Located at an altitude of 7,800 feet in the Jilotepec de Molina Enriquez region, Mexico, the Destilería y Bodega Abasolo is the first purpose-built craft whisky distillery in Mexico devoted fully to Mexican whisky. Built on a property that was originally used for planting and drying corn, every element of the Abasolo distillery is meant to reinforce and reinvent the ancient tradition and contemporary craft that is part of the Abasolo whisky-making process and inherent in contemporary Mexican culture whilst also maintaining the “Alma de la Tierra”. Their flagship whisky Abosolo, is made from 100% Non-GMO Mexican Cacahuazintle (kaka • wha • SINT • lay) corn, which has gone through nixtamalization, a 4,000-year-old traditional process. To date the distillery produces only two products, Abasolo Mexican Ancestral Corn Whisky, and Nixta Licor de Elote which a corn liqueur made using the same ancestral corn spirit sweetened with clarified sweet wort.

Launched in the midst of the 2020 Covid- 19 Pandemic, Abasolo Mexican Corn Whisky is the flagship product of the Destilería y Bodega Abasolo, located at an altitude of 7,800 feet in the Jilotepec de Molina Enriquez region of Mexico. Separating itself from corn whiskies produced in other regions of the world, this whisky is made using made from 100% Non-GMO Mexican Cacahuazintle corn, which has been cultivated and passed down for more than 200 generations by local farmers and is sourced entirely from three local farms which the company buys from directly. The corn goes through nixtamalization, a 4,000-year-old traditional process involving soaking and cooking the corn in a lime bath before washing and hulling the grain. The nixtamalized corn is then roasted in an adapted coffee roaster for about 4 hours, milled on site in a stone tortilla mill, before being mashed following the addition of a small portion of malted corn – making it a 100% corn recipe. The aim of this slow process is to honour tradition and also bring out more of the corn’s natural flavours in the absence of a longer aging process. The corn is then fermented for 5 days, double pot distilled, and matured for 24 months, mostly in a mix of new toasted and predominantly used oak casks in an open warehouse with a light roof and no walls.

Vital Stats:

Name: Abasolo Mexican Whisky
Age: NAS but known to be approximately 24 months
Proof: 86 Proof (43% ABV)
Type: Mexican 100% corn whisky
Mashbill: 100% malted and unmalted Cacahuazintle corn
Producer: Destilería y Bodega Abasolo, Mexico
Website: https://www.abasolowhisky.com/en/home/#overview
Glassware: Glencairn

Review

Nose: The nose opens with sweet notes of thick corn, honey, faint pine notes, peppery spice, and ethanol.

Palate: The palate opens with notes of cooked corn, forest honey, ethanol, and faint peppery spice that gets increasingly herbaceous/grassy as you roll it around your tongue. The longer you chew the grassier it gets.

Finish: The finish opens with lingering spice, corn notes, and ethanol that fades into a faintly grassy aftertaste.

Overall 

This promised a 100% corn whisky and that is exactly what it delivered. On the nose, palate, and finish, corn is the unmistakable dominant note coming through alongside some secondary notes. By corn I don’t mean the flavours you would associate with yellow sweet corn. Instead, I’m referring to the flavours and smells associated with corn tortillas or something similar that’s used in authentic mexican food or dishes made with maize meal. There’s also a faint hint of honey sweetness which I assume comes from the fact that the corn still has some sugar in it and this carries over to the final product. 

At present this is a very young whisky which carries all the expected hallmarks of this: it’s grain heavy, there’s a touch of grassiness coming from the barrels they’re ageing it in for two years, and the impact of the ethanol is still very present on the overall flavour profile. For me it’s easy to taste the potential for something amazing once it has been given the time to age longer.

In its current form, it delivers on Abasolo’s wish to produce a whisky that offers a quality representation of their unique corn strain and production techniques but thinking of older variations coming down the line fill me with hope for the future of this brand. This is very much a unique product. I love that it comes from Mexico’s only purpose built whisky distillery (as opposed to a Mezcal distillery producing whisky) and admire the care and effort which has gone into making it as authentically Mexican as possible. Although there are a small number of Mexican whiskies on the US market, this is the first whisky of its kind in the UK market and thus makes it the sole introduction to the category of Mexican whisky at present. Keeping this in mind, it’s definitely worth a look from those who already enjoy American whiskies and are looking to expand their palates beyond US products.

Try or Buy?

This has a SRP of around £35 in the UK which puts it in a category where it’s really affordable to anyone who wants to try it. If you like the sound of a craft Mexican whisky then I’d recommend it as something to try neat or even add to your favourite cocktails to add a unique flavour element!

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Before you go…

Before you go…

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2 Replies to “Abasolo Mexican Corn Whisky Review”

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