This rare batch of Espadin – one of Erstwhile’s 2021 Ancestral Limited Releases- marks Master Mezcalero Juan Abel Quiroz Agustín’s debut in the United States and international markets. Only 300 liters made. Natural open-vat fermentation in Santa María Sola, Oaxaca. Distilled exclusively in Filipino-style stills made with clay pots.
This batch of Espadin marks Ancestral Mezcal artisan Juan Abel Quiroz Agustín’s debut in the US and international markets. Only 300 liters made.
Master Mezcalero Juan Abel Quiroz Agustín prefers to go by “Abel”. Born and raised in Santa María Sola where he still resides, Abel saved for years before achieving the dream of building his own palenque next to his house. He has proudly run his own palenque since around 2009.
Santa María Sola is a municipality in the district of Sola de Vega, in the Sierra Sur region of Oaxaca. Following the tradition of Sola de Vega, Abel distills exclusively in Filipino-style stills made with clay pots, and makes some of the most unforgettable ancestral mezcal expressions we know.
We met Abel by happy accident in early 2020. After getting lost and driving aimlessly around Santa María Sola, we were excited to catch alluring glimpses of his clay pots and hollowed tree trunk fermentation tank from the road.
Abel’s smiling eyes and relaxed energy made us feel at ease right away. One sip of his Tobalá confirmed that our five-hour round trip drive to Santa María Sola that day was not in vain. We were in the presence of greatness.
Abel’s path to becoming a Master Mezcalero is somewhat serendipitous and non-traditional. While his grandfather was a Mezcalero, Abel did not learn the craft from his family. Nor did he have aspirations to follow his grandfather’s footsteps. Instead, he learned Mezcal from a few local producers in his early 30’s, after returning from a brief sojourn in the United States and looking for a way to support his young family.
We are thrilled to partner with Abel and launch three of his singular Ancestral Mezcal expressions for the first time in international markets.
Master Mezcalero: Abel Quiroz Agustín
Agave Varietal: Espadin
Scientific Name: Agave angustifolia
Place of Origin: Santa Maria Sola, Oaxaca, 71460, Mexico
Fermentation: Natural Fermentation in Sabino (Taxodium mucronatum)
Still Type: Filipino-style stills made with clay pots
Dates of Distillation: August 2021
Total Liters: 300
Tasting Notes: COMING SOON
Espadin (Agave angustifolia)
Espadin is the most common varietal of agave used in mezcal production. It is indigenous to most mezcal-producing regions and adapts well to cultivation. Depending on the terroir and climate, Esapdin typically takes 5-7 years to mature, which is considered fast in the world of agaves.
Espadin piñas come in a variety of sizes, and can weigh as much as several hundred pounds. The agave is easy to work with. Subject to the hand of the maker, Espadin can yield a wide variety of flavors and profiles, depending on the climate, time of year at harvest, production style, altitude, and countless other factors.
Do not underestimate Espadin. Despite the fact that Espadin is the most “common” agave varietal used for mezcal production, and often less expensive than other varietals, it makes some of the best and most interesting mezcals. As a friend in the trade once said, Espadin mezcal is never “just an Espadin.”