Tobalá (2021 Ancestral Limited Edition)

Available on backorder

Juan Abel Quiroz Agustín

This rare batch of Tobalá – 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 200 liters made.  Natural open-vat fermentation in Santa María Sola, Oaxaca.  Distilled exclusively in clay pots.

The Backstory

This batch of Tobalá marks Ancestral Mezcal artisan Juan Abel Quiroz Agustín’s debut in the US and international markets.  Only 200 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 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.

Yuan Ji & Kevin Brown, Founders of Erstwhile Mezcal

Videos

Photos

Details

Master Mezcalero: Abel Quiroz Agustín
NOM: NOM-1390
Agave Varietal: Tobalá
Scientific Name: Agave potatorum
Place of Origen: Santa Maria Sola, Oaxaca, 71460, Mexico
Fermentation: Natural Fermentation in Sabino (Taxodium mucronatum)
Still Type: Clay Pot
Dates of Distillation: August 2021
Total Liters: 200
ABV: 48%

Tasting Notes: COMING SOON

Tobalá (Agave potatorum)

Tobalá is the Yoda of all agaves.  It is small and cute, but fierce and wise.

Tobalá is a small broad-leafed agave that grows best in rocky craggy soil at high altitude. It takes about 8-12 years to mature, depending on climate, terroir, and other factors.

Perhaps due to the high altitudes where it flourishes, Tobalá typically yields a highly approachable yet sweet, mellow, floral mezcal with round mouth feel.  Tobalá can be cultivated and has been cultivated with some success.  Nonetheless, partially due to the long time it takes to mature, most Tobalá mezcals in the market today are prepared from wild agaves.

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