Roasted corn | Light oak | Hints of Kentucky Cream Pull Candy | Dab of toasted marshmallow | Corn dominates yet is nicely complemented
Light corn syrup | Light peppercorn spice | Sweet sugars | Oily mouthfeel
Corn | White pepper | Dab of oak | Corn and light spice linger
When people think of American whiskey, they usually tend to think of whiskey originating in the United States. However, both Canada and Mexico are also players in the North American Whiskey market with the latter slowly starting to see more brands enter the market. Abasolo El Whisky De Mexico is the first 100% Mexican corn whiskey. According to the company, “The obtained corn distillate is matured in new toasted and used oak casks in an open warehouse with a light roof and no walls where temperature fluctuations and changing conditions provide a unique aging profile before Abasolo is bottled.”
When I first poured a glass of Abasolo I wasn’t sure what to expect, as the color of the whiskey was light straw, planting doubts that this would carry any flavor. I can report that I was pleasantly wrong on my initial judgment, as Abasolo delivers a unique flavor profile that works well both as a sipper or as a cocktail mixer. This is thanks in part to the type of corn used and also the process it goes through before and during fermentation. Abasolo uses only cacahuazintle corn which is corn that only grows at least 7,000 feet above sea level in the states of Mexico, Tlaxcala, and Puebla. Additionally, the company uses a process called nixtamalization, in which the corn is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution such as limewater, before being washed and hauled. All this is to say that the corn Abasolo uses is much different from that used in most whiskeys produced in the United States.
While corn is clearly the dominant flavor characteristic, it’s delivered in a variety of ways, from roasted, to syrup, to a more traditional corn whiskey flavor profile. This corn base is also nicely complemented by more sweet flavors along with a light white peppercorn spice. This corn-forward flavor profile may not be for everyone, however, I’m looking forward to seeing how this Mexican whiskey evolves as the company is able to put out more older products. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a whiskey with a unique story that delivers a unique pour unlike other whiskeys you may be used to, Abasolo is worth pouring a glass of.