Raicilla’s main agaves are the large agave maximiliana (sometimes called lechugilla), several wild varieties of angustifolia (such as chico aguiar), rhodacantha (local varieties of the “dobadaan” used in Oaxaca), and inaequidens (also used to make mezcal in Michoacan), called bruto because its sap irritates human skin.


Wild Agave Rhodacantha
wild agave insequidens

Both angustifolia (espadín) and rhodacantha are distilled in Oaxaca. Mezcals from the Jalisco varieties don’t taste like the Oaxacan ones: a bit more intense, among other things. We’re looking at different soils, different microclimates, and, I imagine, local genetic variations arising from agaves of the same species spending centuries, if not millenia, in very different places.

cultivated rhodacantha near Mascota

cultivated rhodacantha near Mascota

Responsible producers (Venenosa, Mexicat, Balam) are devoting efforts to sustainability by supporting the domestication of wild varieties.