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Espadín

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(2 customer reviews)

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.

Description

 

Master Mezcalero: Silverio García Luis & Epifania Gómez Mejía
NOM: NOM-0162
Agave Varietal: Espadín
Scientific Name: Agave angustifolia
Town / Municipality: Rancho Blanco Güilá, Santiago Matatlán
State: Oaxaca
Fermentation: Natural, Open-Vat Fermentation in Wood
Still Type: Copper Alembic
Dates of Distillation: August 2017; March 2018; May 2018
Number of Liters in Corresponding Distillation: 1447; 1197; 997
ABV: 48-49%

Tasting Notes:

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.

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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.”

 

The Backstory

It was the fall of 2017.  My co-founder Kevin and I were on a multi-day trip through the countryside of Oaxaca, drinking cool hibiscus water at roadside stands and meeting producers who might want to be part of Erstwhile Mezcal’s first shipment out of Mexico.

Specifically, we were looking for a partner producer of great Espadín, one that we would be proud to introduce to the world as Erstwhile Mezcal’s flagship Espadín.

Silverio García Luis and Epifania Gómez Mejía are a producer family of Zapotec heritage based in Rancho Blanco Güilá, Oaxaca.  We had met them years before on our first trip to Oaxaca.  This time, we went to visit them again, and had a gut feeling even before leaving their palenque.

Epifania did not grow up in a mezcal family, but learned the ropes and became a mezcalera of her own right after marrying into the García family.  She was recently recognized as a Woman in Mezcal in the January 2020 edition of El Mezcal, an online publication by the Mezcal Regulatory Council (also known as the CRM, short for Consejo Regulador del Mezcal).

Click here (see pages 14-15 for English version) or here (Spanish version) to read the CRM’s recognition of Epifania as a Woman in Mezcal.  Léelo en español aquí.

Photo by Scott Marc Becker (https://scottmarcbecker.com).

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.

Yuan Ji
Founder of Erstwhile Mezcal

2 reviews for Espadín

  1. Gustavo Martinez

    El que sea libre de quimicos y conservadores. Es mera mente artesanal.

  2. Proctails

    One of the Best Espadin Mezcals we have tried . Erstwhile bottle art work alone will get you to do a double take . With a woman warrior holding a flowering quiote, riding a velociraptor. Again A Velociraptor !! Amazing ! Erstwhile is a women owned business . The mezcal itself is smooth . .

    Off the nose you smell Strong Fresh Vegetal Notes. Amongst those notes of Green Pepper, Fresh Cut Grass, Earthy and Black Tea giving it Body. You can almost smell the Espadin Agave being Cut as they are making it . .

    The green pepper and vegetal notes carries on to the tasting followed by black pepper . On the back end you will taste a subtle ash and smoke . Great Mezcal for anyone curious about getting into Mezcals. Has everything you would want off the nose and on your tongue .

    Erstwhile also makes different Mezcals using different plants such as Tobala , Henequen , Espadin Capo, Cuishe , Arroqueno, and Tepeztate-Tobala .

    We can only speak for the Espadin but tasting the quality of this one we are sure that the others will follow . We hope to try them all.

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