Tasting a distillation run of wild agave tobalá coming off the Hoga still at the Los Danzantes distillery in Santiago Matatlan, outside Oaxaca City. No agave makes better mezcal than the small and wild tobalá: elegant, refined, beautifully flavored.
Tasting a first distillation run coming off a still at the Los Danzantes distillery in Santiago Matatlan, outside Oaxaca City. The first run is always very sweet, and ever so soft.
After a first distillation run at Los Danzantes. Ernesto is pitchforking the solids out, cleaning the still for the next rum. Distilling the solids makes the mezcal richer, more complex, and gives it the characteristic vegetal overtones of artisan mezcal.
Moving the milled agave solids to the still at Los Danzantes. Distilling with solids is more difficult (they want to cook to the inside of the still), but adding them makes the mezcal richer, more complex, and gives it the typical vegetal overtones of artisan mezcal. It’s a lot of work.
Artisan mezcal: Hector Vasquez on how the Alipús distillers make their cuts differently to satisfy the NORMA export regulations, plus encouraging the distillers to use their noses instead of tasting, which is how we work at Germain-Robin.
Putting the top on a potstill at Los Danzantes after filling the still. This is exactly how any artisan mezcal distiller does it. What got cut off in the video is wrapping the connections with a strip of cloth, which goes back for centuries.
Distilería Los Daznates has set up a sophisticated system of rolling tanks so they can have several batches in sequential fermentation. It’s about how to be Mexico’s #1 artisan mezcal without sacrificing rigorous artisan methods.
Fermentation with native yeasts is tricky. This is Hector Vasquez on inoculating the must with yeast collected from previous
fermentations, this to get complete and consistent fermentation. This is a great example of Los Danzantes’ work on improving ancestral methods. There’s a lot of info on agave fermentation at http://www.ianchadwick.com/tequila/fermentation.htm
Remixing the solids down into the tina, the agave fermentation tank, at Los Danzantes. The solids tend to float to the top. Remixing enriches the fermentation, so you get more flavor & complexity. It’s like punching down the skins when you’re fermenting crushed grapes.
Los Danzantes puts huge effort into preserving authentic craft methods. This is about their new millstone.