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Produced from the wild agave Selmiana in the high altitude Central Mexican Plateau in the state of San Luis Potosi, this is a beautiful foil to traditional Oaxacan mezcal. The agave is not roasted, but cooked (similar to Tequila) resulting in a spirit that is not smokey, but instead bursts on the palate with a crazy array of flavors. Herbal and mineral tones weave their way through a bright citrus and floral character. There's a slight sourness, a funk that I associate with cheese rind, and noticeable acidity, which is quite shocking for a distillate. The wilder side of mezcal. What I also notice with my bottle of Selmiana is that it changes quite remarkably once open. When I first popped the cork, it felt slightly muted and withdrawn, but within 20 minutes all the exuberance I remembered from previous bottles was there again. It is fascinating watching the bottle change and evolve over a period of weeks. Oskar Kostecki
Barril is a subspecies of Karwinskii agave which grows wild at high elevations, and often takes up to fifteen years to mature. This batch from Simeone y Apolonio Ramirez is very effusive and perfumed, characterized by violets, jasmine, fig, a mineral slate character, a hint of umami and an undercurrent of salinity. Only 133 bottles made! Oskar Kostecki
An ensamble, or blend of several different agave species all co-roasted, co-fermented, and co-distilled, is a historic style with a long tradition. With different species taking various length of time to mature, making an ensamble was a mezcaleros way of pulling from the available bounty of the land and creating a special, oftentimes unique batch. These are some of our favorite styles of mezcal, carrying great complexity. This is a blend of Espadin, Tepeztate, Tobala, and various Karwinskiis, and explodes on the palate with notes of tropical fruit, melon, roasted pineapple, evergreen, resin, violets, hot stones and remarkable salinity. Oskar Kostecki
This mezcal is one of the most intriguing bottlings I have tasted. Aureliano Hernandez crafts this in the village of San Balthazar Guelevila using Espadin grown at altitudes of over 1500 meters. He allows the plants to reach full maturity and shoot up a quijote, a flowering stalk which grows from the piña and signals that the agave is ready to reproduce. At this point Aureliano cuts off the quijote and allows the Espadin to further mature, trapping all the sugars that were meant to go into its reproductive cycle in the piña. When he harvests at around twelve years of age, the agave is incredibly ripe, producing notes of raw honey, burnt sugar, and brown butter, with a rich and viscous mouthfeel. Absolutely stunning. Oskar Kostecki
This is a single-distilled mezcal, and the intensity on it is quite breathtaking. Tepeztate is a rare wild agave, usually found growing on steep cliffs, and often taking up to 25 years to mature.Simeone y Apolonio Ramirez are a father and son team located in the village of San Agustin Amatengo, and make vibrant single-distilled mezcals from agave wild-harvested from the surrounding countryside. This batch of Tepeztate is deep and intense, showing signs of evergreen, herbs, pepper, resin, dried flowers, and green papaya. Very complex with a long finish. A little over 100 liters made! Oskar Kostecki
Tobaziche is part of the Karwinskii family of agave, and is characterized by a long piña (heart of the agave) and long leaves that shoot out high off the ground. For me, Karwinskii agave almost always exhibit a higher toned, more floral character, and tend to have more pronounced acidity as well. Berta's 2017 batch of Tobaziche is an interplay of red and green chiles, dried violets, orange and grapefruit flesh, orange rind, mango, and hot stones. Balanced and complex, with a long clean finish - this is a mezcal to savor. Oskar Kostecki