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.
Who are the master distillers crafting Erstwhile Mezcal’s award-winning Espadín, named a Top 100 Spirits of 2019 by Wine Enthusiast the year we 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.
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.
Their 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.
Crafted by the García family for generations and now available for your collection, the Erstwhile Espadín is your workhorse mezcal. Delicious for savoring a neat pour on its own. But no less stellar in mixed drinks. The perfect gift for the bon vivant in your life. A dynamite addition to any home or professional bar.
Founder of Erstwhile Mezcal
Master Mezcalero: Silverio García Luis & Epifania Gómez Mejía
Agave Varietal: Espadín
Scientific Name: Agave angustifolia
Town / Municipality: Rancho Blanco Güilá, Santiago Matatlán
Fermentation: Natural, Open-Vat Fermentation in Ocote Wood (Pinus montezumae)
Still Type: Copper Alembic
Butterscotch, black tea, banana, and roasted maguey. A little sweet, a little creamy. Savory, spicy, and peppery, in a way that reminds us of smoked meats and Texas style barbecue. Followed by lingering, resonating notes of ash and soft smoke on the palate.
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.”