In Mexico, mezcals are distilled in an entirely natural and unhurried process, often utilizing traditions and family recipes that have been passed down for generations. The principal ingredient used in crafting mezcal — the agave plant — requires seven to twenty years to mature before being harvested. While a few varieties of agave have been domesticated, others must be harvested from the wild, rugged terrains of Mexico's tiny villages. As a result, a single batch of mezcal, which can produce as few as 1,000 bottles, begins with the harvesting of 10 tons of agave and can take up to 25 years to produce, from start to finish.
Once the agave have been harvested, the heart of the plant, or piñas, are cooked for several days in large, earthen pits lined with hot stones, and then crushed under the weight of a massive stone wheel, usually drawn by a horse or burro. After the piñas are crushed, the pulp is placed in a large wooden vat, together with ambient yeast, in order to begin fermentation. After several days, expert mezcaleros determine by taste, smell and sight when the wash is ready for distillation.
When the wash is ready, the mezcaleros distill it through traditional copper stills that are heated over wood fires. The journey from the farm, or hacienda, to bottle is long and arduous, but every step is conducted with the careful attention and pride necessary to produce a complex yet smooth mezcal.
The El Jolgorio Mezcal Project is a project created to support a group of independent mezcaleros bound by a common love for the land. Each mezcal is sourced from a unique region in Oaxaca's Central Valley and represents a singularly exquisite expression of the village's terrior. We have carefully selected three different mezcals from the El Jolgorio Mezcal Project that best represent the region and its complex ethno-geographic spectrum.
El Jolgorio Mezcal MexicanoAgave Type: Espadin MexicanoRegion: Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca, MexicoMaestro Mezcalero: Valentin Cortes Y GregorioProof: 94 (47% ABV)Details: Crafted using a rare varietal of agave that grows in moist environments at low elevations, resulting in a plant that is high in sugars and low in impurities.Tasting Notes: Intense tropical fruits, with hints of citrus, banana and a touch of black pepper.
El Jolgorio Mezcal BarrilAgave Type: BarrilRegion: La Compania Ejutla, Oaxaca, MexicoMaestro Mezcalero: Gregorio Y GonzaloProof: 94 (47% ABV)Details: Crafted using a varietal of agave that grows exclusively in hilly areas and produces a long, cylindrical plant resembling a tree.Tasting Notes: Delicate notes of fresh herbs and spices. Finishes with notes of black pepper, vanilla, citrus and apples.
El Jolgorio Mezcal PechugaAgave Type: Espadin SilvestreRegion: Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca, MexicoMaestro Mezcalero: Valentin Cortes Y GregorioProof: 96 (48% ABV)Details: Twice distilled in a copper pot still with pineapples, limes, oranges, plantains, apples, pears and the breast of a Guajolote (a creole turkey rooster).Tasting Notes: Bursts of citrus fruit (particularly agave and pineapple). Sweet touches of green fruits and herbs, along with a hint of cajun chicken and smoke.
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