I am a recently "mezcalized" and converted tequilero of over 20 years. Like others here, I've made the trek to the motherland, been to some of the staple name-brands' distilleries as well as other cofradias of Jalisco.
I've had the good fortune of having some really great tequilas in my life, including high-end luxury drinks like Herradura Suprema, Porfidio Barrique, Arette Gran Clase, Gran Patron, etc. I also had the now defunct black and gold label Chinaco Añejo back in the day and was heartbroken when that one disappeared from the market. Most of the time, I would swim in the bottles of a solid blanco, Arette Blanco Suave, Don Valente, or the wonderfully agave-heavy nosed Don Julio blanco. Long story short, I've been living the tequila life for a while.
However, I was recently introduced to the trio of Metl 2012 Mezcals and I'll never be the same. Where I was initially taken aback by my first Mezcal tastings of several years ago, Mezcal is now my drink of choice. I believe this transformation is largely due to the nature of the Metl 2012 product.
One might say that Mezcal, because of its bold personality, is an "acquired" taste. That might be the case, but in the case of the Metl 2012 mezcals, it's not such a hard sell. The first mezcals I had were a bit too strong for me at the time. I remember that one of them, I don't recall the brand, tasted like burnt rubber, so I never went out of my way to try any others, as I am not a fan of any rubber taste in my drink. The Metl 2012 line, on the other hand, has the smokiness that one would expect from a mezcal, but the flavors are well-integrated without being overly harsh.
For Mezcal lovers looking to convert their tequila-loving friends to a new, bold experience, I highly recommend the Metl 2012 mezcals.
Of the three Metl mezcals, I think the Metl 2012 reposado is my favorite for a longer drinking session. I think it is one of the finest drinks I've ever had. The nose has an alluring smokiness, a precursor to the depth of flavor beckoning below. The orange rind and pineapple fruitiness is superbly blended with an oak wood smoothness brightened by notes of chile and pepper. The body overall, is very rich. with a deep, earthy complexity that I would presume to be a hallmark of any good mezcal. The finish has a very natural smokey linger and viscosity is excellent. WARNING: It is very easy to consume more of this drink than you were originally planning to, so if you are out and about, be forewarned, or have a driver designated!
I've also had the Metl 2012 Blanco, which is now my preferred pairing drink with a good, full bodied cigar (I recommend a cigar that isn't too spicy though). The Blanco also has a nice viscous body, with bright lime/chili/pepper tones. As one might expect, it is not as smooth as the reposado, but has a good agave core and is a good drink for pairing (e.g. goes good with a barbeque meal).
I'm going to have to post on the Metl 2012 Añejo Mezcal later, when I have some of the drink in front of me. I remember it as a very pleasurably complex drink and will need to refresh my memory before posting.
Here is an online outlet for these mezcals. Do a search for Metl 2012 Mezcal: