Made from estate-grown agave that are nearly a decade old, these mezcals are crafted by a fourth-generation mezcalaro.
Over a century ago, Fidencio Jimenez moved his family to Oaxaca, Mexico — known as El Capital Mundial Del Mezcal — and began distilling mezcal. Before his death, Fidencio passed the trade on to his son, Enrique, who, in turn, passed the trade onto his son, Isaac. Today, Enrique Jimenez Jr., a fourth-generation mezcalaro, oversees the entire Jimenez estate, located in Santiago Matatlán (a small pueblo in Oaxaca).
On the estate, espadin agave plants that are at least a decade old and have reached the peak of maturity are harvested by the hands of expert jimadors. In tribute to their Zapotec heritage, the jimadors harvest agave only under a new moon, believing that the lunar phases have a profound influence on the flavor of the agave. After harvesting, the jimadors remove the long, sharp leaves of the agave using a machete, leaving only the heart of the agave, or piñas, behind. At the palenque (or distillery), the piñas are split by hand with an axe into four to eight pieces.
In order to craft Fidencio Clásico and Fidencio Pechuga mezcal, the split piñas are roasted underground over a fire made from the embers of encino (or black oak) for five days, giving the mezcal its signature, smoky flavor. Fidencio Sin Humo mezcal is crafted by roasting the split piñas in a radiant heat oven for three days. This process, says Enrique, allows him to "produce a mezcal that is a pure expression of espadín, without the influence of smoke that is typically found in other mezcals." Once the piñas have been roasted, they are crushed under a tahona (or stone wheel) made from rose quartz and the resulting pulp is then fermented using wild yeast for six to twelve days, depending on the weather.
Fidencio Clásico is distilled twice through a traditional, wood-fired, alembic still. As a result, it has an aroma of herbs, earthy minerals and raw pineapple. The aroma gives way to notes of warming smoke, pepper and cinnamon, and leads to a smooth yet spicy finish. Fidencio Clásico earned the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Fidencio Sin Humo is also distilled twice through a traditional, wood-fired, alembic still. The alembic still used to distill Sin Humo is equipped with purifiers, however, which recirculates the mezcal and softens its intensity. As a result, it has more elegant notes of vanilla, caramelized pineapples, honey and spice, that lead to a smooth, citrusy finish. Fidencio Sin Humo also earned the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Fidencio Pechuga is made by distilling Fidencio Clásico mezcal a third time together with a unique recipe of fruits, including apples, bananas, pineapples and guava (all of the fruit are from the mountains of Oaxaca). In addition, a whole chicken breast, which has been skinned and washed to remove any remaining fats, is hung from the cap of the still and said to soften the intensity and round out the flavors of the mezcal.
As a result, the mezcal has soft notes of spices, cinnamon and earthy minerals that are complemented by bold notes of tropical fruits and sweet vanilla. The mezcal earned a score of 90 points from Wine Enthusiast.
Pick up a bottle of each today!
Sin Humo: 80 Proof (40% ABV); Clásico: 88 Proof (44% ABV); Pechuga: 90.8 Proof (45.4% ABV)
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Sin Humo: Elegant notes of vanilla, caramelized pineapples, honey and spice, that lead to a smooth, citrusy finish.