Prices are those listed by our Ukiah CA neighbor Caddell & Williams. At your local store, the price(s) may vary significantly, due to transportation costs, state excise taxes, and the pricing structure of the store and of the distributor.
Tasting Los Nahuales
The question we get asked most is, how do these mezcals differ from their name-protected mezcal cousins from Tequila? First, artisan mezcals are smoky because the agaves are not steamed in an autoclave (modern industrial tequila production), or roasted in an enclosed oven (like many small-production tequilas), but roasted in an in-ground fire-pit above a live wood fire. Los Nahuales uses mesquite, so the smoky flavor is pronounced, especially in the joven/blanco. Second, artisan mezcal producers distill the agave solids along with the fermented agave juice, whereas tequila producers filter the solids out and distill liquids only. For this reason, artisan mezcals embody more of the vegetal components of the agave, thus are noticeably more complex and, to our taste, richer.
The Los Nahuales mezcals are unusually well-made: clean and soft, with a lot of flavor. The reposado and the añejo have beautiful oak overtones from their French Nevers oak barrels.
Los Nahuales Mezcal Joven (Blanco) – $60. Bottled one batch at a time: from delivery of the agaves, it takes a month from delivery to finished mezcal. The mesquite used to roast the agaves gives the mezcal a light smokiness. Fresh, full-bodied, soft, and unusually complex flavor with a hint of agave sweetness. ABV is generally about 44%.
Los Nahuales Mezcal Reposado – $72. The joven mezcal is put into French Nevers oak barrels and aged for some 11-12 months The mesquite smokiness becomes focused to something resembling peat in an Islay malt. Clean, refined, well-structured, with a deep long finish. Elegant is the word that fits.
Los Nahuales Mezcal Añejo – $115. Very little is exported: we get maybe 350 bottles a year. 2 1/2 years in French oak. Beautifully mature, with plenty of rich flavor. Very long finish. Scarce.
LOS NAHUALES Special Edition no. 1 – $84. A one-time distillation based on two rare agaves: sierrudo, a very large and fleshy variety of agave americana, very rarely cultivated, and wild cuishe, a variety of agave karwinskii, which distills sweet and with great structure. It was distilled by Karina Abad, who is in charge of production for Los Nahuales, Alipus, and Mezcalero. She displays a beautiful soft touch.
LOS NAHUALES Special Edition no. 2 – $84. A one-time release based on a blend (at roasting) of two agaves: 30% wild cirial collected above San Luis del Rio, (a variant of agave karwinskii close to the agave cuishe), which distills sweet and with great structure, and 70% espadín (agave angustifolia) from a planting in the rancheria of Yegalache, in remote mountainous terrain an hour south of the distillery. It was distilled by Joel Antonio Juan and Karina Abad. It is focused, fruity, and beautifully balanced. Abv is 47%.