But when you try a range of espadíns, you might find those criticisms couldn’t be further from the truth. The espadín is a workhorse: it’s typically a gateway mezcal as it works as a perfect base for cocktails; it’s usually the canvas upon which pechuga is made; it serves as the “referee” in an ensamble or blend; it ages well; and it can be quite beautiful and elegant on its own.

In this tasting, we’ll explore just how different espadín mezcals can taste, based on a few variables: how it’s made, where it’s from, and why it’s made a certain way.

Fidencio Sin Humo: To get a base taste for an agave-forward expression, we’ll experience this spirit that’s made in an unconventional way: cooked in a radiant-heat, above-ground oven. It’s brought down to 80 proof, and is often used for mixing.
Del Maguey Minero: Here, we’ll taste how the Santa Catarina Minas tradition of distilling in clay pots imbues the mezcal with more minerally characteristics.
Tosba Espadín: We’ll look for highlands terroir (examining what the agave is grown near and how it’s made) and explore the brightness and complexity of this new-school style.
Tosba Pechuga – What happens when you add fruit and fowl to the mix for this special seasonal mezcal? What flavors are brought out, what gets buried, what does it feel like?
La Nina del Mezcal Bacanora – What does a mezcal from Sonora taste like, as compared to those commonly from Oaxaca? Let’s explore how the terroir differs from region to region, and what makes this such an elegant, herbal, vegetal riff on the espadín you think you know.
Ken Taylor is a San Francisco-based writer and photographer whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, SPIN, WIRED, GQ, and other publications. He writes about agave spirits for Liquor.com