About Erstwhile Arroqueño Mezcal
Erstwhile Mezcal is an importer from Brooklyn, New York, specializing in artisanal mezcal. Founded in 2017 by Yuan Ji and Kevin J. Brown, they are laser-focused on helping smaller, family-operated mezcal producers reach the US. This involves education, curation, and extensive research — all in order to bring the best traditional small-batch mezcal to the consumer, while enabling the producers to expand.
They never meddle with the mezcaleros' production process and always pay them fairly, only stepping in when and where their help is needed. This includes fronting legal fees, finding a suitable bottling facility, and any similar hurdles which are overcome at the beginning of every partnership they make. Transparency plays a huge role in the way they operate, always stating where the mezcal is sourced from and actively communicating with the mezcal-loving community.
Erstwhile Arroqueño Mezcal is crafted under the watchful eye of maestro mezcaleros Juan Hernández Méndez and Hortensia Hernández Martínez. It's made in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca, using arroqueño agaves that are naturally fermented in wooden open vats, before being distilled using a copper alembic still. The wild arroqueño agaves take longer to mature than espadin, taking up to 25 years. It's worth it in the end, as the profile has a super-bright, floral, and botanical character, making Erstwhile Arroqueño Mezcal the most aromatic in Erstwhile's 2018 flagship lineup.
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Mezcal is a distilled spirit made from roasted agave plants between two days and two weeks, which gives it a distinct smokey flavor.
What scotch is for whisk(e)y, mezcal is for tequila.
It can be made from different types of agave in different parts of Mexico, but most of it (60%) comes from the state of Oaxaca. Mezcal offers a large diversity of flavor profiles and ranges between 40 and 55% ABV.
Check out our impressive selection of mezcals, and find your new favorite in the Top 10 mezcal & tequilas, or explore The best gifts for mezcal and tequila drinkers.