Each bottle’s cat mask is an individual Huichol artistic creation.
Alvarez believes roasting the agaves in clay ovens creates a spirit that is more pure, a spirit in which the flavors and aromas of the ingredients are not obscured by wood smoke or by the earth that is used to cover a palenque (pit-oven).
The Maximiliana yields a complex raicilla with body and strong character. Because of the clay oven, the flavors and aromas are more true to the agave: citric, fruity, vegetal, and surprisingly gentle. This is first-class product, true to its ancestry.
MEXICAT Raicilla Sierra Every bottle has an individual hand-made huichol bead mask; people collect them. From Mascota in the Sierra Madre Occidental, double-distilled in copper at the destilería of 4th-generation José and Benito Salceda, agronomist brothers and raicilla pioneers deeply engaged in a large sustainability project cultivating agave Maximiliana (called lechuguilla). Flavorful and soft. Double distillation tends to show a smoother side of raicilla, and the 40% abv nicely balances the intensity of the wild Maximiliana. 40% abv. $60
MEXICAT Rare Agave Spirit Gold: Masparillo Distilled by hand by Don Lupe Castro in Mezquital de Oro, Zacatecas, close to tequila territory. The agave is a variant of agave Maximiliana called masparillo, a small wild agave growing at high altitudes on thin soils. Don Lupe’s stone-enclosed stills bring out a clean, focused, floral, and mineral spirit. Masparillo is uncommon. This is good stuff. 40% abv. $72
MEXICAT Rare Agave Spirit Silver: Manso Another hand-distillation by Don Lupe Castro in Mezquital de Oro, Zacatecas, close to tequila territory. The agave salmiana is a cultivated agave, here called manso. Don Lupe’s version is extremely well distilled: softly rich, round, citric, and spicy. Amazing price for the quality. 42% abv. $54
MEXICAT Destilado de Agave Ancestral The very rare Agave Salmiana Crassispina distilled in a clay Filipino still by Maria de la Luz Martinez Ramos in remote Mexquital, San Luis Potosí. The oldest methods we have encountered, squeezing the crushed agaves in a hammock, then fermenting with a pulque yeast. This is as indigenous a spirit as exists, and the most profound agave spirit we have encountered. In a ceramic bottle that we cannot ship because of the risk of its getting broken: we’ll have to empty the spirit into a glass 750ml bottle and ship both to you. Call Kristie Meyer 707 468-7899 to order. DO NOT MISS THIS. 48% abv. $180
MEXICAT Sotol Artesanal Dasylirion Wheeleri from 4th and 5th generation distillers Norma & Bienvenido Fernandez, using artisanal methods in Madera at 6500 feet in the mountains of Western Chihuahua. Smoky, earthy, but very clean; fruity and intense; long finish: best sotol we have tasted. The Nahuatl word from which sotol derives is tzotollin, a small palm tree. There is a local belief that it means sweetness in the head, and that’s certainly what this sotol is. 42% abv. $66
400 pounds of agave