All of this means very little absent the skills, talent, and knowledge of the distiller, knowledge and expertise learned from hands-on work at every level, handed from father to son to grandson: how best to plant and tend agaves, the precise time to harvest, how best to roast, how best to ferment, modes of distillation, adjusting techniques to suit the individual batches of agaves being distilled. Such understanding comes not from studying, or working: it comes from being.
A great mezcal comes from a specific culture, a specific social context, an individual pueblo, whose roots go back millennia, interlaced with the agave itself. This is a rare and precious treasure. Let’s not allow it to disappear.
It’s why great agave spirits exist.
COMUNIDAD NO. 1 BRAMADEROS A rich mezcla of 5 wild agaves, BARRIL, BICUISHE, COYOTE, MADRECUSIHE, and MEXICANO, with cultivated ESPADÍN, grown at +/- 5600 feet in shaley ferriferous soils. Complex and very clean: Alberto Ortiz, “Don Beto”, is a master of Karwinskii. Bramaderos, pop. 578, is at 5500 feet in Miahuatlan. The batch was distilled October 4, 2017. 731 bottles at 48% abv. $110 video
COMUNIDAD NO. 2 EL LAZO A lovely 220-liter batch of COYOTE, a local variant of agave Americana var. Oaxacensis grown from wild stock and harvested from La Casita, a steep hillside planting, by the distiller, Ángel Cruz Robles. This man knew his agaves intimately, Earthy, intense, complex. The batch was distilled January 11, 2021. 289 bottles at 52.69% abv. $120 video