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Mezcal Vago Ensamble By Aquilino Garcia 53% Tepeztate/47% Sierra Negra (Lot A-12-TSN-17)

From the importer:

If you clamor long enough, and loud enough, we promise we will eventually answer! Three years after our release of the much sought-after original Tepeztate/Sierra Negra ensamble, Aquilino has finally been able to scrounge up enough rare Sierra Negra to craft a second batch of one of his hallmark mezcals.

Crafted in the Summer of 2017, this 204-liter batch consists of 23 piñas of wild-harvested Tepeztate weighing 1,118 kg and 7 piñas of wild-harvested Sierra Negra weighing 994 kg. For those of you keeping score at home, that means that each Tepeztate had an average weight of 107 lbs and each Sierra Negra averaged a whopping 300 lbs! All the agave were harvested by hand on 31 July 2017 from the Loma de Cocoshle area near Aquilino’s home of Candelaria Yegolé.

They were put into the ground to roast the following day, 1 August and uncovered on 6 August. After roasting for five days, they cooled for two days before being crushed and allowed to ferment dry for one day. 185 liters of fresh river water were then added on 9 August and the must was allowed to ferment for another three days, producing 2,443 liters of tepache. The tepache then underwent first distillation on 12 August and produced 378 liters of ordinario at 29.5% ABV, which was distilled a second time on 13 August, producing 152 liters of still-proof mezcal at 65.5% ABV. This particular batch required 13.89 kg of raw agave per liter of mezcal produced.

For proofing, 21 liters of colas at 21.9% ABV were blended with 31 liters of distilled river water, creating a blend of 52 liters at 14.3% ABV which was then allowed to rest for five weeks before being blended with the still-proof mezcal, to create a 204-liter batch of mezcal at 50.60% ABV.

This batch of mezcal has a nose of spearmint, grass, white garden flower, and sea air. It sits lightly on the palate, without appearing watered-down, as notes of pine and green apple come into play. The finish transitions to notes of starch and jicama root, with a final return of marine air. This is one of the best spirit pairings for oysters and raw fish we have ever encountered. This batch was so good, Aquilino kept 20 liters for his home stash.

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