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.
“The mere existence of Mezcalero is fantastic. The fact that they continue to produce such high quality mezcals so consistently is even better”– MEZCALISTAS
“The Mezcalero series is without a doubt the finest collection of mezcals I’ve ever tasted. Nothing from Del Maguey or any other bottler even comes close”
– David Driscoll, K&L Wines
Wild agaves have intense and specific flavors, usually complex. Tasted side by side, the Mezcalero bottlings suggest the amazingly wide range of qualities and flavors to be found in well-distilled agaves: the suavity of Sierra Negra, the spiciness of Tepeztate, the elegant finesse of Tobalá. The Mezcalero bottlings are very well-distilled, very “clean”. They are about as good as mezcal gets.
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. 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 Mezcalero releases are numbered; their labels specify the agaves, the distiller(s), and the number of bottles in the batch. Right now, Mezcaleros nos. 1 – 22 are sold out; so is Special Bottling no. 1. We still have a few cases of Special no.2
Special Bottling no. 4: de Cabra – $150. Distilled by Don Valente of Santa Maria la Pila from espadin and wild bicuishe (agave karwinskii), bottled in April of 2017, subsequently aged for six months under unusual circumstances. The Cabra is likely not to be repeated and is scarce. 47.4% abv.
Special Bottling no. 5 : cenizo – $135. An ensamble distilled by Don Rubén Solis Lozano of wild cenizo and 60% espadín in upland Durango. The agaves were wood-roasted, then crushed by hand, fermented in a wood-covered underground pit using wild yeasts, double distilled in a 250-liter copper potstill, and bottled in August of 2019. The tiny cenizo is notoriously difficult to distill. Beautifully balanced. 48% abv
Mezcalero 21 – $96. Don Baltazar Cruz in San Luis del Rio. Rich fruit, complex, very smooth, with almost 2 years in tank. 48% abv.
Mezcalero 22 – $96. Hand-distilled May 2015 by Valente Angel Garcia in Santa Maria la Pila. 100% wild Bicuishe, an uncommon variety of agave Karwinskii which needs some 15 years to mature. Don Valente knows his Karwinskii: this is amazingly clean mezcal. Bicuishe is intense and acidic, here tamed by almost four years of rest. Look for dark chocolate in the finish. 816 bottles @ 47.4% abv
Mezcalero 23 – $96. Hand-distilled August 2015 by Don Cosmé Hernández and his son Cirilo San Baltazar Guélavila from 100% wild Sierrudo, which in this case is not the agave Americana but a local name for a cousin of agave Mexicana. San Baltazar’s usual soft delicate touch, rich fruit deepened by almost four years in tank. 768 bottles @ 46% abv.
Mezcalero 24 – $96. Hand-distilled October 2016 by Don Baltazar Cruz Gonzales in San Luis del Rio from wild tepextate (agave marmorata) and hillside espadín (agave angustifolia). San Luis gets hot, and this espadín is fruity and soft, perfect backdrop for the intense tepeztate. 768 bottles @ 46.4% abv.