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

GSN Spirited News: September 29th 2020 Edition

Moët Hennessy USA is set to launch A Tale of Cake, the newest limited release from single malt Scotch brand Glenmorangie, in October. The 46% abv whisky was finished in Tokaji casks. A Tale of Cake’s launch will be accompanied by a promotional campaign involving cocktails and cake recipes by Jeremy Le Blanche and Dominique Ansel, respectively, to go with the new whisky and with Glenmorangie’s core releases. The whisky will retail for around $99 a 750-ml.

Brown-Forman has announced a new three-batch Bourbon release to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Old Forester. The three whiskies will each be at cask strength and bottled in amber-colored glass reminiscent of hand-blown bottles used in the 19th century. Batch 1 is bottled at 62.8% abv and is made from 46 barrels; Batch 2 is made from 48 barrels and bottled at 63.2% abv; and Batch 3 is assembled from 53 barrels and is at 63.4% abv. Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon is bottled unfiltered—only barrel char sediment has been removed—and will be available in limited quantities across the U.S. for around $150 a 750-ml.

Goslings Rum is offering a new limited release called Papa Seal Single Barrel Bermuda Rum. It was blended from a range of pot- and column-distilled rums that run between 10 and 21 years aged in white oak barrels and aged another two years in Bermuda, ultimately bottled at 41.5% abv. Only 1,500 bottles of Papa Seal 2020 will be available nationwide, each hand-labeled with its barrel number, bottle number, and bottling date. Beginning next month it will be available at select retailers in 16 states as well as online, retailing for $199 a 750-ml.

Edrington has announced the sixth and final release in the Macallan Edition Series. The Macallan Edition No. 6 is a 48.6% abv whisky made from liquid matured in both European and American Sherry-seasoned oak casks. Tying in with the launch, the Macallan has started a partnership with the Atlantic Salmon Trust to support efforts to protect at-risk fish, including in the Macallan’s own section of the river Spey. The Macallan Edition No. 6 is rolling out globally this month and will retail for around $150 in the U.S. Last year, the Macallan was at 268,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

Heaven Hill Brands has released a packaging refresh for parts of the Evan Williams family of whiskies. Evan Williams Black’s new label sports a richer gold color and a black and gold capsule with Evan Williams’s signature. The bottled-in-bond release features a green and white label that more prominently shows the higher proof and the standards of bonded whiskey; the capsule shows the tax strip designating the whiskey as bonded. Evan Williams’ flavored releases will now feature a centered label and the new bottle shape.

Minnesota-based Prestige Beverage has added Davidoff Cognac to its import portfolio for the U.S. The company is now rolling out Davidoff’s V.S. ($35), V.S.O.P. ($50), and X.O. ($150) releases—all bottled at 40% abv—in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, North and South Carolina, North and South Dakota, Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin.

William Grant & Sons has relaunched Milagro Select Barrel Reserve, the brand’s luxury-priced tier. The full line—Blanco ($40), Reposado ($45), and Añejo ($55)—is returning to market in new bottles inspired by Mexican architectural works and featuring an engraved agave plant and colors specific to each release.

Proximo Spirits has made former special edition Kraken Black Roast Coffee rum a permanent addition to the line. The 33.3% abv rum is made from macerating the brand’s Trinidadian spiced rum with coffee beans to create a richly spiced and sweet spirit, according to the company. Kraken Black Roast Coffee rum is now available across the U.S.

Sombra mezcal, part of the Davos Brands portfolio, has unveiled a new bottle design. The new packaging, which rolls out this fall, takes its inspiration from the vaso veladora, glass cups traditionally used to contain prayer candles that are common in Oaxacan churches. The updated design also includes a refreshed logo, copper lettering, and a reduced glass weight to be more eco-friendly. Sombra, which translates to “shadow,” is at 90 proof and retails at $35 a 750-ml.

Clase Azul Tequila has announced the launch of the 2020 edition of its Día de Muertos Tequila, set to hit shelves on October 1. The 40% abv spirit is made from a blend of Clase Azul’s Plata, 8-month-old reposado, and 5-year-old Ultra—aged in ex-Sherry casks—Tequilas. The 2020 Día de Muertos Tequila is a limited release and only 2,000 bottles will be available globally, retailing for around $400 a 750-ml.

The Dalmore has launched the latest release in its Principal Collection, a 12-year-old single malt finished in Sherry casks. The 43% abv whisky is initially aged for 10 years in American oak barrels previously used to mature Bourbon before finishing for up to three years in casks that held Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry. The Dalmore 12-year-old Sherry Cask Select single malt is now available in the U.K. and major Asian markets with a U.S. launch to follow in 2021.

Plantation rum has extended its portfolio with two new Fijian rums. Plantation Isle of Fiji is a permanent addition to the range. Distilled in pot and column stills at Rum Co. of Fiji, and then double-aged in Fiji and France, it’s at 40% abv and retails at $25 a 750-ml. Plantation Fiji Vintage 2005 is the first offering in Plantation’s new Birds of Paradise vintage collection. It was first distilled in triple column stills and aged for 14 years in Bourbon casks in the mild climate of the Fiji Islands, then spent an additional year in Ferrand French Oak barrels in the House’s cellars in Cognac. The limited edition is at 50.2% abv and retails at $80.

Chicago-based House of Somrus is adding to its range with a new Coffee Cream liqueur. The line extension is made with coffee and chicory, together with real dairy cream from Wisconsin and quintuple-distilled Caribbean rum. Retailing at $25 a 750-ml., it carries an abv of 13.5% and is rolling out across 21 states.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Backbar Review: January 11-15, 2016

downloadNew York-based Davos Brands, the marketer of Ty Ku Sake and Aviation gin, has added Sombra Mezcal and Astral Tequila to its spirits stable. Sombra ($39.99 a bottle) was launched in 2006 by master sommelier Richard Betts, who followed up with the introduction of Astral ($44.99) in 2013.

download (1)Heaven Hill Brands’ Deep Eddy Vodka is extending its flavored lineup with the launch of Deep Eddy Peach. Made with real peaches, the new entry is slated to roll out nationwide this February, priced at around $19.99 a 750-ml. Deep Eddy Peach marks the sixth expression in the brand’s portfolio, joining existing Straight Vodka, Lemon, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Cranberry and Sweet Tea.

download (2)Beam Suntory is introducing a new high-end sherry cask edition of its Yamazaki Japanese whisky. Made from casks selected by Suntory chief blender Shinji Fukuyo, Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 (48% abv) joins the brand’s Cask Collection, which also includes Mizunara, Bourbon Barrel and Puncheon offerings. Five thousand bottles of the single malt Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 will be available worldwide at a suggested retail price of $300.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily