The limitations of denominations

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For this episode we met Esteban from Mexcio in Diego’s office. Some of the photos on this blog were made by him. Esteban is well connected in the Mezcal scene, he knows many small Agave spirit producers in Mexico and is involved in different small but high-quality brands. He also started his own farm and he is a business partner of Diego who imports crafted spirits to Europe.

We discussed about the importance of the small families for the culture of Agave spirits and also the problems that come with categorizing our beloved “Elixirs of the Gods” into denominations of origin. We also talked about why it is a good thing that agaves and their distillation are spreading across the globe.

Esteban in Berlin

Live at the Berlin Podcasting Meetup

Our friends at Bear Radio invited us to The Venue Berlin so that we could introduce Elixir of the Gods to a live audience. We went through the basics and also invited Maria and Cassandra on the stage to have a tasting with us

On Stage for the live tasting

We only had time to taste one bottle, Diego brought a bottle of Fidencio Clasico.

A special thanks to Jill from Bear Radio and of course Maria and Cassandra for being on stage with us!

At the “Puntas, Gracias” pop-up store

About this chapter

For this special chapter we were invited to a basement inside a barber shop, where the pop-up “Puntas, Gracias” is located.
Christian Schrader and Tom Bullock want to make Agave spirits accessible to anybody and share their knowledge and experiences. Based on your individual preferences you can taste four different spirits in a session and they will guide you through the experience. You also can purchase bottles there.

We recorded this chapter to give you a feeling for the experience.

Spirits tasted

  • Caballito Cerrero
  • La Higuera Sotol
  • Nezcaloteca Arroqueño
  • La Venenosa Raicilla Puntas
The beautiful spirits

Links

Puntas, Gracias on Facebook

Reservations

Agavera (run by Christian)

Tom’s book “The Mezcal Experience” (Amazon)

The Mezcal Experience

Destille Berlin (March 2 & 3)

Pictures

Albert, Tom, Christian and Diego
Garrafa

Jícaras
Cups made from Jícaras

Chapter 6: Sotol Tasting

The cousin of Mezcal. Traditionally a Mezcal, but now a days we know it is not an Agave, but a Dasylirion. 

The plants are very similar and in this chapter we will try to explain the differences between them.

We will be trying the same brand, but different varieties of Dasylirions, which is not something that was common in the past years. 

La Higuera Leiophyllum

La Higuera Wheeleri

La Higuera Cedrosanum 

Leiophyllum
Wheeleri
Cedrosanum

Chapter 5: Bacanora Tasting

We will be trying Bacanoras the pride of the north.

Typically a Mezcal, but with its own local Appellation.

The Plant in this case is an Angustifolia, but the subspecies is Pacifica.

Not a very common drink, but give it a try, you might like it.

Bacanora Cielo Rojo

Bacanora Yoowe

Bacanora Rancho Tepúa


Bacanora Cielo Rojo

Bacanora Yoowe

Bacanora Rancho Tepúa

Chapter 4: How to read the Label

In this chapter we are going to go for the methods. We have seen the process but now we go a bit deeper. 

The methods are the different techniques used for each stage of the process.

The method begins with the Jima, the different tools used for cutting. The cooking, the different ovens. The mashing, how do they mash the plant once its cooked. The fermentation, times, tools, yeasts, etc. The distillation, most common techniques per region.

Jima with Machete
Underground oven
The hearts are in
Hearts covered and lets start the cooking
Once cooked the hearts are crushed, in this case by a Tahona, which is the big round stone you see in the back, pulled by a Mule.
Fermentation
Distillation methods
Alambique
Wooden 

Chapter 3: Espadin Tasting

Espadin subspecies tasting.

3 Different Espadines, from different regions, with different techniques.

Raicilla La Venenosa Tabernas

Mezcal Mina Real Blanco 

Mezcal Fidencio Clásico


Raicilla La Venenosa Tabernas

Mezcal Mina Real Blanco 

Mezcal Fidencio Clásico

Chapter 2: From the Seed to the Bottle

The goal is to try and give you an idea of the process Agave distills go through to become Spirits. 

The process is complicated but very interesting. If you know the process for other distills, then it will not be so hard grasp the idea, but each distill has its own characteristics.

The 3 most important factors:

The Plant: The star of the show, which variety of Agave is being used.

The Terroir: The territory and the soil were the plant grows.

The Hand: The technique and the personal touch of the producer.

Agave Chico Aguiar (Angustifolia) in the Wild
Agave Chico Aguiar after Jima
Mascota, the Mecca of Raicilla. Our good friend Esteban Morales enjoying the view
Transportation
Cutting to set in the oven
The Cooking Oven
The distillation

Chapter 1: The Basics of Mezcal

In this first chapter we will try to differentiate the Agave distills, uncover some myths, and explain how to drink it. 

We will give some information about the Appellations of origin and explain a bit about the complexity and variety of the Agave plant.

Agave fields
Close up

Chapter 0: Teaser

Hi, we are Diego and Albert and we would like to share our passion for the world of Agave spirits with you.

Our goal is share our passion, give some insights and have fun. 

We don’t feel like experts, we are not, but we do our best to stay well informed and bear a part of what we know with you guys. Hopefully you like what you hear and come along with us in this journey.