Mezcal made from Espadín, a cultivated (versus wild) varietal of the agave plant, is by far the most common varietal you are likely to find in your local liquor store, cocktail bars or restaurants. Espadín is the most common and most accessible in terms of price, because it is the most productive and the easiest to cultivate. Relative to other varietals, Espadín matures the fastest: between four and nine years depending on the terroir.
While Erstwhile Mezcal is known for its forte in small-batch artisanal mezcal made from wild, more “exotic” varietals of agave, we are extremely proud and stand 110% behind our signature Espadín. We challenge you to find a better-tasting Espadín. That is how confident we are about our Espadín, though of course reasonable minds can differ when it comes to matters of the heart.
Who is the mezcalero that crafted Erstwhile Mezcal’s Espadín? Meet Silverio García Luis, a master mezcalero of Zapotec heritage based in Rancho Blanco Güilá, Oaxaca. We are extremely proud to call Silverio our partner and our friend.
A Chinese proverb comes to mind when I think about Silverio, mezcal and family: green is born of blue, but surpasses blue (青出于蓝而胜于蓝). The legacy and craft of artisanal mezcal production have deep roots in Silverio’s family. Silverio learned his craft from his father, renowned master mezcalero Lorenzo Antonio García (Don Lencho, as he is commonly known). Counting Silverio, there has been at least three generations of mezcaleros in the García family.
In February 2016, The Mezcal Regulatory Council (CRM) in Mexico recognized Don Lencho as a Cultural Treasure of Mezcal, a remarkable and rare honor reserved for the few master mezcaleros who are known for excellent mezcal and have preserved the virtuosity of artisanal mezcal production for at least 60 years.
At Erstwhile Mezcal, we select each and every one of our partner mezcaleros with great care and passion, committing our brand and reputation only after countless tastings and feeling a personal connection. Silverio is no exception. His Espadín stood out from all the others we had tasted, and trust me, we have tasted a LOT. Elegant. Balanced. Nuanced. Approachable but never boring. It hit that magical sweet spot of taste, good value, and versatility.
I remember very well one sunny afternoon in the late summer of 2017. We had already met Silverio years before. But this time, my partner Kevin and I were on a multi-day trip through the countryside of Oaxaca, drinking cool hibiscus water at roadside stands and taste-interviewing mezcal candidates for Erstwhile Mezcal’s first shipment out of Mexico.
Specifically, we were looking for a great Espadín, one that we would be proud to introduce to the world as Erstwhile Mezcal’s flagship Espadín.
Even before leaving Silverio’s palenque in Rancho Blanco Güilá, we already had a gut feeling that this is the One.
What we did not foresee then was just how much our relationship with Silverio and his family would deepen since then, not just as business partners but as friends. It means the world to us to know that connection will become even deeper and richer with the benefit of time.
We cannot wait for you to try Silverio’s mezcal and tell us what you think.
Co-Founder of Erstwhile Mezcal