Master Mezcalero: Juan Hernández Méndez & Hortensia Hernández Martínez
Agave Varietal: Arroqueño
Scientific Name: Agave americana
Town / Municipality: Santiago Matatlán
Fermentation: Natural, Open-Vat Fermentation in Wood
Still Type: Copper Alembic
Date of Distillation: December 2017
Number of Liters in Distillation: 500 Liters
Bright, botanical, and floral. Perfumery, spice market, and burnt orange on the nose. Lovely notes of green plantain and citrus on the palate. This delightful expression of Arroqueño is the most aromatic of the 7 distillations from Erstwhile Mezcal’s 2018 flagship line.
Arroqueño (Agave americana)
Arroqueño is a large agave native to the Oaxaca Central Valley. Some consider Arroqueño to be the wild forbearer of Espadin (Agave angustifolia), to which it is genetically related and visually resembles.
Unlike Espadin, Arroqueño takes much longer to mature. Arroqueño agaves growing and maturing in the wild commonly take 18-25 years to mature.
Arroqueño is typically a wild agave, but can be partially cultivated at the early stages of its life. For example, we have met producers who plant and raise Arroqueño seedlings in a greenhouse, and transfer the seedlings to nearby hills when they are about a year old.
Arroqueño’s popularity in mezcal form has led to concerns about sustainability in recent years. As a result, substantial effort has been put into nursing Arroqueño growth for future generations of producers.