An alluring, smoky glass of mezcal with aromas of bright citrus and mint. This bottling, from the village of San Balthazar Chichicapa, is an extraordinary example of how varied and unique Espadin can be depending on the local microclimate, and who the palequero is. There is a hint of honey and vanilla throughout the palate that has a luscious, oily texture. The finish offers a last touch of peppery spice and earthy delight.
In 1990 New Mexico artist Ron Cooper was working on an art project that involved 50 blue, hand-blown, glass bottles depicting the Aztec God, Ometotchtli. He wanted to fill these with a spirit called “mezcal” he’d encountered during his inspirational journeys to Mexico. Not known in the US at the time, he realized there was something more to this than just the art project. Ron started Del Maguey (del ma-gay) in 1995 to bring the unique Oaxacan culture and spirit he’d experienced, and found inspiration in, to the United States. Working only with individual family palenqueros (producers) dedicated to the ancient, original process, he began to introduce these artisan products to a new audience: one that generally understood mezcal to be “the stuff with the worm in it.” Single-village bottlings represent a purity from place to place, with an expansive, and varied, topography Oaxaca is home to many microclimates and each village gives the liquid its own expression of terroir. Ron’s passion for the culture of Oaxaca, and its native spirit, is infectious, and he is almost singlehandedly responsible for the popularity of artisan mezcal today. Without his efforts many of the brands we have featured in the past would have made their way across the border and onto your home bar.