If you have ever been to Mexico, especially in the Oaxaca region, then you might have heard of or come across Ojo de Tigre mezcal. In this article, we'll talk about the history, production process and types of mezcal Ojo De Tigre.
Ojo de Tigre mezcal has been the talk of the town over the years, following its high quality that lures drinkers to empty their pockets. Its complexity makes it something that everyone in Mexico would want to taste and enjoy with or without company. So, where did it all begin? Let's find out.
Ojo de Tigre Mezcal History
Ojo de Tigre (Tiger's Eye), is a brand new mezcal produced at Case Lumbre’s master distillers, who are also the producers of Montelobos Mezcal. This mezcal is smooth and complex, following its artisanal and handcrafted production process. Case Lumbre produces its mezcals with provenance. That's the reason behind the quality of its spirits, such as Montelobos, Ancho Reyes, Nixta Corn, and Abasolo Whisky.
The co-founder of Ojo de Tigre mezcal, Luis Gerardo Méndez is a Mexican film star. He features in Netflix's comedy series Club de Cuervos and Murder Mystery, where he acts alongside Jennifer Anniston. He is an advocate of mezcals and has introduced this historic drink into the new generation of spirits.
The production of Ojo de Tigre mezcal involves two agave varieties. Espadin grows in Oaxaca, which is the heart of the mezcal region in Mexico. Tobala, on the other hand, grows in Oaxaca's neighboring state Puebla. The growing of these two cultivated agaves is 100% sustainable, and each of them has unique characteristics.
Espadin has herbal notes with citrus and fruity hints that blend well with the umami and earthy flavors of agave Tobala. These characteristics blend in to form a product with citrus, lemongrass, and green apple notes during the production process. Cocoa and cooked agave subtle hints wrap up the notes with a smooth and balanced profile.
The collaboration of Pernod Ricard with this mezcal is playing a significant role in its expansion in the fast-growing market. The partnership means that Ojo de Tigre will become part of the portfolio of Pernod Ricard under the 'Transform and Accelerate' scheme. Pernod Ricard launched this portfolio in 2018, intending to invest in profitable growth.
According to the company, Ojo de Tigre has grown enormously and has become popular with consumers and bartenders.
Ojo de Tigre bottles are unique, following the inspirations from the historic amulet flasks.
The first stage of production is the harvesting of the mature agaves. For Espadin, maturity takes seven years, while for Tobala, it takes 14 years. While harvesting, the team removes the stalks (Jima), leaving behind the agave heart.
At the point of harvesting, the sugars are not yet fermentable or digestible, and this is why they have to undergo roasting. The team roasts them in underground pits before they proceed for grinding. They use stone ovens filled with burning oak and pinewood and cover the oven with leaves or mat and earth. The cooking takes place for about one week, which is the reason behind the smoky notes of the mezcal.
The team uses machetes to shred the hearts of the agaves before grinding them using tahona. The tahona crushes the cooked agaves into sugar, fiber paste (must), and some liquid. Ojo de Tigre keeps heed to the traditions of the mezcal regions throughout the production process.
After grinding, the team takes the 'must' into fermentation vats made of sustainable wood. They fill the vats with water, and then the fermentation begins. Ojo de Tigre uses wild or natural fermentation without adding cultured yeasts. The fermentation process proceeds for about ten days, after which the resulting alcohol proceeds for distillation.
Both the fiber and the liquid undergo distillation, and Ojo de Tigre undergoes two distillations inside copper stills. After distilling the liquid for several days, the team bottles the mezcal ready for distribution.
Types of Ojo de Tigre Mezcal
Ojo de Tigre Joven
Ojo de Tigre Joven is a product of maguey Tobala from Puebla and maguey Espadín from Oaxaca. The production of this mezcal involves cooking the agaves in underground pit ovens, milling the roasted agaves using a tahona, and double distilling inside a copper alembic still. Its production takes place in Tlacolula De Matamoros, Oaxaca by Casa Ausencio León. The mezcal has toasted spice, and apple blossom flavors with fresh herbs, cooked agave, and tangy kiwi sweetness wrapped up with subtle smoke.
Ojo de Tigre Reposado
Similarly, Ojo de Tigre Reposado is a product of agaves Tobala and Espadin. However, unlike Ojo de Tigre Joven, this mezcal undergoes aging in wooden barrels after roasting, crushing, and distillation. Aging is responsible for the golden color of the mezcal. Its production also takes place in Tlacolula De Matamoros, Oaxaca by producer Casa Ausencio León. This mezcal is outstanding for its citrus, smoked cocoa, and fruity notes with light touches of cooked agave and cucumber.
Why Choose Ojo de Tigre Mezcal
Ojo de Tigre mezcal has an ABV of 37% which is lower than most mezcals. The lower ABV makes the mezcal easier to drink and lighter; this makes it the best drink for first-timers. Familiarise your tastebuds with the taste of this mezcal if you are looking to have an exciting experience. If you are a beginner, our tips on how to get the best out of mezcal would definitely do you some good.
Ojos de Tigre is a sophisticated, joyful, and vibrant mezcal. The drink is subtle and warming, and it does not overwhelm the drinker. You can either serve it straight or mix it in a cocktail.