A few months ago I bought a bottle of Monte Alban, pretty much the most popular, well-know, and widely available authentic mezcal. That does NOT mean it is the best tasting. I reviewed Los Danzantes previously, which is considerably better. I am 100% certain that the major appeal with drinkers is that there is an agave worm (grub) in the bottom of the bottle. Hell, that's exactly why I bought this bottle instead of a better quality one. You have to try things at least once!
Now Monte Alban, like I said, is not the best mezcal. It's actually fairly bland and unremarkable. It is at least reasonably smooth for being kind of lame. It comes with a packet of spiced salt, kind of limey, kind of like chili powder. I guess that's for if you're doing the whole lick the salt off your hand shit. Well, that's dumb.
Anyway, For those of you who don't know, mezcal is NOT tequila. It's made from a type of agave similar to tequila, sure. But, it's a different sub-species of plant. In addition, mezcal has a smokier flavor from being roasted over mesquite. It would be almost like mixing a few drops of some smoky Islay Scotch in with your tequila. Well, kind of.
So, over several weeks I drank my bottle of Monte Alban down here and there, having my mezcal over a couple ice cubes or neat, because that's just how I roll. When it only had 1/3 left, I took it camping with my wife and kids, and a bunch of the family. They repeatedly talked about how the worm was going to be slippery and gooey, so that's what I mentally prepared myself for. One night sitting around the campfire, I was the only person drinking mezcal. Straight from the bottle... like a badass. Okay, so I don't even remember if anyone else was even drinking at all, let alone straight from a fifth of liquor. I probably looked like a drunk. My sister-in-law had a brilliant idea of me holding the worm between my lips so she could take a picture of what a dumbass I am. So, when I got reasonably close to the worm, I just went for it. I chugged that stuff down. Then I felt the worm in my mouth and tried to put it between my lips, poking out like a little shriveled cigarette. But guess what?! That son of a bitch was NOT slippery and gooey like I had been told! It was tough and leathery, and had these little prickly feet bastards that poked into my tongue! Damn it! Not what I was expecting at all! The huge change in texture from what I was expecting freaked me the Hell out and I hurried and swallowed that stupid piece of shit worm. God damn.
Later I saw the picture of me with the worm between my lips. I looked like a little bitch. No joke. I should have chewed that bastard up like a tough guy. Oh well. Maybe next time. Gotta try everything once.
So yeah, that's Monte Alban mezcal.