Clean and surprisingly soft, Las Perlas is a sophisticated spirit. The lengthy fermentation, followed by small-still double distillation, fully develops the vegetal characteristics of the agaves. Aromas are complex and floral; on the palate is green pepper and melon, with a backbone of the minerality typical of slow-growing wild agaves. The oven adds a mild smokiness.

LAS PERLAS Raicilla de Jalisco: The most carefully made agave spirit we know of, by Santiago Díaz Ramos near Las Guásimas, on the coast just south of Puerto Vallarta. Crushed using mazos, the fermentation is 3-4 weeks; the top of the copper still is a hollow tree trunk, lending a soft moistness to the spirit: beyond ancestral. Wild and semi-wild agaves angustifolia and rhodacantha harvested, distilled, and bottled one batch at a time: about 650 bottles. Fresh, full-bodied, easy to drink. Scarce!  44% abv  $96  

LAS PERLAS Raicilla de Jalisco Chico Aguilar: Single small batch distilled from wild chico aguilar, usually listed as rhodacantha but more likely an unclassified hybrid of rhodacantha and wild angustifolia. The pinas are small. It took 21 pounds of agave to make each of the 216 bottles. Focused flavors: herbaceous fruit and a sweet mineral spiciness. Very well made. Scarce! 48% abv  $96