Kimo Sabe Mezcal is a relatively new entrant to the market, first appearing in 2015 and then gaining some recognition this year for winning a gold medal and “Best of Class International Specialty Spirit” from the American Distilling Institute. The brand is currently producing three expressions–joven, reposado and anejo–each from agave that’s cultivated on site. Using a mix of traditional and modern techniques, Kimo Sabe cooks its agave two ways: one batch is steamed, while the other is roasted over an open-pit fire, the latter of which is ground up by a donkey-driven tahona, or a stone wheel. Those two batches ferment separately and are blended prior to distillation. This blend is distilled twice in steel stills before receiving a third distillation in a copper still.
We’ll begin with Kimo Sabe Joven Mezcal. The youngest of the bunch, the joven is full of fresh grass, earth and mild smoke aromas. Take a sip, and it’s more of the same, plus some citrus and a savory note of roasted peppers. There’s a layer of semi-sweet dessert peaking through. It remains smooth and easygoing, and finishes with sweet agave and more pepper.
Kimo Sabe Joven Mezcal is solid stuff. It’s missing some of the character you’ll find in the more traditional mezcals that skip steam cooking and are distilled in clay pot stills. But it’s smooth, well-balanced and a good intro to the spirit that should appeal to drinkers new to the category.
— 43% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★