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  1. […] and with modern appliances), tasted different agave-based beverages, including tequila and bacanora, and saw how agave fiber can be twisted into rope and crafted into all kinds of […]

  2. […] made determine if they’re a subcategory of mezcal or not. It’s complicated. This Mezcal PHD post is incredibly helpful. […]

  3. Bas H at |

    Spain continues to made their own agave destillate, I remember there were more cheap ones (low taxes compared to North- Europe, loved it!) but here’s one found online; Aguardiente de agave Capitan Tiquela.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      I was unaware that anyone in Spain made an agave distillate. Love to try it!

      Reply
  4. werner at |

    you should correct the following in your article about agave spirits, I insist:
    all Raicillas are smoky, Bacanoras, just like Sotol, are not!

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      First it is an old post and could use an update. Second, you can insist all you want but that’s not going to get you very far. Since I wrote this post, I have had Raicillas made in both aboveground ovens and earthen pits – so both smoky and not. The same is true for sotol. For bacanoras, the sample set is very small, and I pretty much have only had earthen pit versions. I have no doubt there are producers mixing in some aboveground ovens.

      There are few absolutes in the mezcal world! Many great things happening and more are being discovered all the time. So drink mezcal – I insist!

      Reply
  5. karuna gomez mont at |

    i would like to contact you for you to give an informal talk at El Fuerte, Sonora, April 9. i hope you are in mexico. forgive the lack of caps, i have a broken arm.
    this is a fundraising tour. your knowledge of agave drinks is fascinating. the talk would be in english for americans and canadians living in mexico. also, a few others living abroad. a group of 25 people. my cell phone is (52 1) 333 101 8092. home 52 376 766 2610. karuna.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      This is very kind of you to ask me to participate. But I live in NYC and would not be able to make this event. Appreciate the look though!

      Reply
  6. werner at |

    all raicillas I know are smokey (piñas are baked in underground pitts), years ago there was a brand called ‘7 Amigos’, the only unsmoked Raicilla I have ever come across in my 40 years in Mexico, it was a brilliant spirit, similar to Sotol in flavour and quality, but is no longer available

    Reply
  7. Juan M at |

    Hello again, do you know if any distilled spirit can be made from the same maguey that pulque is harvested from if the heart were to be cooked or roasted?

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      I have a bottle of mezcal made with Agave pulquero, so yes as that is used to make pulque. But pulque is made with many different varietals and I am not sure all are mezcal worthy…..

      Reply
  8. Juan M at |

    Hello, I was wondering which mezcal agave would be best suited for growing in the soutwest, perhaps in the palm springs area. I understand that I cannot call it Mezcal due to DOM but it would be a mezcal-like spirit. Any thoughts? Suggestions?

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Tough one for me. I would go to your local nursery and talk to them….

      Reply
  9. Armando Erotico at |

    Thanks for the informative article.

    I have a straightforward question, which is the eighth appellation of origin for mezcal, I only ever seem to find the original seven?

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Straight forward question gets a straight forward answer: Michoacan. Added in 2013. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  10. David Blaska at |

    I have seen the spelling “mescal” to refer to any distilled agave drink and “mezcal” with a z for the drink produced in Oaxaca state from espadin agave. Helps sort things out. But great info, again!

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Actually “mescal” is the English spelling and “mezcal” is Spanish. But everybody in the industry uses the “z” as do I. I mean do we spell “champagne” like this: “champane”. OK, not a very good joke but you get the point! It is a Mexican spirit so let’s use the Spanish spelling. This does not have anything to do with the “z” being for mezcal from Oaxaca and the “s” for agave distillates. Just Spanish vs English……

      Reply
  11. Vel at |

    Can I bring Bacanora back to the USA? I bought it in a coke bottle. I just have one coke bottle.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Unless it is laced with marijuana I think you are OK! Booze is legal. However, if they inspect it, they will not let it in if it is not sealed. So a coke bottle might get taken. You can try sealing it with wax by dripping candle wax around the top and see it if they will go for it. Most likely you won’t even get stopped or asked. Good luck!

      Reply
  12. Aris Gonzalez at |

    Just to let you know, PULQUE is made out from maguey, agave americana. Being from the same family of agave but different plant.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Pulque can be made with at least 6 different agave varietals with Agave Americana being one of them! Thanks for reading.

      Reply
  13. Guy DeLouche at |

    I would also add Cocui or Cocuy to the obscure agave spirit list…apparently it’s popular in Venezuela, particularly in the state of Falcon. This is the only reference to it I’ve managed to find about it, posted by one Patricio on the Blue Agave forums:

    I am new to this forum but have enjoyed tequila and margaritas for many years. I have retired to Venezuela where imports are limited and the two bottle import limit on passangers does not go far. I have discovered a place in the state of Falcon where they make cocuy from the Agave Cocui plant. I am trying to find all producers and make a personal ranking. I can make a fair margarita and know the product has not been discovered as it costs less than $2 a liter.

    Reply
  14. aspidoscelis at |

    A note on families:

    Both Agave and Dasylirion are placed in the family Asparagaceae in the current familial taxonomy of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group.

    A note on bacanora:

    Agave palmeri is (at least sometimes) used to produce this liquor.

    And, no, sotol is not mezcal, but you know that. 🙂

    Reply
    1. aspidoscelis at |

      Also, “lechuguilla” as a common name usually refers to the species Agave lecheguilla, at least in the U.S. and in the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Coahuila. Whether anyone uses Agave lecheguilla to produce liquor, I do not know.

      Reply
      1. Mezcal PhD at |

        I have read that Agave lechuguilla is the most widely dispersed agave in Mexico. I have also seen it in numerous lists as one which is used to produce mezcal, though I have never seen or tried one….

        Reply
    2. Mezcal PhD at |

      I thought Dasylirion was in the family Nolinaceae? Please advise.

      Reply
  15. Joe Cordova at |

    Very informative,but being from a bacanora producing region,I have seen bacanora produced by the best.They do not use any particular variety of agave.I have seen piles of pinas that have five or ten varieties of agave.They use anything they can find growing wild,old timers claim that it is the combination of certain varieties that make the difference in taste.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      I am sure you have tried some amazing mezcals there! But according to the DO, it can not be labeled bacanora unless A. Angustifolia is used. I have seen other mezcals from the region which have to be labeled the very unappealing term “agave distillate”. Just like the mezcal DO, the bacanora DO ignores some centuries old traditions and it is a shame….

      Reply
  16. David Castillo at |

    In Mexico we know the differences between sotol and mezcal. You should come back to Mexico to check it out, will be a pleasure to show you, cheers.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      We have figured out this life mystery up here to. Thanks for reading.

      Reply
  17. Micheline Ouimet at |

    I am glad that you are a Mezcal geek( I think your word ). I have learn something. I didn’t know about Raicilla, Bacanora, and Sotol. Thanks! Micheline

    Reply
  18. Jeff at |

    Thanks again for another great post. Very informative.

    Reply
  19. Sonia Gomez at |

    Very interesting reading! Love to learn about all of these spirits. Someday these blogs posts should make a book.

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Hmmmmmm….maybe someday!

      Reply
  20. Rudy Caconi at |

    Maestro.

    Thanks for another beautiful post.

    Tip, there’s few spirits distilled from pulque, one of them “Pulcata” another one “Mi General Huesca”.

    Pancho
    “In Agave we Trust”

    Reply
    1. Mezcal PhD at |

      Thanks for the contribution!

      Reply
      1. Bob at |

        Another spirit distilled from Pulque/aguamiel is Comiteco, from Chiapas. Headed down that way in a few months and curious to sample it if possible.

        Reply

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