The Backstory

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 mezcal. In fact, 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 are the master distillers crafting Erstwhile Mezcal’s award-winning Espadín, named a Top 100 Spirits of 2019 by Wine Enthusiast as soon as it launched in the United States?

Meet Silverio García Luis and Epifania Gómez Mejía, a mezcal producer family of Zapotec heritage based in Rancho Blanco Güilá, Oaxaca.  Counting Silverio and Epifania, there has been at least three generations of mezcaleros in the García family.

Fans of Erstwhile Espadín Mezcal, we are so excited for you to try the Madrecuishe and Tepeztate, two limited releases that rescue a García family tradition that had been forgotten for over forty years.  Silverio and Epifania made these two batches exclusively for Erstwhile's 2021 Ancestral Limited Edition lineup.

Epifania did not grow up in a mezcal family, but learned the ropes and became a master distiller in her own right.  In 2020, the Mezcal Regulatory Council in Mexico (Consejo Regulador del Mezcal) honored and spotlighted Epifania as a Woman in Mezcal.  Click here to read the English version (on pages 14-15) and here for the Spanish version of the Mezcal Regulatory Council's homage to Epifania as a Woman in Mezcal.  Léelo en español aquí.

The legacy and craft of artisanal mezcal production have deep roots in te García family. Silverio and Epifania learned the craft from Silverio's father, renowned master mezcalero Lorenzo Antonio García (or Don Lencho, as his family likes to call him).

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.

Check out Erstwhile Mezcal's blog post about the García family for more photos and stories!

  • Madre Cuishe (2021 Ancestral Limited Edition)

    A legacy of the era when Mezcal production was illegal in Oaxaca, this batch of Madrecuishe crafted by Silverio García Luis – a 2021 Ancestral Limited Release – rescues a García family tradition that had been forgotten for more than forty years.

    Don Lencho, Silverio’s father, used a hollowed out quiote (the flowering stalk of agave plants) instead of a copper turbante, to evade the military that would come and seize his distillation equipment by force.

    Now you too can partake in this unique mezcal tradition from the García family in Rancho Blanco Güilá, Oaxaca, available for the first time in the United States in partnership with Erstwhile Mezcal.


  • Espadín

    This Espadin stood out from the (many) others we had tasted. It hit that magical sweet spot of taste, complexity, good value and versatility. Elegant. Balanced. Nuanced. Approachable but never boring.

    $54.95

  • Tepeztate (2021 Ancestral Limited Edition)

    A legacy of the era when Mezcal production was illegal in Oaxaca, this batch of Tepeztate crafted by Silverio García Luis – a 2021 Ancestral Limited Release – rescues a García family tradition that had been forgotten for more than forty years.

    Don Lencho, Silverio’s father, used a hollowed out quiote (the flowering stalk of agave plants) instead of a copper turbante, to evade the military that would come and seize his distillation equipment by force.

    Now you too can partake in this unique mezcal tradition from the García family in Rancho Blanco Güilá, Oaxaca, available for the first time in the United States in partnership with Erstwhile Mezcal.