This 190 liter batch was made by Aquilino Garcia Lopez in Candelaria Yegolé, Oaxaca (16°29'41.36"N, 96°18'38.69"W). It is made from Agave Sierra Negra (51%) and Agave Tepeztate (49%).
Agave Sierra Negra is a sub varietal of the Agave Americana family. It takes up to 25 years to mature. Sierra Negra is quite rare. It was widely cultivated many years ago but due to it’s producing very little seed or hijuelos and long times to mature it has been mostly abandoned in favor of Agave Espadín. Agave Tepeztate is part of the Agave Marmorata family and has a very distinct, erratic leaf structure. It produces beautiful quiotes at the end of it’s life cycle that flower a rich yellow before turning to seed. Tepeztate also takes as many as 25 years to mature. The Sierra Negra was cultivated and the Tepeztate was wild harvested for this batch.
Like all Mezcal Vago batches, all the agave types are cooked, crushed, fermented, and distilled together. Percentages of agave types on the label are dry weight of the piñas before they are roasted underground.
These two distinct and different agaves create an outstanding mezcal.
The entire Mezcal Vago Sierra Negra-Tepeztate batch was sold to Vinum Wine and Spirits who distribute in Oregon and Washington in January of 2015. This batch was meant for the hardcore agave enthusiasts in Seattle as a thank you for their support. Their passion is inspiring. If you want to try this unique mezcal, you will have to seek out the agave freaks of the Northwest, they have a bottle under the bar.
Producer: Aquilino García López.
Location: Candelaria Yegolé, Oaxaca
The still (palenque) is on Aquilino’s ranch where he lives full time. He and his father moved it to its current location 15 years ago. It has moved around from nearby locations over the years. He believes his family has been making Mezcal for at least five generations. Aquilino does nearly all of the work himself.
The fermentation vats are made of pine and hold up to 1000 liters. The cooked agave and water ferment from the natural airborne yeasts in the air. No additional ingredients are used to make the Mezcal other than agave and water.
Each batch ferments for around a week. This varies depending on the ambient temperature at the time of fermentation. Aquilino distills his fermented mash before all of the sugar has fermented. This is sooner than other Mescalero’s’ techniques. He uses six fermentation vats. Aquilino has an alembic copper still that has a 250-liter capacity. He makes all the separations (cuts) by smell and taste. All of Aquilinos mezcals are twice distilled. Aquilino’s Mezcals have a definite style. Bright, clean and bold without too much smoke. They have less bottom end (tails) than other mezcal lines, due in part to his “narrow” cuts on the still. All of Aquilino’s mezcal goes through a simple sediment filtration through a tubular cellulose filter before bottling. The bottling is done by hand in Oaxaca City. The light filtration is the only way the mezcal is affected between when it was made on the palenque and how it ends up in the bottle.