Alipus San Andres is distilled by hand by Don Valente Angel Garcia.  His mezcals are of the highest quality, with well-defined flavors.

Don Valente’s destilería is located in the tiny pueblo of Santa Maria la Pila (pop. 342) southwest of Miahuatlán about two hours south of Oaxaca City. The altitude is 5393 feet, and the terrain is rolling hills.

Don Valente’s distillery now has four copper potstills. He plasters their exterior. The open spaces are for firewood.

One of his two palenques. Note the unusual width and the tidiness, always a sign of excellent mezcal.

Beautifully roasted espadín.

Chopping roasted agaves for milling.

A batch is 7 tons of agaves. It takes weeks.

A rich fermentation. The planks and stones keep it from bubbling over.

When you need a new handle for your shovel, you make it from a stick. It’s called being in real contact with your work.

Miahuatlán’s soils are rich, shaley, ferriferous, with a lot of clay. The Karwinskii agaves (madrecuishe, cuishe, barril) do particularly well. Don Valente is a master of distilling them.

Santa Maria’s church. Don Valente donated the land.