This week, we were lucky enough to taste Tres Papalote Mezcal, and we’re bringing you our unadulterated thoughts on it. However, before we commence, let us review the distinct difference between mezcal and tequila.

Mezcal: Made in several states throughout Mexico and from several different kinds of agave, which results in a wide variety in flavors. In Mezcal production, the piña (the remaining heart of the agave once the spiky leaf is removed) is roasted in an underground pit filled with wood and volcanic rocks, which gives it its smokey flavor. Then, the agave juice is typically extracted using a tahona, which presses the agave.

Tequila: Made in a much smaller region in Mexico, and only from blue agave. In tequila production, the piña is baked in steam ovens, and the agave is extracted by shredding.

Now, with that handy dandy info, lets talk Tres Papalote. This traditional Mexican mezcal is as classic as they come. From the smell to the taste, the DIAers had but one word to describe it: smokey. At first glance, the bottle transported our tasters from their 21st century american mindsets to the origination of mezcal over 500 years ago. When drank straight up, it wasn’t overbearing, but actually had just the right balance of smokey and sweet. While it would compliment a margarita nicely, these reviewers said it would be perfect for shots. Arriba!!