Superb craft-method vodka has returned. Working with Devin Cain and his father Crispin (Tamar Distillery, home of Low Gap whiskey and Russell Henry gin), Craft Distillers has released the first bottlings of Vodka DSP CA 162, named after the Federal distillery number of the original (1982) Germain-Robin distillery, where all that we do began.
These are brilliant vodkas. We get the fruit and leaves from the Central Valley specialty orchards of John Kirkpatrick, then macerate them and blend them into a vodka based on a mix of wheat (soft mouthfeel) and corn (body). There is nothing like them on the market, $38.
Mezcaleros nos. 9F, 9J, and 9L are from three different single-still distilleries in a steep canyon southwest of Sola de Vega, about 65 miles from Oaxaca City. All three are from wild agaves, the agave americana var. oaxaqueña , and all three (this is very special) are distilled on potstills made from clay. The arroqueño is spicy, smoky, intense; clay potstills yield mezcal with beautiful soft mouthfeel. Total was 726 bottles.
Los Danzantes has brought another family distillery into the Alipus series: Baltazar Crux Gomez of San Luis del Rio. The terrain is steep, the soils are sandy, the mezcal spicy, round, soft. San Luis is on the same river as San Juan, eight miles away in a straight line, but you have to drive around the cordillera, 2 1/2 hours.