Years ago, I largely abandoned Tequila for the more complex, flavorful and soulful terrain of mezcal. Pasote is one of the few Tequilas I’ve tasted that reminds me why the spirit became popular in the first place. Pasote’s rich, smooth texture carries an abundance of powerful flavor, from exotic fruit and vegetable notes to peppery highlights and subtle minerality. That Pasote should taste like this perhaps shouldn’t surprise: It’s made by agave wizard Felipe Camarena, whose family has consistently produced the region’s best bottlings, from El Tesoro to Tapatio to Ocho. While it also comes in reposado and añejo forms, Pasote’s basic blanco needs no wood. Its clean, expressive purity and warm, rich finish of pepper and stone fruit is all one could ask of a Tequila.