GSN Review: Sombra Mezcal

Founded in 2006, Sombra Mezcal has been handcrafted in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca, Mexico. Sombra is made from organically farmed, high altitude Espadín agave and distilled at the traditional strength of 90 proof.  Sombra is also one of a few mezcal brands that owns and operates its own Palenque – ensuring consistent quality, supply and environmentally friendly production methods. Each step of Sombra’s production, from fermentation to distillation, has been re-imagined to reduce its ecological impact while respecting artisanal traditions.

This fall, they’ve re-imagined the bottle, inspired by the venerable vaso veladora (candle glass). Originally these glass cups were used to contain Mexican prayer candles. The fluttering illumination of a bank of these candles adds to the ambiance of every Oaxacan church. 

The grey-shaded glass bottle is a nod to the brand’s name (which means shadow in Spanish) and the light smokiness of the taste. The refreshed logo and copper lettering represent the stills used in the distillation of the artisanal spirit. The label shape represents the brick made by Sombra’s Adobe Brick Project which is part of Sombra’s award-winning sustainability initiatives at their Palenque in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca. The Sombra Adobe brick project upcycles distillation waste to create adobe bricks used to build houses for those in need in the community.

“We are very proud of this new iconic bottle. It reflects a contemporary expression of our history and traditions. It fills me with happiness that the bottle is part of the adobe bricks project and inspires me to improve by helping more indigenous families and communities through it.” said Martha Jimenez, Sombra’s General Manager and Director of the Sombra Adobe Brick Project, she added “… the new bottle uses a reduced glass weight making it more eco-friendly.”

The new bottle was done in collaboration with revered design studio Sandstrom, which accepted the challenge to create the redesigned Sombra bottle. “The result is respectful of Oaxacan traditions and Mexican design where purpose, function and beauty are all part of the execution,” says Steve Sandstrom, founder and partner of Sandstrom Design.

Sombra Mezcal (90 proof)
Appearance: Clear. 
Aroma: Bright, high agave notes with a medium smoke patina. The nose has a rich, near metallic sensibility that gives it  a rustic and artisanal character.
Taste: Smoke driven with a saline presence. Nice peppery heat and fresh, well distilled agave fill out the roundness and meld into a powerful mezcal delivery.
Finish: Long, with the smoke gradually fading, while the peppery notes cling on to the agave. 
Overall: Really well done. We’ve had plenty of Espadin spirits over the years, but this one ranks near the top. It’s a mezcal that we keep going back to and sets a new bar for others to be measured against. Truly wonderful as a sipping spirit, or as the base for some incredible cocktails.
GSN Rating: A++

For more information go to: Sombra Mezcal

One thought on “GSN Review: Sombra Mezcal

  1. Pingback: Sombra Mezcal – Good Spirits News - I-SABIGIST

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