It’s for the environment.

That’s what you can tell yourself when pour an extra glass of Reservas de la Biosfera, a new limited-release mezcal from Mezcales de Leyenda.

Reserves de la Biosfera is one of four new releases, each of which benefit a specific environmental or social cause. In this case, Reserves de la Biosfera pays homage to Mexico’s national parks, and a certain amount of its proceeds will be directed to the “conservation of regional cactacea” (the cactus family).

The mezcal has been made by the Ortegas, a third-generation family of mezcaleros. It’s made up of maguey, Agave Marmorata and Macroacantha, and roasted for four days in a lava rock pit.

It has a powerful aroma that can be picked up with the nose hovering a full three inches above the glass. It’s powerfully smoky, yet soft, and has a sweet, juicy undercurrent of ripe kiwi and mango.

On the palate it’s neither a smoke bomb or particularly fruity. Its taste is at first floral with a light layer of kiwi sweetness, followed by a powerful, mineral flavor that can stand up to a Muscadet. Its mouthfeel is dry, rich with tannins, and possesses an earthy, soily heaviness that acts like an anchor around the tongue. The finish is smoky but never overpowering, and plays off with final, subtly sweet flavors recalling dried apricots, raisins and fruit leathers, which help to ease the mouth-puckering dryness of its final mouthfeel.

Reserves de la Biosfera is an earthy, intensely textural mezcal that feels dirty in the best way possible. If this is what Mexico’s national parks taste like, I’m all for preserving them.

— 47% ABV
— $319.99

CE Rating: ★★★★

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