Gem & Bolt’s unique packaging is no accident. The female co-founders of this new mezcal brand are artists, and they’ve clearly left their mark on the bottle—and more.
Gem & Bolt claims to be the first available mezcal made with damiana, a Mexican herb renowned for its healing properties and rumored status as an aphrodisiac (a claim that could not be confirmed by our correspondent at press time).
What we can verify is that damiana makes this a less smoky mezcal. Smoke still dominates the nose, but is less prominent on the palate. Instead a surge of flavors and textures arrive at first contact, starting smoky on the tongue before rolling into the center palate with spice and ending with a pleasant, faintly caramel sweetness. The subtle, medicinal taste of Damiana is present for the duration, giving the whole thing a botanical flair recalling gin.
It’s a refreshingly different take on mezcal. And although purists may want something with more smoke, earth and punch to satisfy the serious sipper, Gem & Bolt is a solid and nuanced alternative for when the situation calls for something different. For now, it’s only available in LA, NYC and Austin, so if you live nearby, keep your head on a swivel.
— 44% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★