Mezcal

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The last of the world’s great undiscovered spirits. Mezcal is distilled from the agave, an unusually complex, flavorful, and interesting form of life giving talented distillers a lot to work with.

Artisan mezcal distillers keep the agave solids in the still; tequila producers don’t. Well-made artisan mezcal is richer, more complex, than any tequila.

We carry only artisan mezcals, most of them made in tiny family distilleries in remote pueblos.  Making artisan mezcals is slow, old-fashioned, labor-intensive. These mezcals  get their flavor from the agave itself, from the soil and climate where the agave was grown, from local and regional traditions of how to roast, ferment, and distill.

 

 

Los Nahuales     Alipus     Mezcalero     Animas     Comunidad     Cuentacuentos    


Los Nahuales

Founded in 1998 by Jaime and Gustavo Muñoz to supply their wonderful Oaxacan restaurant with an authentic local spirit. They refurbished an old distillery in Santiago Matatlan, the epicenter of artisan mezcal distillation.

Los Nahuales mezcal is made in small old-fashioned double-distillation pot stills. Mezcals from the agave espadín are full-flavored and sweet. The Los Nahuales roasting pit is fired with mesquite, adding a smoky richness.

Los Nahuales is exactly the same as the mezcals sold as Los Danzantes in Mexico. The trade name  Los Danzantes could not be used in the USA because of trademark issues.

 


  • LOS NAHUALES Arroqueño

    Single-batch distilled from a semi-wild sub-variety of the agave Americana. Good acidity, great flavor definition. Nice intensity.

    750 ml / 48% abv

    $115.00

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  • LOS NAHUALES Sierra Negra

    Single-batch distilled from a second, and rare, sub-variety of the agave Americana, noted for its suavity. Rich flavor.

    750 ml / 48% abv

    $115.00

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  • LOS NAHUALES Mezcal Blanco (Joven)

    The finest blanco espadín in bottle. Distilled by maestra destiladora Karina Abad from very carefully selected agaves. Mild smokiness from pit-roasting; full-bodied and soft with lots of complex fruit. Beautiful mezcal

    750 ml / 47% abv

    $62.00

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  • LOS NAHUALES Reposado

    Six to nine months in French Nevers and American oak utterly transforms the mezcal into an elegant and subtle distilled spirit that rivals great malt whiskies.

    750 ml / 47% abv

    $74.00

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  • LOS NAHUALES Anejo

    Just over a year in French Nevers oak. Beautifully and gracefully mature, with deep rich flavor and a soft enduring finish. Long finish: scotch whisky fans love it. Very little is exported. Scarce.

    750 ml / 45.2% abv

    $115.00

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  • LOS NAHUALES Metodo Antiguo (blanco)

    authentic (pre-Norma regulation) use of tails from the first distillation run to descend the mezcal to bottling proof. Lovely flowery complexity.

    750 ml / 47.8 % abv

    $72.00

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  • LOS NAHUALES Still Proof (2nd release)

    Bottled without dilution. 40% wild jabalí (agave convallis),whose acidic ferality is tamed by a rich mature espadín from Pozo Blanco near Santiago Matatlan. 720 bottles only: Scarce.

    750 ml / 53% abv

    $120.00

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  • LOS NAHUALES Special Edition no. 2

    Single batch of wild cirial (a sub-variety of agave Karwinski ) with a high mountainside espadín distilled by Joel Antonio Juan and Karina Abad. Crisp fruitiness with unusual dry complexity. Scarce.

    750 ml / 48% abv

    $84.00

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  • LOS NAHUALES Special Edition no. 4

    One of the finest mezcals ever distilled: single batch of espadín  from March, 2013. The extraordinary quality of the batch was recognized; it then was matured in glass for five years, deepening and stabilizing its rich complexity. 770 bottles: scarce.

    750 ml / 48% abv

    $105.00

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Alipus

Alipus San Luis del Rio “Best Overall Mezcal” – Saveur Magazine

Tons of photos on the newly launched AlipusUSA.com

Variation in soils, climate, and altitude (terroir) as expressed in mezcals from a single species of agave, the agave espadín. Alipus mezcals are distilled in artisanal family distilleries located in remote Oaxacan pueblos. The agaves are wood-roasted in hornos (conical below-ground ovens), then slow-crushed in stone mills. Fermentation is with native yeasts in open wooden vats; the liquids and solids are then double-distilled in small wood-fired copper potstills.


  • ALIPUS XX Anniversary Edition San Andrés

    A single batch of semi-wild Madrecuishe (agave Karwinskii), which is best from this Miahuatlan area. Focused. Dark chocolate in the finish.

    750 ml / 47.5% abv

    $120.00

    Out of Stock


  • ALIPUS XX Anniversary Edition San Baltazar Guélavila

    Very small single batch of wild sierrudo (agave Americana). Sierrudo takes 15-18 years to mature. Cirilo Herández' signature soft richness. Very rich fruit.  

    750 ml / 46% abv

    $120.00

    Out of Stock


  • ALIPUS XX Anniversary Edition San Miguel de Sola

    Very small single batch of clay-distilled wild tobalá (agave potatorum). The Sola de Vega area is famous for its tobalá.

    750 ml / 47.5% abv

    $120.00

    Out of Stock


  • Alipus XX Anniversary Edition Santa Ana del Rio

    single-batch using wild agaves, to celebrate 20 years of Alipus, the first exported mezcal with a social motive. Santa Ana's population is 376. You have to wade across the river to get to the destilería.

    750 ml / 48% abv

    $120.00

    Out of Stock


  • ALIPUS San Andres Ensamble

    Espadín with some 15% semi-wild madrecuishe, at its best where Don Valente distills. Balanced, complex, and clean.

    750 ml / 43.7% abv

    $65.00

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  • ALIPUS San Andres

    From Don Valente Angel; espadín at some 5000 feet in Miahuatlan's thin calciferous soils. Beautifully distilled. Clean, lots of fruit

    750 ml / 44% abv

    $48.00

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  • ALIPUS San Baltazar

    From Don Cosmé Hernandez, espadin at 3700 feet in hilly/rocky soils. Signature softness. Fruity & delicate.

    750 ml / 44% abv

    $48.00

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  • ALIPUS San Juan del Rio

    From Rodolfo Cruz Gonzales, espadin from a sunny mountain plateau, ferriferous soils. Smoky with rich fruit.

    750 ml / 44% abv

    $48.00

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  • ALIPUS San Luis del Rio

    From Don Baltazar Cruz Gomez, espadín from steep sandy soils. Days are hot in San Luis, lots of flavor in the agaves. Spicy, round, soft.

     

    750 ml / 47% abv

    $48.00

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  • ALIPUS San Miguel de Sola – Don Leonardo Rojas, Don Jesus Rios, Don Felix Garcia

    3 ancestral destilerías: very small batches milled by mazos & canoas, distilled in clay pots. The agave terrain is mountainous. Complex, intense, floral.

    750 ml / 47% abv

    $72.00

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  • ALIPUS Santa Ana del Rio

    From Minerva Hernandez (great to see another female distiller!), espadín in mountainous, calciferous, & very rocky soils. Unusually cleanly distilled. Soft and lightly fruity.

    750 ml / 47% abv

    $48.00

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Mezcalero

Unique one-time bottlings distilled at least 50% from wild or semi-wild agaves. A batch is 6-700 bottles only. It takes a month of work to produce one batch.

The fundamental reason for this collaboration between Craft Distillers (who conceived the brand) and  Los Danzantes (who coordinates production of and bottles the mezcal) is to keep something wonderful going that is at risk of disappearing. Many of these gifted family distillers find it increasingly hard to make a living by selling to local markets. They deserve a wider audience, and to achieve sustainable productivity,  artisan production of mezcal is crushed under the weight of commercial interest, as happened for example in Cognac.

Each bottling is something genuinely special.  The price is held down to allow affordable enjoyment of the best mezcals in production.

“The Mezcalero series is without a doubt the finest collection of mezcals I’ve ever tasted. Nothing from Del Maguey or any other bottler even comes close” – David Driscoll, K&L Wines.


  • MEZCALERO No. 25

    March, 2013, by Don Cosmé Hernández and his son Cirilo in San Baltazar Guélavila from wild tobalá (agave potatorum). San Baltazar’s signature soft touch.

    750 ml / 47.5% abv

    $110.00

    Out of Stock


  • Mezcalero No. 26

    Hand-distilled April 2018 by Don Valente Angel Garcia in Santa Maria la Pila, near Miahuatlan, from wild arroqueño (agave Americana). This man is a great distiller: the flavors are pure, the cuts precise. We like arroqueño, higher acidity helping to make the flavors clean and distinct. Nice intensity, nice minerality from Miahuatlan's ferriferous clay shale. 960 bottles.  

    750 ml / 47% abv

    $110.00

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  • MEZCALERO Special No. 5

    Hand-distilled May 2019 by Don Rubén Solis Lozano in La Constancia, Durango. 100% wild cenizo (agave durangensis).  The tiny cenizo is notoriously difficult to distill. Beautifully balanced. 960 bottles.

    750 ml / 47% abv

    $135.00

    Out of Stock




Animas

Eber Villalobos has been in the mezcal trade for 11 years. He decided to use his knowledge to produce a genuinely excellent mezcal- no bells & whistles, no overblown hype; just the real thing.
Animas is focused on the rare wild agave  called tobalá where Animas sources it. Animas distills a 100% Mixe papalometl, a truly gorgeous espadin, and a rich ensamble of the two. Everything is done as it should be, or better. This is great mezcal.


  • ANIMAS Ensamble Artesanal

    Beautifully distilled blend of espadín and tobalá, Herbal and fruity minerality, with a subtle sweetness.  

    750 ml / 48% abv

    $92.00

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  • ANIMAS Espadin Artesanal

    Distilled by Humberto Juan in San Juan del Rio in Eber Villalobos' new (& beautiful) distillery. Serious mezcal: good presence.  

    750 ml / 44% abv

    $52.00

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  • ANIMAS Papalometl Artesanal

    sourced in the high Mizteca. Memorable.

    750 ml / 48% abv

    $120.00

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Comunidad

Hector Vasquez de Abarca, for many years in charge of production at Los Danzantes, and Ansley Coale, importer of mezcals and raicillas since 2004 and creator of the Mezcalero brand, are collaborating on a project to find, bottle, and represent superb agave spirits with the intent of helping to preserve the society and culture from which they come. Society and culture create the depth that underlies these profound human achievements, but they are threatened by rapid commercialization.


  • COMUNIDAD No. 1 ~ Bramaderos

    From Alberto Ortiz (Don Beto) near Miahuatlan, rich mezcal of 5 wild agaves plus espadín, grown at +/-5600 feet in shaley, ferriferous soils. Distilled October 4, 2017. Lovely soft complexity. 731 bottles. Visiting Don Beto

    750 ml / 48% abv

    $110.00

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  • COMUNIDAD No. 2 ~ El Lazo

    From Angel Cruz near Sola de Vega, 220-liter batch of COYOTE, agave Americana var. Oaxacensis grown from wild stock and harvested from a steep hillside planting by the distiller. Earthy, intense, complex. 276 bottles. More about Angel Cruz Robles

    750 ml / 52.69% abv

    $120.00

    Out of Stock




Cuentacuentos

A wide range of fabulous small-batch mezcals: Read Spear has brought on some wonderfully talented distillers. But making great artisanal mezcal happen is not just about finding talented distillers: it’s about doing business with them in a way that keeps this beautiful human activity alive. His real accomplishment is making his dream their dream too: people doing what they love, what they give their hearts to. It shows up in the mezcal.


  • CUENTACUENTOS Arroqueño Artesanal

    From Angel Cruz Robles in El Lazo in the mountains above Sola de Vega. Agave Americana var. Clean arroqueño intensity.

    750 ml / 50% abv

    $120.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS Coyote Ancestral

    On clay potstills. A wild local sub-varietal of agave Americana. Another beauty from Ángel Cruz Robles in El Lazo above Sola de Vega. Exceptionally clean.

    750 ml / 45.67% abv

    $120.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS Coyote Ancestral–A. Robles

    On clay potstills. A wild local sub-varietal of agave Americana. Another beauty from Ángel Cruz Robles in El Lazo above Sola de Vega  

    750 ml / 45.67% abv

    $120.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS Cuish Artesanal – Serafin Garcia

    Wild Agave Karwinskii from Serafin Garcia Geronimo near San Dioniso Ocotopec. Beautifully distilled.

    750 ml / 47.9% abv

    $86.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS Destilado de Agave Cupreata (Papalote)

    From Antonio Sonido in Pantitlan in Guerreo. The wild cupreata is so named because of the distinctive slight hint of copper on the palate. It’s one of our favorite agaves: complex

    750 ml / 49.63% abv

    $99.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS Destilado de Agave Papalote T. Guterriez

    Wild cupreata from Tomás Gutierrez in Tepehuizco at 5800 feet in Guerrero state. Characteristic hint of copper minerality. One of our favorite agaves, not found in Oaxaca.

    750 ml / 48% abv

    $189.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS Destilado de Agave Tobala

    Wild agave potatorum from Daniel Léon in Quielela near Sola de Vega, Ancestral distillation in a clay pot still. Tobalá from Sola de Vega distilled in clay is about as good as mezcal gets.

    750 ml / 45.88% abv

    $99.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS El Barro – Entire 2nd Distillation Batch

    Craft Distillers sells batches to bars that are the entirety of a second distillation in a small clay pot, 30 1 liter bottles. We put your name (or your group's) and the batch number on a strip label: you would have the only 30 bottles in the world. Call Kristie Meyer at 707 468-7899 or kmeyer@craftdistillers.com

    30 x 1000 ml / 46% abv

    $2,500.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS El Barro Mezcal

    Small 30-liter batches of joven (blanco) espadín (agave angustifolia), with the first distillation in copper, the second distillation in a clay pot still. Wonderful mouth-feel. Great price for clay-finished mezcal.  

    750 ml / 46% abv

    $48.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS Espadin Ancestral

    On clay potstills. From Angel Robles above Sola De Vega. Agave angustifolia.

    750 ml / 48% abv

    $89.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS Espadin Artesanal

    From Serafin Garcia Geronimo near San Dioniso Ocotopec. Agave  angustifolia

    750 ml / 48% abv

    $70.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS Madrecuishe Artesanal

    Semi-wild agave Karwisnskii fron Everardo Garcia Salvador in San Pablo Mitla (the 1544 church stands on top of great Mizteca ruins). Soft minerality from chalky soil

    750 ml / 47.59% abv

    $96.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS Tepeztate artesanal

    From Serafin Garcia Geronimo near San Dioniso Ocotopec. Agave marmorata.

    750 ml / 48% abv

    $99.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS Tepeztate Artesanal Memorial release.

    Wild agave marmora from San Pablo Mitla, some of it clay distilled. This was Everardo Garcia Salvador's last distillation: he dies shortly afterwards. Read Spear has marked the release up and is donating the proceeds to Everardo's family.  Well-distilled batch showing tepeztate's slow-maturing richness and feral intensity.

    750 ml / 48.56% abv

    $125.00

    Out of Stock


  • CUENTACUENTOS Tobala Ancestral

    From Ángel Cruz Calvo in El Lazo in the mountains above Sola de Vega. The rare agave Seemania: worth buying. Scarce

    750 ml / 47.3% abv

    $120.00

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  • CUENTACUENTOS Tobala Artesanal

    From Serafín Garcia Gerónimo near San Dioniso Ocotopec. Wild agave potatorum. Good price for tobalá.

    750 ml / 45% abv

    $96.00

    Add to cart


  • CUENTACUENTOS Tobala Everardo

    From Everardo Garcia Salvador in San Pablo Mitla. Agaves potatorum & angustifolia.  

    750 ml / 47.5% abv

    $90.00

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