An amazing, amazing plant with a long history. Some 26 kinds are distilled: wonderfully wide range of flavor, intensity, depth, mouthfeel. agaves of the same kind, such as the commonly cultivated espadín (agave angustifolia), taste way different when grown at different altitude, terrain, soil type and composition, microclimate. Good mezcal is always interesting.


Hillside espadín above Santa Ana del Rio. It’s like grapes:  put them in a place where they have to struggle a bit and you get deeper flavor and more complexity.

Truly great mezcals tend to come from wild agaves, like this Tepextate (agave marmorata).  Harvested, they are transported by burro.

Agaves from the Karwinskii family, like these wild agaves madrecuishe, are tart and intense.

Agaves take up to 15 years to mature, which is why they have such richness of flavor. Here’s one going to seed.