Not all mezcal is made this way, but the best is. This is the stuff that comes from smaller heritage farms, where each mezcal has been made its own way for generations. It's drunk to celebrate births and deaths, harvests and weddings.
Point is, mezcal's been through a lot. It deserves your respect.
The Scotch of North America
It's often referred to as a smoky tequila, and there's some truth to this. But in many ways, mezcal is more like the North American equivalent of Scotch: varied, complex, expensive, and sophisticated.
Mezcal varies from bottle to bottle -- there are some smokeless ones, and some very smoky ones. Most are strong, earthy, complex spirits that drink remarkably smooth, with minerality and a touch of sweetness. When you taste it, you taste the earth it comes from. You might find you love a mezcal from a particular village, or a particular type of agave.