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 47%.
“richer and more complex than most” – TEQUILA.NET
“very tasty! light hint of pepper and spice. Bold full vanilla flavor. Mild heat and mellow from start to finish. So easy to consume. The nose is fruit and vanilla. These folks make a wonderful mezcal at a great price. Top quality.” – MEZCAL REVIEWS
“Abundant herbal and citrus flavors… clean and crisp taste” – AGAVE SOCIETY
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.
“Absolutely delicious liquid. The quality of these bottles is sky-high” – Josh Zie, WHISKY REVIEW
“Brilliant straw yellow in color with an elegant yet subtle nose of smoke, honey and caramel” – AGAVE SOCIETY
Los Nahuales Mezcal Añejo – $115. Very little is exported: we get maybe 350 bottles a year. Just over 1 year in French oak. Beautifully mature, with plenty of rich flavor. Very long finish. Scarce.
“Easy 5-star. Lots of spice, vanilla, honey, and floral notes. No one flavor dominates. The finish is long with nice black pepper and spice. Ttruly a treat! Again, the agave fruit stands out with this brand! Wow!” – MEZCAL REVIEWS
“Best splurge” – VINEPAIR
Los Nahuales Metodo Antiguo – $72.00. Returns to ancestral method of using the tails cut (codas) to dilute the mezcal to bottling proof, instead of water. Lots of complexity.
“Very impressed by this mezcal. Bright is the first word that comes to mind. It has this vibrant fruitiness. On the nose there is an aroma like a dry fruit roll-up. On the palate there are berries and plum sauce. Excited to see more releases from mezcalera Karina.”
– MEZCAL REVIEWS
LOS NAHUALES Special Edition No. 3 – $105 A one-time release based on a blend (at roasting) of four agaves: 48% the elegant wild tobalá (agave potatorum), 13% wild tepextate (agave marmorata), vegetal & earthy, 26% upland espadín (agave angustifolia), and 13% the rare and very large sierrudo agave americana. It was distilled by the distillery’s head of production, Karina Abad. It is focused, fruity, and beautifully balanced. Abv is 47%
Los Nahuales Special Edition no. 4 – $105. One of the finest mezcals ever distilled, a single batch of espadín (agave angustifolia) from March, 2013. The extraordinary quality of the batch was recognised when it came from the still, and it was matured in glass for five years, deepening and stabilizing its rich complexity. 770 bottles at 49.% abv.
Los Nahuales Still Proof (2nd release) – $120. Bottled without dilution at 53% abv. Produced 40% from wild jabalí (agave convallis) collected in the hills of San José Lachiguiri, west of Miahuatlan, in dark thin infertile soils. The jabalí is notoriously difficult to distill; here the acidic ferality is beautifully tamed by blending with a rich mature espadín from Pozo Blanco near Santiago Matatlan. 720 bottles @ 53% abv.