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.
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Espadin (Agave Angustifolia) 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 can take 5-10 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.”
Master Mezcalero: Silverio García Luis
Agave Varietal: Espadín
Scientific Name: Agave Angustifolia
Town / Municipality: Rancho Blanco Güilá, Santiago Matatlán
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
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.
It was the fall of 2017. My co-founder Kevin Brown and I were on a multi-day trip through the countryside of Oaxaca, drinking cool hibiscus water at roadside stands and taste-interviewing mezcalero candidates for Erstwhile Mezcal’s first shipment out of Mexico. Specifically, we were looking for a great Espadín, one that we would be proud to introduce to the world as Erstwhile Mezcal’s flagship Espadín.
Even before leaving the palenque of master mezcalero Silverio García Luis (whom we had met years before) in Rancho Blanco Güilá, Santiago Matatlán we already had a gut feeling that this is the One.
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.
The Erstwhile Espadín is your workhorse mezcal. Great for mixing cocktails, but no less stellar if savored neat on its own. The perfect gift for the bon vivant in your life. A dynamite addition to any home or professional bar.
Co-Founder of Erstwhile Mezcal