Los Nahuales is produced entirely by hand using authentic artisan methods. A batch is some 7 tons of agaves, yielding approximately 900 bottles. It takes a month.
Following harvest the mature agaves are delivered to the distillery in lots of approximately 7 tons, some 90 agaves. They are weighed and cut into smaller pieces,
The agaves are roasted in a fire pit, using mesquite. Roasting turns the agave starches into sugars
The roasting agaves are covered with a tarp, then by sand
After three days of roasting, the agaves are chopped into small pieces
The chopped agaves are crushed using a traditional “Egyptian” stone mill
The crushed solids and the liquids are placed in open-topped 600-liter wood fermentation vats. Fermentation by wild yeast turns the sugars into alcohol. It takes about a week.
The fermented juices and solids (tequila is less complex because it leaves the solids out) are distilled twice in 250-liter copper pot still. Half of each 2nd distillation is carried out with a 200-liter Hoga potstill brought in by Ansley in 2014. The Hoga’s conical hat and swan’s neck yield mezcals of exceptional complexity and finesse
Los Nahuales is bottled at some 48% abv. The 14000 lbs of agaves end up as approximately 900 750ml bottles. The reposado, Nahual de Jaguar, spends nine months in French oak barrels; the Nahual de Bujo añejo a year and a half
But in the end it all comes down to the profound gifts of the distiller, Karina Abad, whose talent has been enhanced by her unmatched experience. More